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Great rides for motorcyclists through the hills and valleys of Connecticut.
1. Route 272
South Norfolk to the Massachusetts line - 10.8 miles.
Dennis Hill State Park affords an observation platform with spectacular views of surrounding villages and the Greylock Mountains.
2. Route 183
Colebrook - 3.1 miles from Route 182 to Church Hill Road.
Open fields, dark forests and rugged landscape lead you to Colebrook, one of the state's best preserved post-revolutionary villages, and to an old country store.
3. Routes 219, 318 and 181
A 6.3-mile loop around the Lake McDonough recreation area where you can swim, hike, fish or rent a boat. View the lake from Ski Sundown on Ratlum Road.
4. Route 41
This 17.9-mile country road in the Litchfield Hills takes you past the restored colonial homes of Sharon and, just outside Salisbury, the entrance to the Appalachian Trail. There you can climb Bear Mountain, the highest peak in Connecticut. In the fall, it's an early spot for gorgeous foliage.
5. Route 4
Sharon - 4.2 miles from Dunbar Road in the village of Cornwall Bridge, then west to Old Sharon Road.
6. U.S. Route 7
Explore 10.3 miles from Bulls Bridge near South Kent north to the covered bridge in West Cornwall at Route 128. Highlights include the Housatonic River, the quaint village of Kent, Kent Falls and the Housatonic Meadows State Park, where fly-fishing happens.
7. Route 53
A 2-mile stretch of road bordered by an untouched wooded area in the Housatonic Valley offers breathtaking views, including the Saugatuck Reservoir.
8. Route 58
Go 3.14 miles from the Fairfield/Easton town line north to Freeborn Road and stop for produce from a local orchard or relax at a cozy inn.
9. Route 146
This 12.2-mile tour takes you through the shoreline towns of Branford and Guilford, past salt ponds and marshland. You'll see summer cottages and impressive beachfront homes. Just offshore at Stony Creek are the popular Thimble Islands.
10. Route 77
A country road from Guilford Center takes you 11.5 miles north into hills toward the town of Durham. See turn-of-the-century farmhouses, a maple sugar house in North Guilford, crooked old barns and picturesque meadows. Dudley Farm, at the intersection of Route 80, has working farm exhibits. This one is a good early morning ride.
11. Route 154
These are 9.1 of the most scenic miles in the state, from Higganum south to East Haddam. Enjoy the vistas along the Connecticut River, through Haddam Meadows State Park and all the way to Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam.
12. Route 169
A 32-mile route from Lisbon through Woodstock will persuade you that these rolling fields and Yankee farms netted Route 169 its National Scenic Byway designation.
13. Route 49
Traverse the 19 miles from North Stonington to Sterling Hill and you will be retracing the footsteps of French Revolutionary War Gen. Rochambeau and his troops. For the pacifist, there are colonial farms, historic taverns, stone walls, Green Falls and Pachaug State Forest.
SOURCE: Connecticut Rider Education Program, Dept. of Transportation