Hannibal Missouri Motorcycle Road Trip

Travels with Harley

Last week when I was doing research for rides in Missouri, I couldn’t believe how many there were that Jim and I haven’t been on yet. I would say we have been on about 1/3 of the rides including the Highway 100 west of Washington, the Mark Twain National Forest Circle, and the Missouri Wine Country. There were others, but I have to say that one of my favorites was the Hannibal Missouri to Louisiana ride. The ride itself is only 35 miles, but it sure is beautiful.

Travels with Harley

We decided to go down the Illinois side of the river, which took us through the bald eagle nesting ground. These beautiful birds spend their winters alongside the Mississippi, Illinois, and Rock Rivers while nesting in Southern Illinois.

Hannibal Missouri is a very cool little town with a rich history. Located next to the grand Mississippi River in the northeast part of Missouri it is about 100 miles north of St. Louis.

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Hannibal was founded by Moses D. Bates in 1819 and soon began to flourish when it became the main docking port for packet steamers, flatboats, and steamboats. It became a city in 1845 with the population doubling by 1860. This made it the third biggest commercial center and the second largest city in the state. Nicknamed, “America’s Hometown,” Hannibal Missouri was also known for candle and soap making, pork packing, lumber milling and coopering.

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Hannibal is probably best known as the home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, otherwise known as Mark Twain. Clemens family relocated to Hannibal after moving from Florida, Missouri when he was just four years old. Florida is located about thirty miles away to the southwest.

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You can visit quite a few historical sites in Hannibal Missouri as Mark Twain based many of his characters from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and the Adventures of Tom Sawyer on people that he grew up with in Hannibal.

Travels with HarleyToday you can still tour Mark Twain’s home, the Becky Thatcher House, and the Mark Twain Cave. Mark Twain’s boyhood Home and Museum actually had its 100th anniversary back in 2012.

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For those of you who don’t know, Becky Thatcher was the fictional character that was immortalized in the Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Becky’s real name was Laura Hawkins. She went to school with the young Sam Clemens and was his boyhood sweetheart during the 1840’s.

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Other places of interest in Hannibal include The John M. Clemens Justice of the Peace Office, the Huckleberry Finn House, which was reconstructed, and the Pilaster House, also known as Grant’s Drug Store.