Cruise the state’s top motorcycle roads with a stop in Oark
Chosen by readers of USA Today in July 2014 and by The Discovery Channel in 2013 as the second best motorcycling route in the country, AR 23 runs from the Arkansas- Missouri border in the north to US 71, south of Booneville. While the southern portion is a very nice ride, it’s the section north of I-40 that provides both exhilarating riding and gorgeous scenery. And it’s the location of one of the most recognizable routes in motorcycling - the Pig Trail Scenic Byway.
While the entire length of AR 23 is often inaccurately referred to as “the Pig Trail,” it’s actually the 24 miles from I-40 to Brashears - at the junction of AR 16 - that comprises the famous ride.
There are two competing explanations for how the Pig Trail came by its descriptive moniker. The first is that since this portion of AR 23 was part of a popular back-road route into Fayetteville for University of Arkansas Razorback football games, it was therefore dubbed the Pig Trail. The other explanation is simply that the road is as twisty as the tail of wild hog. Regardless, the Pig Trail
has gained a reputation as one of the top motorcycle roads around, synonymous with knee-dragging pavement and drop-dead gorgeous scenery, often running through deep tunnels of overhanging trees.
The ride from Brashears through Huntsville and to Eureka Springs
is still very twisty and winds through beautiful landscapes. The flora along the entire route is lush and thick, and you’ll often run along ridges and beneath the cliffs of rugged Ozarks terrain.
The Oark Extension
AR 103 from Clarksville to Oark is full of hairpin and tight curves with 10 mph switchbacks and stupendous scenery. AR 215 is serpentine and runs alongside the wild Mulberry River