if it's fun on a motorcycle, surely its fun in a WRX!
here are the top 10 motorcycling roads in TX ... as compiled by the Texas members of the Honda Sport Touring Association:
1. TX Hwy 118 from Kent to Study Butte. Over 150 miles of riding ecstasy. This road has it all: phenomenal curves, beautiful desert scenery, and historic significance. The northern portion runs through the scenic, alpine Davis Mountains and is filled with tight twisties and smooth sweepers. The world renowned McDonald Observatory, in Fort Davis sits at 6800 ft and is most famous for its large multi-mirror telescopes and laser reflective measurements from mirrors left on the moon by the Apollo program. Ft. Davis was originally a military outpost to protect settlers from area Indians. The fort still exists and has become a popular place to visit. Just outside Alpine, largest town in the area and community seat, are the semi-desert Del Norte Mountains, and contains another series of incredible curves to savor. Moving further south you drop into the open, desert plains of the Chihuahua Desert, where it would seem one can see forever. The distant mountain scenery of the Christmas and Chisos Mountains is much more rustic, but colorful as you approach Study Butte and Big Bend National Park, an out-of-the-way desert mountain region filled with unusual lava landscapes, rustic mountain scenery, smooth, fast sweepers, and strict Park Rangers. You can truly appreciate God's handy work while riding a road such as this one. There are many wonderful vistas and around each curve lays another spectacular panorama.
2. El Camino Del Rio (TX 170) from Lajitas to Presidio. Leaving Study Butte west you will travel through the once boisterous mining town of Terlingue, now a ghost town with a population 25. Once a year "chiliheads" converge on the small town for the International Championship Chili Cookoff. Lajitas (Spanish for flagstones) is your gateway to "one of the prettiest roads in America." A spectacular 50 miles through lush, twisting river valleys, carved red and purple rock rising 1000 feet from the churning river. The road is excellent; it twists and drops to the canyon floors along the roaring river. Threading through the Bofecillos Mountains formed by two ancient lava flows you will approach the "Big Hill." At a 15% grade it is the maximum of any regularly traveled Texas highway. In Presidio, take time to visit Fort Leaton State Historic Site & Big Bend Ranch State Natural Area to see one of Texas' most unusual historic sites, a massive adobe fortress built in 1848 immediately after the Mexican War.
3. TX Hwy 16 between Llano & Bandera. There is very little traffic on this 100 mile slice of asphalt Heaven, adding to the already pleasant terrain; scenic, elevation changes, sweepers, tight & kinky switchbacks, beautiful vistas, wonderful tree covered tunnels and gorgeous, clear rivers that invite the occasional wading party. The trip requires a stop in Fredericksburg, settled in 1846 by German immigrants. The birthplace of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, there are museums and quaint shops up and down main street. One of the real treats of this ride, if done first thing in the morning, is the wonderful Huevos Rancheros breakfast waiting for you at the Old Spanish Trail restaurant in Bandera. Take a side trip on TX 965 to Enchanted Rock for some real thrills.
4. TX FM 337 From Medina to Camp Wood, then TX Hwy 55 north to Rocksprings. OK, we slipped in two, but it is hard not to fill the top 10 with all Hill Country jewels. You really can not go wrong picking any of the FM (farm to market) roads in this area. FM 337 is unquestionably among the most spectacular roads in the area. Massive wooded steeps enfolding tiny, secluded valleys. Elevations range from 1,500 to 2,400 feet with deep dramatic canyons cut by Frio and Nueces Rivers. A roller coaster ride with rips up and over huge limestone karsts with numerous places to pull off, and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Take your camera! At the time of first Spanish explorers, the area was inhabited by Comanche, Apache and Lipan-Apache Indians. Constantly bringing to mind John Wayne movies, the area is truly desolate, no signs of civilization for miles. You will want to visit Lost Maples State Natural Area in Vanderpool. Especially in November when foliage is in full color. The bigtooth maples thrive only in small, protected pockets in mountainous regions. Before you backtrack (we know you will) take a break in Rockspring at the Angora Goat Breeders' Assoc. Museum.
5. FM 1431 from Marble Falls to Cedar Park - Named for Colorado River waterfalls over marble outcroppings, Lake Marble Falls is in the northern portion of the Hill Country. Pink and red granite has been quarried here since 1880 from Granite Mountain. FM 1431 offers breathtaking scenery both northwest and southeast over winding curves and hills, with frequent glimpses of Highland Lakes. A side excursion is Lime Creek Road running south from 1431 west of Cedar Park connecting with 2769 at Volente. This loop around the Northeast side of Lake Travis is the tightest, gnarliest, kinkiest, nastiest, hilliest piece of 2 lane blacktop ever. On top of that it has grand views of the lake. For the non-believers, this road has found more converts than a Billy Graham revival.
6. Texas Hwy 4 from Palo Pinto to Granbury. Texas 4 (12 miles west of Mineral Wells) south offers spectacular bluffs and scenery through the Palo Pinto Mountains twisting and turning all the way to Santo. Visit the Palo Pinto Museum and see an Old West-type jail and log cabins from the area's history. Granbury was settled in 1854 and is situated on Lake Granbury. Have lunch in the Nutt House, a Historic restaurant and restored country inn dating from 1893. Sightseeing cruises on the lake are available on the 73-foot Grandbury Queen.
7. FM 390 from Burton to Independence. Stop in Brenham on your way to FM 390 and visit Blue Bell Creameries founded in 1907. Ice cream production was two gallons a day in 1911. It is now the home of what many believe is the ultimate ice cream in the US. With all the fat and calories to go with it. Independence was settled by John Coles, one of Stephen F Austin's 300 original families in Texas and was given its name in 1836 to commemorate independence from Mexico. FM 390 east and west from Independence offers attractive scenery and exceptional vistas. It is especially colorful around mid-April during the bluebonnet season. Stopping points include the Ruins of Old Baylor University, Sam Houston Homesite and an Antique Rose Emporium.
8. TX 852 southeast from Winnsboro. Typical East Texas - lots of piney woods, gentle hills & curves. Winnsboro was founded in 1854 and sponsor's one of Texas' best known salutes to fall foliage, The Winnsboro Autumn Trails. Held every weekend in October, Sightseers enjoy special mapped routes of east Texas forestland and a variety of special events.
9. TX 224 north from Cold Spring. Located between Sam Houston National Forest and Lake Livingston, TX 224 offers hilly sweepers and great scenery. In addition to 224, several forest service roads through Sam Houston National Forest offer close views of the tangled, undisturbed area known as the Big Thicket. One such route is to Double Lake Recreation Area south of Coldspring about 4 miles via texas 150 west, FM 2025 and a Forest Service Road.
10. TX 762 south from Richmond to Brazos Bend State Park. This open road surprises you with nice touring sweepers through lush cotton fields of the Gulf Coastal Plains. The park is a must see 4,897 acres including Brazos River bottomlands, beautiful live-oak woodlands draped by wild grapvines and Spanish moss, oxbow lakes and marsh. There is even a large population of American Alligators. The George Observatory within the park features a 36 inch telescope that is open to the public on Saturday nights for star-gazing.