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Old 06-10-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
sportbiker2000 OP
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"Best of the Ozarks" 300 mile loop?

Hello,

I'm doing a ship and ride to Dallas,Texas from New Jersey and wanted to spend a full day doing a pavement loop ride of the Ozarks. Can anyone direct me to a loop ride approximately 300 miles in length (or a full day's ride) that covers the highlights? It looks like there is many including the Pig Trail, AR-9,16, Push Mountain Road etc. I use a Garminn Zumo so a GDB or gpx file would work also.

Thanks in advance.

Joe from New Jersey
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:57 AM   #2
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Ozarks places and roads of interest?

How about a .gpx or gdb GPS file of riding in the Ozarks? Any suggested resources would be helpful. Cool places to stop for lunch or motorcyclist hangouts? I prefer the sport touring crowd. :)
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:44 PM   #3
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Oark Cafe is a popular Bike hangout, as is Tunrer Bend ( on the pig trail) and the Ozone Burger barn.

http://www.oarkgeneralstore.com/

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran..._Arkansas.html

No help on the GPX stuff, sorry I dont speak GPS very well.

all of the roads you mentioned are nice, the National forest areas are my favorites, for instance, west of HIghway 7, and north of Lake Ouachita, is very nice what little bit I have seen of it. Lots of small twisty roads, with very little traffic, its a veritable maze of roads once you zoom the map in.

in the northern part of the state, from Push mountain road ( south) highway 14 to Highway 5, you will go right by Jacks resort, slightly north of Mt View. which is a nice place to spend the night, about $90 a night, restaurant on the property.

Highway 5 all the way up through Calico Rock is fun to me.

there is the Peel Ferry also, crossing over into MO, ive never been on it, but it is reported to be a neat bike friendly sight to see.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkansas_Highway_125


there are many folks here with better ideas of the roads you want, but they are all on vacation apparently.

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Old 06-16-2013, 09:12 PM   #4
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Thanks! I will definitely try one of those lunch spots. Ozone Burger to at least take a photo at. :) I am allotting 2 1/2 days (~800 miles of twisties) to get from Russellville, AR to Nashville TN via Ozark roads. Southern Missouri looks pretty good too..may have to add some of those also. :) 125 looks twisty in Missouri!
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:47 PM   #5
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here is what I posted for our FJR owners rally we just had in Jasper Arkansas.. You ride these roads and you WILL have fun. I live 15 miles north of Harrison Arkansas so I know the local roads.

Let me know when you will be in the area and if possible I will join you on my CBR 954RR..

HW 160 and 125 in in Missouri are about as good as they get for twisties! I live about 30 SW of them. If you take HW 7, 123 north to 125 in Arkansas you can then take the free Peel ferry across Bull Shoals lake to both of them.

The Ozark Cafe in Jasper is a great place to eat.

for those of you new to this area you will find it has some spectacular roads to ride around the Jasper area.

Pretty much every secondary road listed between and including HW 23 (Pig Trail) which is to the west and west of HW 65 which is to the east and north of I-40 which is on the south and south of HW 62 which is to the north are spectacular and twisty.

A great loop (and one of my favorites) would be to take HW 7 north to Harrison then SW on HW 43 south to HW 21 south all the way down to Clarksville then come back up HW 123 (switchbacks just before Mt Judea) all the way to HW 65 then north to HW 206 west back to HW 7 and south on it for a couple of miles to The Hub. The elk herd can be seen on HW 43 just south of Ponca and before Boxley on HW 21.

All of HW 21 south out of Berryville all the way to Clarksville is a spectacular and scenic twisty ride and one of my favorite routes


Hw 103 from Hw 43 just south of Harrison over to Hw 412.


All of HW 7 north out of Hot Springs clear up to Missouri is a spectacular ride but not as twisty.

All of HW 27 from Russellville up to Marshall and east of that is a great ride.

HW 74 east and especially west out of Jasper to 43 is excellent. Several switchbacks west of Jasper.

HW 16 from HW 23 (Pig Trail - another great road) on the west all the way easy to HW 65 in Clinton is fabulously twistie.

If you want a ride with absolutely the most twisties you can get, take HW 7 north out of The Hub all the way to Lead Hill then go south on HW 14 all the way to where 27 meets it east of Marshall and go west on 27 to Marshall and go west on 27 to 16 and go north/west on 16 over to HW 7 back to the Hub. If you just stay on HW 14 east of Marshall you take you east and HW 341, which is the infamous Push Mountain road, will intersect 14 from the north and you can ride it up and back down to 14 and go west from there. Miles and miles of great banked corners and great scenery on 27 and 16 west of Marshall.


Here is one more great loop that is not real long at 54 miles but is very scenic and takes you up to 2100 feet to the top of Gaither Mountain just south of Harrison where there is a fantastic view of the valley. Riding down into Ponca on HW 43 is spectacular because you go from 2000 feet down to 900 feet in the river valley.

This loop is all within a 20 mile radius of the The Hub just north of Jasper so if you get in early and want to do more this is it.

From the Hub:
Take HW 7 north about three miles to left on HW 206 west/north
Take HW 206 west to left on HW 43 south
Take HW 43 all the way down to Ponca - the first three miles south of Ponca on 43 is where you can see the elk but you come back north to HW 74 east.
In Ponca, take HW 74 east back to HW 7 north in Jasper - switchbacks on this very curvey road!
Take HW 7 the ten miles back north to The Hub.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:46 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by sportbiker2000 View Post
Thanks! I will definitely try one of those lunch spots. Ozone Burger to at least take a photo at. :) I am allotting 2 1/2 days (~800 miles of twisties) to get from Russellville, AR to Nashville TN via Ozark roads. Southern Missouri looks pretty good too..may have to add some of those also. :) 125 looks twisty in Missouri!
125 is motorcycle heaven!!!
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advmgm View Post
here is what I posted for our FJR owners rally we just had in Jasper Arkansas.. You ride these roads and you WILL have fun. I live 15 miles north of Harrison Arkansas so I know the local roads.

Let me know when you will be in the area and if possible I will join you on my CBR 954RR..

HW 160 and 125 in in Missouri are about as good as they get for twisties! I live about 30 SW of them. If you take HW 7, 123 north to 125 in Arkansas you can then take the free Peel ferry across Bull Shoals lake to both of them.

The Ozark Cafe in Jasper is a great place to eat.,,,,,

.
Wow, great stuff in this post! I have already made GPS routes of what you described here. I am going to try and stay at the hub and also going to try and do most, if not all the roads that you mention here as well as try and have lunch in that Ozark Cafe. I'll let you know when I nail down my plans. I'll be on a Triumph Sprint GT w/bags fully loaded, but I'll do my best to keep up! lol
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:58 AM   #8
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Simply put, you can't go wrong. I've ridden Deals Gap/Tail of the Dragon, and various parts of the Cherohala Skyway near there. Also ridden the Talimena Oklahoma area in Ar. and Ok. known as the Winding Staircase, or Ok. Hwy 1. To me the Ozarks are better. Just look at any map or GPS track that shows steep elevation change and twisty roads for a route, and you'll have fun. If a road sucks, find another that heads into steeper terrain. A good way is to pick a big mountain or mountain range and try to explore all over and around it. Mt. Magazine, Petit Jean Mtn, Mt. Nebo, White Rock Mtn, (listed in no particular order), are all good. In the White Rock/Mill Creek area there are at least 20 good twisty roads. The Oark General Store is a must do if possible. It's more used by the Adventure/Dual Sport crowd due to some pretty rough pavement to get there, but worth it. The homemade pie is incredible. I forget the name, but there is a restaurant/general store on (I think), north side of Mt. Magazine that is fantastic. Another fantastic place is the Grapevine restaurant in Altus at the foot of Mt. Magazine. It's generally Italian style, but has a varied menu. Try the Muscadine wine, either Post or Wiederker wineries, both are close by and both also have wine tasting tours if you are so minded. I'm no wine snob, but Arkansas wine tends to be hearty and not too expensive. If you get up to Mt. Magazine there is a fantastic (expensive), lodge there that has recently been built. Even if you don't stay there the view from the lodge is worth the trip, and there are several fantastic roads on top and off the mountain. Petit Jean Mtn has another great lodge with an equally great view, and a tall waterfall you can hike down to, also some caves.

It's farther south, not in the Ozarks but in the Ouachitas, but Hot Springs Ar. also is surrounded by extremely twisty roads and is equally scenic. Great places to eat everywhere. The Arlington Hotel has a hot tub and pool that are heated by natural hot springs running out of the surrounding mountain. Al Capone and Bugsy Segal stayed there often and said it was nicer than any place they had been in the world. The hotel is old but not run down, not really updated but well maintained with an old world feel. It's built into the side of a tall mountain. Sitting in the hot tub at night on top of a tall hotel with an even taller mountain above you is like something from a movie set in Europe, and the twisty roads surround you. The LEOs really patrol the areas near the populated parts of the city, but once you get a few miles from the city center you can probably avoid the law. They HATE loud bikes though! Hot Springs caters to the motorcycle crowd and the dept of tourism promotes several bike rallys a year, but the city residents complain about noise so you might want to keep it quiet in some spots.

Keep in mind that many stores and gas stations on maps and even advertised on billboards on the roadsides may not be there, or be open. This is a permanently economically depressed area, and businesses of all kinds go in and out. Know your fuel range, and have a backup plan in mind! Carry extra fuel and tools. Keep in mind that these roads are very rural and don't get cleared of rockslides, potholes, sometimes flash rains cause water to run across in unusual and unexpected ways and places. The quality and even type of tarmac changes often. Up here in the Ozarks we use whatever type of fill and gravel is available to pave a road. Some is blacktop. Some is greytop. Some is almost whitetop, and it begins and ends at seemingly random due to whatever type of natural shale/rock/gravel was to be found in that area. Traction changes with it, especially if wet. When the pavement changes, it is a good idea to test a couple of corners for traction before deciding on a pace.

And also remember that 80 year old farmers on old tractors and pickups live life at a different pace. When you are blazing around a tight corner at 80, they might, (probably will), be doing 15mph on the tractor or 35 in the farm truck and probably haven't gotten over 55mph in 30 years, even when late for church.

All of the problems like slow driving farmers, rockslides, washed out places on roads, deer, dogs, loose cows, and moonshine drinking hillbillies, (like me), are what make the Ozarks so fun to ride. If the area were developed, maintained, and had plenty of LEOs, it wouldn't be so fun on a bike.

Make sure your cell phone is charged, but carry an extra pair of tennis shoes in your kit because you might have to walk 5 miles to a mountaintop to find reception! I ain't kiddin, I wear riding boots but really do carry some comfortable shoes, a T shirt, and shorts in case I need to walk a bit in case of a breakdown, flat, crash, whatever. I've tried riding the deer I've hit to a destination, but they always seem to buck me off after a mile or so. Maybe I need to give the deer a shot of shine before I saddle up?

I've ridden in at least 10 states at spots that are deemed famous for sportbikes. Arkansas is at least as good as any.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:20 PM   #9
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the ozark cafe in jasper is a place to avoid at all cost, you want to eat at the Low Gap Cafe on 74 in Low Gap between Jasper and Ponca, or head out on HWY 7 to the Cliff House.
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:38 PM   #10
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Just got back from the sidecar national in Mountain View and road Push Mountain twice but found the other roads in the area to be much more fun. It must be the 75mph top speed of the ol' 76 Goose rig.
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:58 PM   #11
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Buttler maps has a Ozark map.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:48 AM   #12
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jgas is right about a number of things in his post.

There is not a 7-Eleven every half mile in Arkansas so if you get below a half tank of gas and pass up a gas station well shame on you!

and cell phone reception is spotty. Seems they have decided in Arkansas there is no need for a cell tower in the middle of the many national forests.

And there are driveways at the top of hills and in blind corners.

But - as he also pointed out, the riding here, both on and off-road, is SUPERB so come on down and lets have some fun riding!!
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:52 AM   #13
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the ozark cafe in jasper is a place to avoid at all cost, you want to eat at the Low Gap Cafe on 74 in Low Gap between Jasper and Ponca, or head out on HWY 7 to the Cliff House.

Not sure why you made this comment?

I have eaten at the Ozark Cafe lots and taken many people there to eat and we have NEVER had one thing that was bad. And no one has said they wished they hadn't eaten there.

Now the Cliff House has a GREAT view - but the food is only average. Ate there at the first of the month.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:01 AM   #14
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the ozark cafe in jasper is a place to avoid at all cost, you want to eat at the Low Gap Cafe on 74 in Low Gap between Jasper and Ponca, or head out on HWY 7 to the Cliff House.

Not sure why you made this comment?
Because the service sucks and the food is mediocre at best.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:33 AM   #15
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Awesome post JGAS, thanks. Food is subjective.
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