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Old 06-03-2014, 07:38 PM   #1
wadenelson OP
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Location: Durango CO, Huntsville AL
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Arkansas --- Motorcyclist Heaven!

The following is NOT brought to you by the Arkansas Bureau of Travel and Tourism....but it might as well be! It's a truly fantastic place to ride!

The number of scenic and twisty routes in Arkansas is unending, particularly in the northern and western two thirds of the state --- the Ozarks. Because I cross Arkansas on my Decatur (AL) to Durango (CO) commute several times per year, I've been able to ride/drive any number of simply fantastic roads. I take a different route every time!

Start with Highways 23, or 21, which run from Interstate 40 up to around Huntsville (AR). These are lightly traveled farm roads with incredible twisties. 23 is known as the "Pig Trail" and is simply incredible. Hwy 21 is, I think, the most fun road I've ever ridden. I saw 3 oncoming cars and 3 other bikes in 2 hours of twisties. Perfect asphalt.

Arkansas does a first rate job of maintaining her secondary roads which makes them a real treat for bikers.

My goal in my cross-country treks is to stay completely OFF Interstate highways as much as possible.

For starters, hours upon hours at 75mph in a straight line isn't much fun. Nor are the chain restaurants at the exits particularly memorable. Construction often slows traffic to a crawl - and if not construction, then it's rush hour traffic in the larger cities. So I'm always looking for the "old highway" or a back route around major cities (Memphis, Little Rock) and so on,

Coming in from below Memphis TN, south of I40 is old highway 70, an Arkansas route you can access from West Helena, and the Mississippi river bridge. This is the "old highway" drivers used to take before the construction of I40. It rolls through many small towns, with their cafes, diners, and gas stations. Places with character. Waitresses who ARE characters. Between towns are rice and corn fields and you can pretty much go as fast as you want.

(For those who like buffets, blackjack, slots, or cheap rooms, the Isle of Capri Casino straddles the MS/AR line directly across from West Helena) It's actually built on a sandbar that is IN the river.

Approaching Little Rock, I typically cut north either to Beebe, or continue on up to Searcy. Searcy is where the fun really begins with Highway 16, which will take you all the way to the Oklahoma border. 16 winds and twists, and then winds and twists some more. Endless curves, small towns, road houses, and several motorcycle shops along the way. For east to west in Arkansas, you can't beat 16. This latest trip I stopped in an old-fashioned barber shop in one of the small towns along 16 for a hot-towel and straight-razor shave, much needed after a night of camping out.

There are even more great routes, like 62/65 up near Mountain Home in the northern central part of the state. This will lead you into Eureka Springs, a well known biker destination with motorcycle-only motels, campgrounds, and dozens of eating places. Oh, and did I mention twisty roads? The southern part of 65 is pretty much lined with antique stores and restaurants, but the northern end becomes rideable.

I try to stay away from Bentonville, home of Walmart, because I have yet to find a way across it (and on into Oklahoma) without encountering major traffic and innumerable traffic lights. So far the best way I've found is to cut north above it. Just over the border in Oklahoma is Cherokee Lake, a beautiful spot to camp, recreate or eat. Don't miss it because after that OK is boring as hell. i.m.h.o.only....

A lot of riders dream about doing major A to B, cross country rides. Riding across the endless plains of Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma or North Dakota will numb your brain and your ass.

Instead, I'd suggest heading out to Arkansas and spend an entire week straightening out the twisties in the Ozarks, enjoying the small towns and cafe's, antique shops, lakes, and everything else this beautiful state has to offer. Most riders I've talked to just don't realize what a motorcyclist's heaven Arkansas is.

wadenelson screwed with this post 06-03-2014 at 08:09 PM
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:46 PM   #2
dirty_sanchez
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Shhhhh, Move on people...there's nothing to see here.

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Old 06-03-2014, 07:47 PM   #3
LONG DONGER
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No, all the roads here are straight and boring, there's no good motorcylce roads in Arkansas, we have to go to Colorado to find good roads. All those roads you mentioned are horrible, lots of potholes, straight as an arrow! Would not bother coming here to ride!

Now, that Colorado 141 thru Gateway, or 82 over Independence Pass, or 114 from Saguache to Gunnison, or 133 over McClure Pass, now those are some REAL motorcycle roads.

But glad you liked the state, and endorsed it!
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:37 PM   #4
JimNtexas
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I had the opportunity to ride the Pig Trail area in Arkansas just a couple of weeks ago. I was blown away with how much fun it was.

We just don't have roads like these in central Texas!

I was also very impressed with how well maintained these little backroads are maintained.

I'll be back!
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:25 PM   #5
dirty_sanchez
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Best not even wasting your time trying to find a good road in AR.

Everybody knows New Jersey has all of the good twisties.

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Old 06-04-2014, 02:36 PM   #6
Bug Dr.
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The Pig Trail isn't the best road in Arkansas. You have to learn the secret handshake before we show you the really good roads here.

Glad you like the roads here. I do too.
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:04 PM   #7
pprO.R.A.
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SLAB roads ?

Wait till you get off the slab in NW Ark. and into the rock, dirt and clay.

Now that's moto heaven. Best stuff in the Midwest.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:52 PM   #8
Travis1010
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I keep on reading about how good Arkansas is to ride...I live in northwest AR south of Harrison and haven't ridden much around here. Don't have any riding buddies yet...


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Old 06-07-2014, 10:01 PM   #9
TRZ Charlie
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I can verify what Dirty said. We have crap roads here, nothing but pothole infested, unmaintained crap roads. Stay away, your insurance rates will triple when you wipe out on these crap roads. Move along.
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