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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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Advice for Arkansas vacation ride in September

Every year my brother and I take an 8 day vacation and head off somewhere. The past 3 trips have been West Virginia. We wanted to go somewhere different this year and decided that Arkansas was it. I have read many articles (Road Runner Magazine has a great one) as well as threads about how great the roads are. I also just got my official "Motorcycle Riding Guide of the Ozarks" in the mail.

It seems that Harrison is the big gateway to it all, but it does seem to also be sorta "touristy". We realy like to mingle with the locals, eat at the local places and even stay at localy-owned hotels. Does anyone know of nice quaint towns to "ride out from", has great local food and a place to spend about 5 nights that's thrifty on the billfold?

We leave out September 24th, get to Arkansas on the 25th and leave for home on October 1st. This will be my first big trip with my '09 and I'm more than excited!

Any thoughts and advice on any aspect of riding the Ozarks will be helpful. Thanks a bunch!

~ Wes

"Nothing bugs a handyman more than a stripper that works too slow" ~ Red Green


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 08:14 AM
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Arkansas has some of the best roads, both paved and gravel, so I'm sure you will have a good time. I have in-laws there so I'm up there every other month or so. I'm sure you have hwy 123 on your list over by Mount Judea but if you don't it is a must. Eureka Springs area has lots of great roads plus it is a neat town.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 04:58 PM
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Also

Harrison isn't big or "touristy", and Hot Springs, although bigger, still isn't a "concrete jungle"...
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 07:15 PM
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ride the pig trail up from clarksville toward harrison...through ozone and beyond....don't forget the photo op at the little town known as "Possum trot"......seriously !! check the map!
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 07:20 PM
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A bit off topic, but I had a brief ride through Arkansas after an absolutely beautiful ride through eastern Oklahoma. I had no idea what I was in for. Oklahoma is beautiful? Yes! I hope to do more of Arkansas one day, but what I was saw (around Rogers) was great.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 09:24 PM
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Arkansas is awesome and very motorcycle friendly. On the Versys you can't go wrong no matter what roads you choose. You can even ride part the TransAmericanTrail if you want. They put out a brochure that has some great motorcycle rides. You can pick it up at any state park, rest area, or Best Western Hotel.

Here is one of the routes I rode while in Arkansas.



and some of what we saw.










I would love to make it to Blues Bikes and BBQ sometime.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 09:28 PM
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Dude, I want to got there now!

Special bike: 1968 Norton P11A
Previous bike: 2009 Versys in lovely blue
Bike for smiles: 2009 R1200R
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Many years ago my dad found a book he gave me from the 50's that compared and contrasted Tennessee and Kentucky. One small section was about the crazy names of towns found in both. It seems Arkansas has a good many of its own. I hope to go through Success...Lord knows I need all I can get! And does anyone know why there are 2 Black Oak towns, on either side of the state? And which one could I maybe find Jim Dandy playing his famous washboard?!

~ Wes

"Nothing bugs a handyman more than a stripper that works too slow" ~ Red Green


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 03:07 PM
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Mountain Home, Akansas

I live in M/H and if you want wonderful back road riding you can start here. Two great lakes if you fishing and can rent boats, wave runners or pontoons for the day.
Google M/H for a better idea. I have over 20,000 miles of back road riding here. Anywhere North of Little Rock and south of Springfield , Mo.

Cb ask if you have questions
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 03:50 PM
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My wife and I based out of Harrison when we were up there. Stayed at the Hampton Inn and really enjoyed the state. You can't buy a drink there unless you go downtown to the Hotel Seville built in 1929, but it's worth it.
You can check out the "Moonshine Run" ride if you click on the youtube link at the bottom of my post. It is 110 miles of great roads and sweet curves.
Have fun, wish I was headed back that way again soon.

"The Road Goes On Forever And The Party Never Ends"
IBA #23562

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by MntVersys View Post
Many years ago my dad found a book he gave me from the 50's that compared and contrasted Tennessee and Kentucky. One small section was about the crazy names of towns found in both. It seems Arkansas has a good many of its own. I hope to go through Success...Lord knows I need all I can get! And does anyone know why there are 2 Black Oak towns, on either side of the state? And which one could I maybe find Jim Dandy playing his famous washboard?!

~ Wes
I just happen to own one square inch of Black Oak, AR.

Jim Dandy to the rescue.

Hot Springs is another great destination, Crater of Diamonds State Park is another. I spent two weeks in AR and could have easily spent another two.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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A great big thanks for all the input!

No doubt it will be a fantastic vacation. That is....IF THE RAIN STOPS !!! We usually take our ride in June but thought that we would wait until all those storms are done. I guess we'll have to keep our rain suits within quick reach.

I just bought a Motocentric roll tail bag to go with the rest of my luggage. I now have about 122 liters of space. Now maybe I can bring back a genuine Arkansas washboard :

No Video

...Go Jim Dandy..........!!

~ Wes

"Nothing bugs a handyman more than a stripper that works too slow" ~ Red Green


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 07:41 PM
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Harrison is not very large/crowded. Nearby Eureka Springs is touristy, but not usually terribly crowded as Branson has taken a lot of their business. Keep in mind though that you will be here during Bikes Blues and BBQ, a large and growing bike rally. (Think PG version of Sturgis) Everything in the Northwest area of Arkansas may be crowded that week.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, the BBB. I have read about it but I didn't think it would be all that big. Maybe if we rode the northwestern/Eureka Springs routes early in the week and then toward the Mountain Home/Bull Shoals routes as we head back. Don't like crowds much...prefer the calmer side of thing as far as a vacation goes.

Heck, if the rain storms don't let up over there we may end up heading back to the West Virginia-Virginia-North Carolina mountains !!

~ Wes

"Nothing bugs a handyman more than a stripper that works too slow" ~ Red Green


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 04:21 PM
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The rain hasn't been bad here at all since early spring. There have been some hit or miss thunderstorms, but that's about it. Shouldn't affect the riding too much. It has actually been a relief from the triple digit temps and very dry weather we had the last few weeks.
I expect Eureka to be a bit crowded that week, but Mountain Home should be fine. Fortunately for you, most of the BB&BBQ crowd ride cruisers and won't go too far out looking for the twisty roads. That said, the Pig Trail (decent, but over-rated in my book) will probably be very crowded. I expect 62 and 12 will be as well. 123 is much better and might not be too crowded. It's a road you shouldn't miss. I haven't ridden Push Mountain Rd. yet, but I understand it's pretty good too. Both of those are a good bit east of the mayhem, though not out of range.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 10:01 PM
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Took a 400 mile day trip today to check out Push Mountain Rd. OK, but there are much better roads closer to home. My advice if you're looking for a real dinky town that's got great location is Jasper. Don't know anything about the quality of food, lodging, or people there but it looked OK when I went through today, and it's right in the middle of some of, it not THE, best roads in AR.

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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 05:54 PM
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I live in Conway, central Ar. , and ride with guys out of Little Rock. We mostly ride Northcentral Ar. To save time, go to Motorcycleroads.us Click on Ar. then go to the section Central Ozarks. From there different routs will come up. We like the area North of I-40 between Hwy 7 on the west to hwy 65 on the East and up to Jasper-St. Joe or Marshall. A word of caution, with the gas well industry working in central Ar., there are gas truck running some of these roads, be careful and have fun.
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