What to know
ROUTE #29: Natural Dam to Boxley Valley The Northwest region of the state is a combination of backcountry roads, curvy state highways and remote wooded trails of the Ozark National Forest. On this route, start with a visit to the natural spillways of Natural Dam. Continue north on AR 59 to Liberty Hill Road, which leads into the national forest and toward Devil’s Den State Park. Continue east on AR 74, south on Scenic US 71, then left onto Shepherd Spring Road. Here you can visit Lake Fort Smith State Park. Located on the 1,400-acre Lake Fort Smith, this park is a great stopover for outdoor enthusiasts and offers group lodges, cabins and campsites for overnight stays, plus excellent fishing, hiking, mountain biking and backpacking through the Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail. Heading north from the park, take Shepherd Spring Road to Winfrey Valley Cutoff, then travel eastward through the mountanous Ozark National Forest on Bidville Road, Hurricane Creek and finally Bowles Gap Road toward White Rock Mountain Overlook. From the overlook, continue north on White Rock Mountain Road to AR 23, “the Pig Trail,” which is considered one of the best motorcycling roads in America for its scenic twisties. Travel north through the switchbacks of the Pig Trail before leaving the pavement eastward on Fly Gap Road. Turn north onto Morgan Mountain Road (CR 4460), south on CR 5051/ FS 1504, and south on CR 5099, then make the steep descent to AR 215. Head east on AR 215 along the Mulberry River to Oark, where you can fuel up with gas and grub at the Oark Cafe. Leaving Oark, head east on AR 215 to CR 5440, an uphill climb exiting onto AR 21. Travel AR 21 north to NC 8100/414 (FS 1463), where you will enter the most difficult portion of the ride. This section changes roads three times and requires riders to cross Buffalo Creek. The north end is FS 1410 and will connect with CR 5. Travel north toward Boxley Valley and the trailhead for Whitaker Point, an iconic Arkansas photo op. There will be a long, steep descent as you enter Boxley Valley and connect with AR 21/43. Turn north and follow AR 43 to Ponca, and take time to stop at the viewing areas and look for the local herd of elk.