school me on the Ozarks

Discussion in 'General' started by skidooboy, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. skidooboy

    skidooboy supermotojunkie

    have been going to Tn, NC, SC, Ga, for several years (heading there for the annual spring bike trip next week). looking for something different, for the fall trip.

    would appreciate info on towns/places to stay, roads, and loops to ride, things to avoid, things to see. would like to find a centrally located smaller town, with close access to food at night. would like to avoid busy, touristy location, and or lots of people. have enclosed trailer so need SAFE parking for the rig. we usually plan on staying at one location, and day riding to different areas, loops, for the days activities.

    how is the leo presence there, can you use the 9 and your fine, 10 and your mine speed limit? we will be on sportbikes (duh) we know we are magnets but, ride respectfully. anything to be mindful of?

    thinking around labor day-ish for the Ozark run, any times to avoid, or to go?

    what sayeth the beeb? Ski
  2. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Well-Known Member

    We stayed at Mulberry Mountain last time , mostly rode the Pig trail and surrounding roads. Definitely catch coffee and breakfast at the Oark Cafe. A few folks on here can provide further route info , but I did not find it as fun as TN, NC, GA .
  3. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

  4. ryoung57

    ryoung57 Off his meds

    I was born and raised in SW Missouri, but when you say "Ozarks", I assume you mean NW Arkansas? What kind of riding, mountain bike, sportbike, harley, supermoto, ADV? I know people who could really show you around if you're interested.
  5. roy826ex

    roy826ex Been around here a while

  6. blkduc

    blkduc no time for jibba jabba

    Where? Joplin is my hometown.
    BrianC636 likes this.
  7. ryoung57

    ryoung57 Off his meds

    Seymour, just east of Springfield.
  8. stk0308

    stk0308 Well-Known Member

    Depends on what you consider the Ozarks. The north western quadrant of Arkansas is great riding. Very nice people, and, from what I've experienced, very little police. You can find some great riding up in Missouri too. These roads won't quite be like TN/GA/Carolinas mountain roads. They're more swoop than chop. But, they can be entertaining. Don't go blasting through towns, and usually you'll be alright.

    I've done weekend trips based out of Dogpatch, AR a motel called The Hub. They cater to motorcycles, but it can be booked up early, as it's a small place. I will warn you, it's in a dry country. Fortunately the north country boarder is 2-3 miles north on 7, and at the intersection of 206 and 7 there's a great big, well stocked, liquor/beer store. They have an adequate restaurant onsite for meals.

    I've also based out of the Holiday Inn Express in Mountain Home. There's a few good loops south from there. The "famous" road near it will be AR341. I'm kind of ambivalent about it. It's got some nice parts, other parts are still pretty choppy, pavement wise. But, if your in the area you should do it, just to check it off.

    I've based out of the Holiday Inn Express(yeah, well, it's a consistent brand, don't judge me) in Harrison, AR. This gets you a couple options north, and south. I'd recommend hwy 125 up to Chadwick. There's a ferry crossing at the AR/MO boarder that runs daylight hours. Another run I'd highly recommend is south on AR123 from the Buffalo River to Hagarville. With particular interest in the 3 or 4 miles of it just south of Mt Judea.

    I'd second going to lunch in Oark. 103 from the south is the twistier road to get there. 215 isn't bad either. But, 103 has lots more switchbacks. The "road" that goes east to 21 is not paved. More like a gravel road.

    Another good lunch spot is the Cliff House, on Hwy 7, south of Jasper. Good food. Good view. Scenic road AR-7.

    Overall AR roads are in good shape. Well maintained, and quite grippy. People say it's because the higher granite content of their aggregate. This means tire wear will be accelerated to. So be mindful of that.

    The Pig Trail, while a fairly twisty road in parts, is a tourist trap. Many, many Harleys, RVs, and "sports" cars running around on it. I'd avoid it, or at least, don't expect to rip it up if you do use it on a route. It's a real bonus if you do get a clean run, though. They're fighting a mountain side washout a few miles north of the intersection of 215 and 23. Took out the whole damn road, twice, a couple of years ago. So check local info to make sure it's open.

    Just off the top of my head.
    PMooney Jr. and R/T Performance like this.
  9. Rising

    Rising Well-Known Member

    This is super important! I've seen brand new tires worn out in a long weekend of riding in AR!
    stk0308 likes this.
  10. skidooboy

    skidooboy supermotojunkie

    as stated in the original post, we will be on sportbikes, looking for PAVED twisty, scenic, mountain riding, loops. we know, and love the deals gap area, looking to expand our riding. I heard it was as good as the "gap", is this not true? Ski
  11. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    Better than the gap, less people :D
  12. stk0308

    stk0308 Well-Known Member

    It depends on your definition of "as good". There will not be as many 10-20mph marked switchbacks. But lots of 25-45 mph, marked, corners. That can be one, right after the other, for miles.
    sdiver likes this.
  13. stk0308

    stk0308 Well-Known Member

    Quite true, there are very few roads in AR that will be as busy as "The Gap", and some of the surrounding roads.
  14. skidooboy

    skidooboy supermotojunkie

    when I say gap, I use it as a generalization for the "area" encompassing, east Tn, western nc, western sc, north Ga. there are areas to avoid in this area, depending on the day of the week, and holidays but, there are ALOT of great areas within this area to avoid the traffic, if you know where to go. it took us multiple years to figure that area out, just looking to speed the learning curve in a new region.

    the new region we are looking into, most people have referred to it as the "Ozarks" if this is wrong, I apologize. Ski
  15. sdiver

    sdiver Well-Known Member

    I went to college in Springfield, MO and spent almost every nice day riding US160 around Branson. Lots of great roads around the mountains and lakes in the SW MO and NE AR areas. Several have made Car and Drivers 10 best roads list IIRC.

    Arkansas actually has an entire tourism industry centered around motorcycle rides mostly through the Ozarks. Here is a link to a brochure with various recommended routes:
  16. BrianC636

    BrianC636 Well-Known Member

    Live in Springfield currently. Lots of great riding to be had around here. The "loop" lots of us used to take is 125 through Chadwick then ride the ferry into Arkansas and try to hit highway 7. Good times for sure
  17. muguvian

    muguvian Well-Known Member

    Grew up in Springfield/Rogersville, family still lives there so I ride home once a year. Moved to CA for a few years, now live in NC so if southern CA is a 10, and western NC is a 9, then the Ozarks would be a 7. Fun, but the contours made by waterways are what makes the roads good instead of big elevation changes from mountains, at least in comparison. Not much riding east or north of Springfield, but south towards Branson and into AR would be good to look for a place to stay. Traffic would be annoying until you get into Arkansas and I have 4 high school friends that are now HP around there that say keep it below 9 over.
  18. Sabre699

    Sabre699 Wait...hold my beer.

  19. Chango

    Chango Something clever!

    Hwy 7 south of Ola heading to Hot Springs is also a good way to spend some time with a motorbike.

    And there's always Hwy 341, which some locals call the Arkansas Gap. It's a well-maintained road that goes from nowhere (Big Flat, which had premium ethanol-free gas the last time I was there a couple of years ago) to nowhere (Norfork), so it doesn't usually have much traffic. Basically, that whole area is generally a good place to spend time with a motorbike.
  20. seroj

    seroj Well-Known Member

    We've been sport riding in Arkansas for almost 20 years. Here are some of the best rides:

    Hwy 123 south of Mt. Judea
    Hwy 341 north of hwy 14
    Hwy 221 between Eureka Springs and Berryville
    Hwy 74 east from hwy 23 to hwy 7
    Hwy 215 to Oark
    Hwy 309 up mt. Magazine
    Hwy 125 and the Peel ferry

    Grannys kitchen in Huntsville
    Ozark cafe in jasper
    Gaskins cabin outside eureka

    Cops mainly on major hwys. Have fun and ride safe!
    PMooney Jr. and R/T Performance like this.

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