From the Crescent Hotel to the bottom of the "Pig Trail" on Arkansas Highway 23, the Eureka Springs Backroads Route is a memorable route in this part of the country. The 132 mile (roundtrip) ride has 571 curves to keep you occupied, with the estimated time from start to finish clocking in at just under five hours.
Starting from Harrison, head south on Arkansas Highway 43. Make sure you give yourself some time to stop at the lookout at the top for the scenic view back towards Harrison. (Watch for the road construction heading up Gaither Mountain. The Highway Department has said the road is safe for all vehicles however).
Jump on Arkansas Highway 21, five miles south of Ponca. Between Ponca and Boxley, the fields you'll pass on the left are often full of Arkansas elk that roam the lands of the Buffalo National River. Off to the right is the Lost Valley Trail and camping area. The 2.3 mile trail (roundtrip) is a popular stop along the 149-mile Buffalo National River.
At the stop sign, turn right towards Kingston, and once you hit Kingston, circle the iconic square to see the sites. Then you're free to head west on Arkansas Highway 74 to Huntsville. which is the county seat of Madison County and the original home of former Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, who became famous for his role in the Little Rock Central High School integration crisis of 1957. His former home is located high above the town.
While in Huntsville, make sure you schedule a stop Granny's Kitchen. There you can indulge in homemade food of all kinds, a great atmosphere and some of the best homemade pie in all of Arkansas! Naturally, it's a real hit with bikers.
Once you're full and back on the road, turn right on Highway 23. You are now on the upper stretches of the famed "Pig Trail" heading to Eureka Springs.
What can you say about Eureka Springs that hasn't been heard a million times? The quaint, Victorian village is a special place in the Ozarks, and a cruise down Spring Street on the Historic Loop is a treat you shouldn't miss. Riding down those narrow streets is an experience in itself.
After Eureka Springs, get back on US 62 heading East until you come to Highway 221 (also known as Race Track Road). Take a right and follow the signs to Berryville and Harrison. If you have the time, check out Saunder's Museum off Berryville Square at 115 E. Madison Ave., where you can view Colonel "Buck" Saunders' extensive gun collection.
Once you've had your fill of weaponry, head up US Highway 62 toward Harrison. You'll get a nice ride with numerous climbs and descents and plenty of thrills. Fuel up in Harrison, Ponca, Kingston, Huntsville, Rockhouse, Eureka Springs, Berryville, Green Forest or Alpena.
For more information on motorcycling in Harrison, including the Motorcycle Riding Guide of the Ozarks (with five other great rides), and hotel and restaurant listings, contact the Harrison Convention and Visitors Bureau at (870) 741-1789 or (toll free at 1-888-283-2163) or visit www.HarrisonArkansas.org.