ROUTE #23: One of the most fun motorcycle rides in the Ozarks
Perhaps the most eclectic combination of high points of any ride in this guide and one of the most pleasurable motorcycle rides in the state, this is a true gateway to the Ozarks. US 67 earned its nickname as the Rock ’n’ Roll Highway in recognition of the numerous musicians of eventual fame who came to the area. Musicians like Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Bill Rice, Booker T., various big bands and others played at the venues up and down this section of highway. The annual Rock ’n’ Roll Highway 67 Music Festival is held each October in downtown Pocahontas to celebrate the road’s storied music history.
Begin this wonderful ride at one of the best spots in the eastern Ozarks, Mammoth Spring. The namesake of the city is the 10th largest spring in the world. A beautiful state park
has been built around it.
This ride could also be called the Ozarks foothills ride. US 63 running from Mammoth Spring south through Hardy to Ravenden is a gradual, very scenic descent from the Ozarks to the Delta area west of Crowley’s Ridge
. The pavement is made up of numerous broad sweepers with a few tighter curves, but nothing that would overly tax a novice rider. Still, the experienced biker will enjoy both the highway and the scenery along these Ozark motorcycle routes.
At the town of Imboden, the curves have mostly straightened out as you approach the Hoxie and Walnut Ridge area. Stop in Walnut Ridge to see the Beatles Sculpture and Guitar Walk at Cavenaugh Park, the grab a bite to eat at the Parachute Inn
, housed in a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737. US 67 from there to the White River port town of Newport could have been laid out using a straight edge ruler.
At Batesville, US 167 runs north back into the Ozarks... the gateway. It climbs through ever increasingly forested lands with the curves matching the rugged terrain characteristic of most Ozark motorcycle routes. Notably, it goes through Evening Shade, the town for which the ‘90s Burt Reynolds TV sitcom was named.