What to know
Begin this ride in Jasper traveling on AR 7 through the Ozark backcountry. AR 374 immediately begins a winding descent run into a beautiful valley on a lightly traveled, very enjoyable road. The pavement of AR 123 out of Mount Judea (locally pronounced Mt. Judy) is seven miles of extremely challenging switchbacks and hairpins and a 1,000-foot climb onto a mountain ridge. The remainder of the route on AR 123 to AR 7 is nothing short of stunning in terms of scenery and rideability. AR 16 is an under-recognized motorcycle highway, offering a beautiful view as it winds along. It’s friendly to beginners but still fun for experienced bikers. AR 21 north from AR 16 is often considered one of the most scenic in the state. The road meanders near the pristine headwaters of the Buffalo National River through the gorgeous Boxley Valley. AR 43 begins at AR 21 and continues to Arkansas’s elk-central, Ponca. Be on the lookout for members of the local elk herd. Out of Ponca, AR 43 scrambles up out of the Boxley Valley for the second 1,000-foot climb on this ride, this time over Gaither Mountain. Forests give way to more populated farmland approaching Harrison. At the end of this stretch, you will arrive in Harrison, a biker-friendly destination that makes a great stopover or overnighter with hotels and restaurants, as well as additional motorcycling rides in the area. From Harrison, AR 7 winds its way back to Jasper, once again taking the rider along ridges and over mountains with dense forests. All this scenic beauty is tied up with a twisty ribbon of pavement that crosses the iconic Buffalo National River at Pruitt Landing. This moderate-length loop is truly a remarkable tour of the heart of the Ozarks.