If you have not been to the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, I encourage you to look into the riding at motorcyclearkansas.com
The Ozarks not only offer amazing rides for motorcyclist but fishing, hunting, kayaking, hiking and mountain climbing; the overall best vacation destination. Steph and I were born and raised right here in the Ozarks and grew up on the Buffalo National River. The Buffalo National River is America’s First National River! Established in 1972, the river free flows for 135 miles which is one of the few remaining undammed rivers. There are two mountain ranges within the Ozarks which are the Boston Mountains of Arkansas and the St Francois Mountains of Missouri. Between the Appalachians and the Rockies… the Ozarks are the most extensive highland region. This offers a beautiful ride with endless twisty turns that will make your day!
We had the opportunity to show a few fellow riders one of our favorite rides here in the Ozarks; “Eureka Springs Backroads.” Eureka Springs Backroads route is 134 miles long and features 571 curves! Our fellow riders included Bike N’ Bird and the Between Two Wheels podcast crew from San Antonio, Texas. Neither had been to the Ozarks before so this was a special treat! We left out of Harrison, Arkansas and headed south on Arkansas HWY 43, climbing Compton Mountain and overlooking Harrison which offered the perfect scenic overlook with plenty of parking to view the rolling hills! We made a quick detour from the mapped ride (3 miles) down to Steel Creek. Steel Creek is a campground right along the Buffalo National River with the picturesque Roark Bluff towering over us with about 100 feet.
This is a MUST if you are in the area. The best deal about riding down to Steel Creek on the river is that it is paved the entire way from the main HWY to the campground (1.5 miles.) You usually have to travel a little bit of dirt/gravel road to find those treasures along the rivers; but not this one!
We continued on the mapped route just south of Ponca towards Boxley. We had started our ride mid-day but if you are early enough you can catch the wild Elk grassing and roaming the lands in Ponca and Boxley along the Buffalo. I had previously mentioned that the Ozarks offers more than just amazing roads to ride but also several hiking trails. Lost Valley Trail is one of the trails we absolutely love because it is only 2.3 miles roundtrip. This trail is very easy and great if you have children or elderly with you. It is right there off of the main highway with easy access.
We headed west towards Kingston which has a very iconic square. I believe the population is around 600; that is like 8 people per square mile! After we made the circle (maybe twice) around the Kingston square we rode through Huntsville and started our way to Eureka Springs. Eureka Springs, Arkansas reminds us a lot of Deadwood, South Dakota! Both were established around the same time frame and are built into the country hillside. The town of Eureka has so much to offer and the art/culture is endless! After we spent some time in Eureka Springs we got back on US 62 and headed east until we came to HWY 221 or as some call it “Race Track Road.” We did not have the extra time but we have heard that the Saunder’s Museum in Berryville is well worth the visit! Especially if you like guns because Colonel “Buck” Saunders has left his extensive gun collection to the city of Berryville for all to enjoy.
The entire route will take you about 3 hours to complete, of course; depending on how long you stop to enjoy the Elk in Ponca, walk around the quaint victorian village of Eureka Springs, or gaze at the several look out spots along the Buffalo National River.
Steph and I are always excited to show off our own backyard. Especially when we are riding with our friends and fellow motorcyclists; Bike N’ Bird, Jonny Roadblock, Uncle Ken and the rest of their crew! We want to give a big shout out to our good friend and photographer: ADPT photographer Casey Crocker. As well as Ride the Ozarks who has mapped out several rides here in the Ozarks! You can request a free motorcycle guide at www.ridetheozarks.com
As we are finishing up this article for your reading; we are about to head to “Little Sturgis” in Sturgis, Kentucky and then off to Sturgis in Sturgis, South Dakota. While in Sturgis we will be setting up with Law Tigers doing our “Pay It Forward” event. For more information please visit our website www.theorneryone.com Like always you can find out where we are on our Instagram page @the_ornery_one and on our YouTube channel “The Ornery One”