ROUTE #22: One of the most fun motorcycle rides in the Ozarks
Perhaps the most eclectic combination of high points of any ride in this guide, this route is a true gateway into the Ozarks. US 67 earned its nickname as the Rock ’N’ Roll Highway in recognition of the numerous entertainers of eventual fame who came to the area. Musicians like Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Bill Rice, Booker T., various big bands and others played at the venues up and down this section of the highway. The annual Rock ’N’ Roll Highway 67 Music Festival is held in October in downtown Pocahontas to celebrate the road’s storied history.
Begin this wonderful run at one of the best cruising spots in the eastern Ozarks, Mammoth Spring. The namesake of the city is the 10th largest spring in the world. A beautiful state park has been built around it.
This route could also be called the Ozarks foothills ride. US 63 running from Mammoth Spring south through Hardy and 412 to Ravenden is a gradual, very scenic descent from the Ozarks to the Delta area west of Crowley’s Ridge. The pavement is made up of numerous broad sweepers with a few tighter curves, but nothing that would overly tax a novice. Still, the experienced biker will enjoy both the highway and the scenery.
At the town of Imboden, the road has mostly straightened out as you approach the Hoxie and Walnut Ridge area. US 67 from there to the White River port town of Newport could have been laid out using a straight-edge ruler.
At Batesville, US 167 runs north back into the Ozarks ... the gateway. It climbs through increasingly forested lands with the turns matching the rugged terrain. Notably, it goes through Evening Shade, namesake of the ’90s Burt Reynolds TV sitcom “Evening Shade.”