What to know
This loop might also accurately be called “The Heart of Arkansas’s Timberlands.” This ride is unique in that the entire ride is essentially through one big farm … a tree farm, that is. The majority of this route winds through cultivated forests. At times, you will encounter sections that have just been clear-cut, appearing stark and ragged. But generally, the road weaves through the thick woods of the larger Coastal Plains area. Beginning in Camden, US 278 winds east to Warren. The road is not difficult, and less experienced riders will enjoy the gently curving pavement. Out of Warren, AR 8 heads west through Fordyce, hometown of famed football coach “Bear” Bryant. But there are two good reasons to take the alternate route of AR 189. One is to make a pilgrimage to the tiny town of Kingsland to pay homage to the birthplace of Johnny Cash. The other reason to take AR 189 to Kingsland is that the rideability of this highway is several notches up from the rest. The terrain and flora remain the same, but the highway becomes much more twisty. This short stretch of AR 189 is definitely the most winding of the loop and provides a nice change. It’s not the switchbacks and hairpins of up north, but it is wonderful pavement to cruise. The AR 8/9 section is less crooked than AR 189, but still winding enough to keep your attention, as is AR 222 east over to US 67. AR 24 from Prescott back into Camden is another stretch of gently winding road. It’s an enjoyable conclusion to a tour of the woods.