Riding the Ridge

Riding the Ridge

What to know

This easy-to-moderate loop can stretch 3-4 days and nearly 200 miles if you want, or you can shorten the loop to a day or two and still have a great ride with tons of fun stops and scenery along the way. Part of this ride is on Crowley’s Ridge, giving you a couple hundred feet of elevation gain and some amazing biodiversity, sights and stops. And when you’re not on Crowley’s Ridge, you’re traveling through beautiful hardwood bottomlands, over rivers and streams, and through pastoral farmlands of corn, rice, cotton, beans and sorghum.

The blues has Highway 61. But rock ’n’ roll has Arkansas’s Highway 67, “The Rock 'n' Roll Highway.” Start riding in NEWPORT heading north on Highway 367, which soon becomes Highway 67. Rockabilly, blues, gospel and rock ’n’ roll acts burned up this road in the 1950s and 60s. The clubs and juke joints of the day played host to Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Conway Twitty, Sonny Burgess, Billy Lee Riley, Carl Perkins and lots more. When you roll into WALNUT RIDGE, the only place in Arkansas where the Beatles made a stop, make sure you visit the Beatles Sculpture, Imagine Gift Shop and the Guitar Walk. The Argenta Collection, containing more than 200 photographs of the Beatles, can be viewed at the Lawrence County Library. The next day, grab a cup of joe at Dark Side before rolling out of Walnut Ridge.

Keep heading north toward PIGGOTT, where you’ll find the Hemingway-Pfeiffer House where Ernest Hemingway actually wrote part of “A Farewell to Arms” and several short stories during the 1920s. The Pfeiffer House and the Hemingway Barn Studio behind it have been restored to their 1930s appearance and are open for tours.

Piggott is the point where your ride goes south – literally. Head south on Highway 49 to JONESBORO where riders can enjoy a downtown filled with gift shops, restaurants, art galleries, a day spa and an active civic center. Jonesboro is also home to Arkansas State University and is close to the Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center. The nature center focuses on the unique topography and natural history and wildlife of Crowley’s Ridge, as well as its contrast to the surrounding Delta. Also centered within this route is Crowley’s Ridge State Park near Walcott. Native log and stone structures constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps set the mood for the park, which offers modern cabins and group lodging, as well as campsites and a fishing lake.

Leaving Jonesboro, take Highway 226 east to CASH, then 18 east back to Newport.
1500 McLain Street
Newport, AR 72112