Great Motorcycle Rides in Arkansas
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Scenic Ark. 7
The Natural State is home to some of the best motorcycle rides in America, featuring winding, low-traffic roads, scenic vistas and plenty of motorcycle events. Ready to hit the open road? Read about great motorcycle rides in Arkansas below and start planning a spectacular route for your next trip.
Arkansas's Scenic Byway 7. For those who've traveled
one of the state’s best motorcycle roads, its mention is likely to stir up images of a smooth strip
of twisty asphalt that winds its way north from rich farmlands and timberlands of the south,
through the ancient Ouachita Mountains, across the Arkansas River Valley and
into the vista-abundant Ozark Mountains before terminating at one of the
state's largest water reservoirs on the Missouri border. For motorcyclists,
these images might be accompanied by the hum of an engine, cool air
passing by and the overwhelming feeling of freedom provided by the open
road, as they recall visiting some of their favorite motorcycle destinations in Arkansas.
Arkansas is–in many ways–a diverse state. Not only will riders on Ark. 7, or a host of other great motorcycle rides on scenic highways, experience geographical diversity in the rocks and trees, but also variety in culture and entertainment options as well as they head down the highway. From scenic loop routes to out-and-backs, there’s a ride for every type of biker.
Ozark Mountain town of Harrison has positioned itself as a hub for
Arkansas motorcycle trips traversing Scenic 7 Byway through the Arkansas Ozarks. A
brochure entitled “Motorcycle Riding Guide of the Ozarks”
details several great motorcycle tours with Harrison as the home base.
In Harrison, Scenic 7 takes a few turns and passes by the city's
historic downtown district and Crooked Creek Park with Lake Harrison.
The picturesque square features a striking courthouse, numerous
renovated historic buildings with shops and restaurants, and the
restored 1929 Lyric Theatre. Two museums here are worth a visit: Boone
County Historical Museum and the Marine Corps Legacy Museum. A community
of about 11,000, Harrison exemplifies the best of small-town life in
Arkansas, even all of America. Norman Crampton agreed since he named
Harrison one of "The Best Small Towns in America" in the 2002 edition.
Perhaps most appealing about the city, though, is that in an hour's
time on U.S. 65, a rider staying at Harrison could be at the Buffalo National River,
several prime trout fishing destinations, Eureka Springs (another
motorcycling hot spot), Branson, Missouri, or simply checking out the
countryside as they follow some of the best motorcycle roads in Arkansas with virtually no traffic. For more information visit www.harrisonarkansas.org/lodging.php.
Aerial view of Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs
Hot Springs--Many road-weary motorcyclists consider the Spa City the perfect motorcycle destination
and a great place to unwind after spending a high-mileage day exploring the beauty
and solitude of the Ouachita Mountains on one of the many scenic
highways in the region. Hot Springs has long been a nationally renowned
resort that has attracted visitors from all over the United States. In 1832, Congress declared the area around the 47 natural
springs a federal preserve - four decades before Yellowstone became a
national park. The 1920s and 1930s marked the heydays of bathing, a
legacy evident through eight well-preserved and stylish bathhouses that
line Central Avenue, the city’s main thoroughfare. The Buckstaff is still in operation, the Fordyce now houses the National Park Service visitor's center, and the Quapaw is now a restored modern, day spa. Hot Springs is also home to a thriving arts community, a myriad of restaurants offering a diverse selection of food, with everything from top-notch barbecue and catfish to Mexican and Italian cuisine on the menu. Those who pass through will also discover a vibrant nightlife, dozens of hotels, and numerous bed and breakfasts at fair prices. Don’t skip the area’s three lakes, including the state's largest man-made,
within minutes of the city. For more information visit Hot Springs Ride Guide, www.hotsprings.org. - Hot Springs accommodations
Aerial photo of historic downtown Eureka Springs
Eureka Springs - This
quaint town nestled in the Ozarks was named as one of the "Dozen
Distinct Destinations" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Motorcyclists are drawn to its care-free atmosphere and winding streets
lined with a host of unusual shops, bars and eateries. While Eureka is a
major tourist attraction in Arkansas, the city certainly doesn't have
that feel. Yes, there are plenty of places to stay from historic
hotels, cozy bed and breakfasts and secluded cabins to modern hotels
but visitors would easier find fine works of art than air-brushed
T-shirts. Eureka is a great motorcycle destination, only a short distance
from the major metropolitan area of Bentonville and Fayetteville (which draws more than 400,000 riders each September for the Bikes Blues and BBQ rally) and the
cities between the two, and Branson, Missouri is only 65 miles away.
The area surrounding nearby Beaver Lake affords great motorcycle rides, and the
towering bluffs of the Buffalo National River are only about an
hour-and-a-half ride away. For more information visit www.rideeurekasprings.com, www.eurekasprings.org. - Eureka Springs accommodations
motorcyclists often prefer to avoid larger cities, Little Rock's
attractions and activities combined with its central location make it a natural hub for great motorcycle rides. The history of the Capital City from early settlement and
the Civil War to Reconstruction and the Civil Rights struggle unfolds
at numerous museums and sites. And the revitalized River Market District
is alive with a variety of dining options, shops, art galleries and
bars where you can catch a live music show. Naturally, your choice of lodging is as wide open
as the city's entertainment and some of the state’s best motorcycle roads that depart from Little
Rock. For more information visit www.littlerock.com. - Little Rock accommodations
Mountain View seemingly has everything a visitor could want, which is why it is considered a favorite motorcycle destination
for bikers visiting Arkansas. Within minutes of the town on Hwy 87 are
world-renowned trout fishing opportunities, one of the top 10 caverns in
the nation with one of the most scenic picnic sites and campgrounds in
state, and to the delight of those traveling on motorcycles,
seemingly endless roads that offer million-dollar views of some of the most beautiful areas
in The Natural State. But Mountain View itself is certainly not to be
overlooked. During warmer months out-of-towners will be pleasantly
surprised to discover impromptu bluegrass music "jams" at the courthouse
square, which is lined with shops filled with handcrafted goods and
unique items. Also in Mountain View is one of the most interesting state parks in Arkansas, Ozark Folk Center State Park,
which preserves pioneer ways of life and the folk music of the Ozarks.
At the park is a 1,200-seat auditorium that features nightly
performances (in season), a crafts village, Loco Ropes, restaurant and lodge.
The quality lodging establishments in and around Mountain View include hotels, bed
and breakfasts and cabins. Find Mountain View accommodations now and plan your trip!