A motorcycle rider’s guide to Pennsylvania Route 6

View of a river bend in autumn
October 6, 2022

U.S. Route 6 (US 6) is a beautiful two-lane road that traverses Pennsylvania’s rolling hills, valleys, and deep green forests. It also holds historical significance as a transcontinental highway—one of the old blue-line highways—you can ride from Massachusetts to California.

Route 6 is colloquially known as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, honoring all branches of the Union Army from the American Civil War. Locally you can hear it called PA Route 6 or just simply Route 6.

No matter what you call it, US Route 6 is among the best scenic motorcycle riding destinations in Pennsylvania.

Navigating Pennsylvania Route 6

From the Pocono and Moosic mountains in eastern Pennsylvania to Allegheny National Forest in the west, you’ll get to explore numerous historic communities, choose from dozens of restaurants to satisfy your hunger, and visit both natural and manmade must-see attractions.

Where does Pennsylvania Route 6 start and end?

Traveling from east to west, your ride begins in the town of Matamoras. Route 6 runs concurrently with U.S. Route 209 into Milford, where the two U.S. highways go their separate ways. 430 miles later, the western end of PA Route 6 runs north of the Pymatuning Reservoir, leaving Pennsylvania at the juncture of State Line Road in the village of Pennline.

PA Route 6 map

We’ve put together a Pennsylvania Route 6 interactive map featuring several must-see attractions along the way. Use this map as a guide, but don’t forget to make some additions—both planned and spontaneous—to make your trip truly unique.

Weather on Pennsylvania Route 6

Pennsylvania is beautiful all year round, but like its neighboring states in the Midwest and Northeast, its weather can change in a hurry. Make sure to review the forecast ahead of your ride.

Chart with climate data for Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Motorcycle safety tips

As you ride Route 6’s 430+ miles, be prepared to encounter a full range of hazards. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Route 6 typically features commuter and tourist traffic, RVs, commercial trucks, and even farm equipment and animals. As a result, watch out for both fast-moving and slow-moving vehicles.

  • Farm debris, wildlife, and other surface hazards can appear unexpectedly.

  • The types of road vary throughout the state—from rural, winding two-lane highways to freeways and city streets. Watch for speed limit signs and other roadside alerts.

Stops to make along PA Route 6

You’ll have countless opportunities to stop and explore as you ride this cross-state route. Here are four we recommend:

Steamtown National Historic Site

If you love steam locomotives, Steamtown National Historic Site is a must-see destination. From information about the history of the American railroad to working roundhouses and even short train excursions, this national treasure offers amazing opportunities to experience an important element in the history of American industry.

Pine Creek Gorge

Known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, Pine Creek Gorge—located within Tioga State Forest—is more than 45 miles long and up to 1,500 feet deep. Pine Creek Rail Trail, a hiking and bicycling path developed along a former railroad line, follows its namesake creek. For amazing views of the gorge, visit Leonard Harrison State Park.

The Great Kinzua Bridge

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources lists Kinzua Bridge State Park as one of the 25 must-see Pennsylvania state parks. The park is notable for its railroad bridge, originally built in 1882. In 2003, a tornado knocked down a portion of it. In 2011, the remaining section was reinvented as the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk, a pedestrian walkway that offers a dramatic view of the Kinzua Creek Gorge.

Allegheny National Forest

Allegheny National Forest covers 513,175 acres in northwestern Pennsylvania. The state’s only national forest, this beautiful area offers amazing camping, hiking, swimming, and other recreational opportunities.

Related links

Before you put a few hundred more miles on your bike, make sure your tires are ride-ready. Our guide to motorcycle tires can help you develop your inspection checklist.

Planning a Pennsylvania motorcycle trip with friends? Improve your mid-ride communication and safety with a Bluetooth®-enabled motorcycle helmet.

The general information in this blog is for informational or entertainment purposes only. View our blog disclaimer.

*Data accuracy is subject to this article's publication date.

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