Route Description


History and scenery make this one of Arkansas’s unforgettable motorcycle vacations

This fun route through the Ouachita Mountains also offers a wild ride through history as it introduces you to some famous (and infamous) folks with Arkansas connections. These include mobsters such as Owen Madden, Al Capone, baseball stars like Babe Ruth, old-time radio and television celebs Lum and Abner, and James Black, maker of the original knife used by Alamo hero Jim Bowie.

The best place to begin this winding ride through the Ouachitas and Timberlands is Hot Springs. The Spa City, as it’s called, is famous for its naturally thermal waters and a perfect stop for those enjoying motorcycle vacations. In 1886, Cap Anson brought his Chicago White Stockings (now Cubs) to Hot Springs for spring training. Dozens of baseball legends, including Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Jackie Robinson, followed.

Learn about their role in the town’s history by following the Hot Springs Baseball Trail. Nestled in the Ouachitas, the resort community also made a great hideaway for some of the nation’s most notorious mobsters. Al Capone was a frequent guest at the Arlington Hotel, as well as area bathhouses and nightclubs. Located downtown, The Gangster Museum of America preserves the history of this era. Today, Hot Springs hosts several Arkansas motorcycle events, including the Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally.

West from Hot Springs US 270 and AR 88 snake their way to Mena through the Ouachitas. The first half of the route is through the thick forests of the Ouachita National Forest. The road is mostly broad sweepers surrounded by lush stands of trees. At Pencil Bluff, the landscape becomes pastures and farmland as it approaches Mena.

The historical stop on this stretch is at Pine Ridge, the hometown of the fictional characters of Lum and Abner, portrayed by Arkansas natives Chet Lauck and Tuffy Goff. Any fan of old-time radio and television programs should drop by the Lum and Abner Jot ’Em Down Store and Museum, a real-life model for their make-believe world.

From Mena to Dierks on US 71 and US 278, enjoy a circuitous ride through the southern foothills of the Ouachitas, winding through rolling timberland in various stages of growth.

Just south of Dierks, you leave the mountains and arrive in Arkansas’s Nashville.

Of interest to Alamo history buffs will be Historic Washington State Park, south of Nashville on US 278. It was here in Washington, Arkansas, that Jim Bowie had his famous knife made by blacksmith James Black.

The only working diamond mine in the US open to the public is Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro along AR 27. At Kirby, consider a side trip on AR 70 along Lake Greeson. Back in Hot Springs, you can get a massage, enjoy an excellent meal or check out one of the Arkansas motorcycle events held in town if your timing is right. This route is perfect for riders seeking comfortable and convenient motorcycle vacations.

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Motorcycling Blog Motorcycling Blog

An awesome April in the Arkansas Delta

March 30, 2016 8:58 p.m.
April is a great time to get out and explore the Arkansas Delta. From food to music to outdoor fun, you’ll find all that and more this month in the Upper and Lower Delta regions of The Natural State. ...

Second year for The Steel Horse Rally in Fort Smith

March 21, 2016 4:20 p.m.
Featuring live music, a parade, vendors, bike show, bikini contest, barbecue competition, and poker runs, The Steel Horse Rally takes place Friday, April 29-Saturday, April 30 on Garrison Avenue in do...

Five Fun Fall Activities

September 21, 2015 5:15 p.m.
When the lazy hot days of summer pass and the cooler crisp air of fall moves in, the great outdoors beckons. The Natural State offers many ways to see the changing leaves up close or via sweeping pano...

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Upcoming Motorcycling Events Motorcycling Events


May 21

1st Annual Christy Davis Benefit Ride for Lyme Disease

May 21
Sulphur Springs (Jefferson County), AR

May 26
- THRU - May 28

Talimena Rally 'Cruisin for St. Jude'

May 26
- May 28
Arkansas Convention Center
Texarkana, AR

May 26
- THRU - May 29

Talimena Rally "Cruisin for St. Jude"

May 26
- May 29
Texarkana Arkansas Convention Center
Texarkana, AR



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