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Motorcycle Hot Spots

Great Motorcycle Rides in Arkansas

Arkansas Highway 7

Scenic Ark. 7

The Natural State is home to some of the best motorcycle rides in America, featuring winding, low-traffic roads, scenic vistas and plenty of motorcycle events. Ready to hit the open road? Read about great motorcycle rides in Arkansas below.

Arkansas's Scenic Byway 7
. For those who've traveled one of the state’s best motorcycle roads, its mention is likely to stir up images of a smooth strip of asphalt that winds its way north from rich farmlands and timberlands, through the ancient Ouachitas, across the Arkansas River Valley and into the vista-abundant Ozark Mountains before terminating at one of the state's largest reservoirs on the Missouri border. For motorcyclists, these images might be accompanied by the hum of an engine, cool air passing by and the overwhelming feeling of freedom provided by the open road, as they recall visiting some of their favorite motorcycle destinations in Arkansas.

Arkansas is--in many ways--a diverse state. Not only will riders on Ark. 7, or a host of other great motorcycle rides on scenic highways, experience geographical diversity, but diversity in culture and entertainment options as well.

Harrison--The Ozark Mountain town of Harrison has positioned itself as a hub for Arkansas motorcycle trips traversing Scenic 7 Byway through the Arkansas Ozarks. A brochure entitled “Motorcycle Riding Guide of the Ozarks” details several great motorcycle rides with Harrison as the home base. In Harrison, Scenic 7 takes a few turns and passes by the city's historic downtown district and Crooked Creek Park with Lake Harrison. The picturesque square features a striking courthouse, numerous renovated historic buildings with shops and restaurants, and the restored 1929 Lyric Theatre. Two museums here are worth a visit: Boone County Historical Museum and the Marine Corps Legacy Museum. A community of about 11,000, Harrison exemplifies the best of small-town life in Arkansas, even all of America. Norman Crampton agreed since he named Harrison one of "The Best Small Towns in America" in the 2002 edition.

Perhaps most appealing about the city, though, is that in an hour's time, riders staying at Harrison could be at the Buffalo National River, several prime trout fishing destinations, Eureka Springs (another motorcycling hot spot), Branson, Missouri, or simply checking out the countryside on some of the best motorcycle roads in Arkansas with virtually no traffic. For more information visit www.harrisonarkansas.org/ - Harrison accommodations

Lake Hamilton

Aerial view of Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs

Hot Springs--Many road-weary motorcyclists consider the Spa City the perfect motorcycle destination and a great place to unwind after spending a day exploring the beauty and solitude of the Ouachita Mountains on one of the many scenic highways in the region. Hot Springs has long been a nationally renowned resort. In 1832, Congress declared the area around the 47 natural springs a federal preserve - four decades before Yellowstone became a national park. The 1920s and 1930s marked the heydays of bathing, a legacy evident through eight well-preserved and stylish bathhouses that line Central Avenue. The Buckstaff is still in operation, the Fordyce now houses the National Park Service visitor's center, and the Quapaw is now a restored modern, day spa. Hot Springs is also home to a thriving arts community, a myriad of restaurants offering everything from top-notch barbecue and catfish to Mexican and Italian cuisine, a vibrant nightlife, dozens of hotels, and numerous bed and breakfasts. There are also three lakes, including the state's largest man-made, within minutes of the city. For more information visit Hot Springs Ride Guidewww.hotsprings.org. - Hot Springs accommodations

Eureka Springs

Aerial view of historic downtown Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs - This quaint town nestled in the Ozarks was named as one of the "Dozen Distinct Destinations" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Motorcyclists are drawn to its care-free atmosphere and winding streets lined with a host of unusual shops, bars and eateries. While Eureka is a major tourist attraction in Arkansas, the city certainly doesn't have that feel. Yes, there are plenty of places to stay from historic hotels, cozy bed and breakfasts and secluded cabins to modern hotels but visitors would easier find fine works of art than air-brushed T-shirts. Eureka is a great motorcycle destination, only miles from the major metropolitan area of Bentonville and Fayetteville and the cities between the two, and Branson, Missouri is only 65 miles away. The area surrounding nearby Beaver Lake affords great motorcycle rides, and the towering bluffs of the Buffalo National River are only about an hour-and-a-half ride away. For more information visit www.rideeurekasprings.comwww.eurekasprings.org. - Eureka Springs accommodations

Little Rock--While motorcyclists often prefer to avoid larger cities, Little Rock's attractions combined with its central location make it a natural hub for great motorcycle rides. The history of the Capital City from early settlement and the Civil War to Reconstruction and the Civil Rights struggle unfolds at numerous museums and sites. And the revitalized River Market District is alive with a variety of dining options, shops, art galleries and bars featuring live music. Naturally, lodging options are as wide open as the city's entertainment and some of the state’s best motorcycle roads that depart from Little Rock. For more information visit www.littlerock.com. - Little Rock accommodations

Mountain View seemingly has everything a visitor could want, which is why it is considered a favorite motorcycle destination for bikers visiting Arkansas. Within minutes of the town are world-renown trout fishing opportunities, one of the top 10 caverns in the nation with one of the most scenic picnic sites and campgrounds in state, and to the delight of those traveling on motorcycles seemingly endless scenic roads that traverse some most beautiful areas in The Natural State. But Mountain View itself is certainly not to be overlooked. During warmer months out-of-towners will be pleasantly surprised to discover impromptu bluegrass music "jams" at the courthouse square, which is lined with shops filled with handcrafted goods and unique items. Also in Mountain View is the Ozark Folk Center State Park, which preserves pioneer ways of life and the folk music of the Ozarks. At the park is a 1,200-seat auditorium that features nightly performances (in season), a crafts village, Loco Ropes, restaurant and lodge. Lodging establishments in and around Mountain View include hotels, bed and breakfasts and cabins. - Mountain View accommodations