The "TART" or the Trans Arkansas Trail
UPDATED TART TRACKS ARE INCLUDED BELOW - THANKS TO BIGDOG, DEVRODIRT AND DISCO FOR NEW INFORMATION ON ROAD CLOSINGS
PLEASE NOTE* IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING RIDING THE TART PLEASE READ THE REPORT FOR VALUABLE INSIGHT.
ALSO BE AWARE THAT THESE TRACKS ARE ALWAYS BEING UPDATED. PLEASE CHECK THE DATES OF THE TRACKS AND CHECK AT THE END OF THE THREAD FOR FURTHER CHANGES.
Since first hearing of the TAT I've been intrigued about the idea of riding it. All of it! But life has a way of changing what you want to do. For a variety of reasons it seems the universe is working against my going on the TAT in the near future. So, I set about devising a route closer to home and perhaps easier on the check book. We are calling this route the "T
rail" or the "TART"
. The TART is a 524 +/- mile south to north route across Arkansas . It is mostly gravel, unimproved dirt and forest road route. I've nearly worn Google Earth out viewing the route to maximize dirt.
The TART begins in Junction City, Arkansas on the Arkansas side of the Louisiana border and ends in Blue Eye, Missouri on the Missouri side of the Arkansas border.
Planning the TART has been fun. I think I've done my homework but I guess the actual trip will tells us more about that. Now the route is laid out, fuel stops planned, food stops checked on, campgrounds located and friends to ride the route with have committed (or should be), poker change is rolled, my new whiskey flask is ready to be filled. All that remains is reading the the bikes and heading to the departure point.
The TART will take us from the Arkansas/Louisiana Border to the Arkansas/Missouri border. Our departure point is located in the "Timberlands Region" of Arkansas. It's a region with vast natural resources first discovered by pioneers from the eastern United States in the early 1800s.
These newcomers, who were impressed with the regions dense woods of pine and cypress, decided to settle. In the 1920s, belief in their homeland paid off handsomely when oil was discovered in the El Dorado, Arkansas area.
The abundant natural resources of the timberlands are still attracting people today. Each year, thousands of sportsmen descend upon Southern Arkansas to hunt deer in what is considered the best deer hunting region in the state. They also come in search of the lunker bass that reside in the area's legendary lakes and rivers.
Now days visitors enjoy the legacy of those pioneers by visiting sites ranging from 1800s log cabins and restored Victorian homes to local museums and colorful murals that tell the history of this land.
As the TART winds its way from the Louisiana border to the Missouri border we expect a three day journey averaging 160 +/- miles each day. We will be following some of the best gravel and forest roads in Arkansas. The plan is to trail to the start destination and stay in a motel the first night so we are fresh and ready to ride.
The next evenings we will camp. Our first night will be at DeGrays Lake State Park
and as we wind our way north we will stay our second night at the Choctaw Recreation Area at Greers Ferry Lake
before continuing to the Missouri border.
We will finish the "TART" in the lazy Missouri border town of Blue Eye where hopefully we will be on the square in time for dinner and the short blast to our homes.
THE RIDERS & MY FRIENDS
(in no particular order):
(left) (Friend, riding buddy, Gps Guru and WRR Expert, the Dr's tell us he is reverting to his childhood, wink, wink, nod, nod )
(Friend and riding buddy who has graciously agreed to trail us to the departure point, the man can't hold his liquor!)
(left) (Friend & riding buddy. Barterer extraordinaire)
(right) (Friend, riding buddy and WRR fanatic)
(left) (Old Fat Guy)
(second from the left) (Friend, riding buddy and the best bike mechanic in NWA) & his son (not pictured)
We leave for the TART on October 8th, Stay tuned for more!