Two Up Motorcycle Touring

Skyway Secrets Motorcycle Roads

July 1, 2009

Tampabay Motorcycle Rides - Cruising the Sunshine Skyway's Secret Back Roads

Tampa Bay Area Motorcycle Rides near the Sunshine Skyway - Ride Route Map

The Sunshine Skyway's Secrets motorcycle rides get you out in the country and on the backroads quickly to enjoy a relaxing cruise and some of the twistiest roads in this part of Florida.

This motorcycle ride is setup to provide two easy ride options

  • A short half-day ride using one of two Quick Return options for a ride of about 75 miles.
  • A longer ride of about 110 miles that includes on of Florida's best motorcycle roads (affectionately dubbed the "Tail of the Gecko").

Either way this ride gets you out of the congestion of the city and riding the back roads of the Tampa Bay area.

Make it a grand tour

Get an early start and combine this ride with the Mine Roads Madness motorcycle ride and you'll have a nearly 200 mile tour of some of the finest motorcycle roads in West Central Florida.

Skyway Secrets Motorcycle Ride Directions


Leg One - St Petersburg to State Road 62

1Start at the North Skyway Bridge toll both in south St. Petersburg. 
2Cross the Skyway Bridge southbound. 
3After passing the southern toll booth (approximately 11 miles) take Exit 5 - US-19 South - Palmetto - Bradenton.
4Just less than 1.4 miles down US-19 make a LEFT at Bayshore Drive.
CAUTION: When making the left turn the northbound lanes of US-19 are severly crowned. Use too much speed or throttle and you may find yourself airborne or worse!
5Follow Bayshore approx 6/10ths of a mile to the stop sign at Terra Ceia Road
6Turn RIGHT on Terra Ceia road.
7Follow Terra Ceia Rd to the Stop sign Bayshore Rd (Terra Ceia becomes 77th St E).
8Turn LEFT on Bayshore under the I-275 bridge and turn left on to 79 St E.
979Th St E curves onto Bishop Harbor Rd. 
10Follow Bishop Harbor road as it twists and turns through the mangroves.
11After crossing the small bridge there is a sweeping right then left followed by a short straightaway,then a tight right at the boat ramp.
CAUTION: The tight right at the boat ramp will usually have a heavy covering of sand and saltwater from the boats being launched and retrieved. There may also be vehicles with trailers attempting to enter or exit the ramp.
12After the boat ramp follow Bishop Harbor Rd over the railroad tracks and to the intersection with a flashing light at US-41
(note that US-41 traffic does NOT stop).
13Across the intersection of US-41 and Bishop Harbor road you'll find a Circle K store. The store is pretty rough, but is a convenient place to pick up a cold drink. 
14Cross US-41 and continue east. The name of the road changes to Moccassin Wallow Rd.
15Follow Moccassin Wallow Rd under I-75. 
16Approx 1.2 miles past I-75 look for CARTER Rd on the left. 
17Turn LEFT onto CARTER Rd.
18Follow Carter Road to Buckeye Rd. 
19Turn RIGHT on Buckeye R.
20Follow Buckeye Rd east through the Hayabusa Sweepers to US 301.
NOTE: The speed limit on Buckeye Road is 40 MPH!
21Turn LEFT on US 301.
22Follow US 301 over the Little Manatee River to Saffold Rd on the right. 
23Turn RIGHT on Saffold Rd.
24Follow Saffold Rd to County Rd 579.
25Turn RIGHT on CR 579.
26Follow CR 579 to SR 62.

Short Day Ride Option - Quick Return to St Petersburg

27At SR 62 turn turn RIGHT towards Bradenton.
28Follow SR 62 to the junction of US-301. 
 See the Alternate Quick Return Option below for an alternate short return route with many of the standard chain restuarants, gas stops, etc. 
29Turn RIGHT at US-301.
30At Mocacasin Wallow Road turn LEFT.
31Follow Moccasin Wallow Road back through the Bishop Harbor area and St Petersburg by reversing the first the ride out. 
 End of Short Ride. 

Alternate Quick Return Option

32At the junction of US-301 in Parrish turn LEFT
33Take an almost immediate RIGHT onto Erie Road.
34Follow Erie Road approximately 3.4 miles to 69th Street E. 
35Turn RIGHT on 69th Street E.
36Follow 69th Street E past I-75 to Us-41. 
37Turn RIGHT onto US-41.
38Take US-41 to the I-275 Northbound on-ramp to St Petersburg via the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. 
39Turn LEFT onto I-275 Northbound.
40Reverse the remainder of the initial leg of the ride to St Petersburg. 
 End of short ride. 

Ride Leg 2 - Connect to Tail of the Gecko

41At SR 62 turn LEFT
42Little Manatee River - Southfork Tract - Day Use Area
Approximately 3 miles after turning left onto SR 62 is the entrance and parking lot for the day use area on the left.
Although there are no facilities this area provides a pleasant stop in the cooler months.
43Approximately 2.7 miles past the day use area (5.7 miles from CR 579) start looking for the left turn to Bunker Hill Road.

This is an easy turn to miss! If you see the Duette Fire Department on your left you've gone too far!

The fire station entrance provides an easy turn around.
44Turn LEFT onto Bunker Hill Road.
45Follow the ride route information for Tail of the Gecko. 
 Last edited July 2, 2009