Motorcycle Route Author
By Guest (0 McR Points) on Feb 29, 2000
Written DirectionsThe directions to this route are very straight forward. Start the route in Harrison Arkansas and simply head south on Route 7 all the way to Hot Springs Arkansas.
SceneryOn this route you will travel through two national forests and one national park. The route takes you from Harrison to Hot Springs Arkansas and you should plan on taking a few detours if you would like to see more of the countryside. You'll be traveling through the rugged Ozark Mountains and see canyons, lakes, rivers, forests and ample wildlife. For those of you who never thought of Arkansas as a state with outstanding scenery, this route may change your mind! Photo contributed by a visitor in July 09: "Taken from the scenic pull-out at Buffalo River Canyon. This is a beautiful ride and the traffic is minimal." In Aug of 22 "Jaspermercgirl" added - "This route covers the best of the high Ozarks - the Grand canyon of AR with spectacular views of the valley, the Ozark National Forest, the Boxley valley where you can sight wild elk herds, you wil cross over the Buffalo National River at Ponca, and enjoy the endless views way high from Mount Sherman."
Drive EnjoymentThis is among the best of motorcycle roads in all of Arkansas. Plenty of twists and turns, hills and valleys to keep you leaning and grinning. Photo contributed by a visitor in July 09: "Arkansas's Grand Canyon just short of Jasper." In Aug of 22 "Jaspermercgirl" added - "The road is all paved and in great condition (no traffic lights anywhere). The route has a great balance of hills and curves and amazing mountain views. Driving through Boxley Valley is pretty flat with a few curves, and there are very twisty turns as you go up Mt Sherman from Ponca."
Tourism OpportunitiesThe route running from north to south starts out in the quaint town of Harrison where you will find ample lodging, a collection of small craft shops and museums. Heading south, many of you will enjoy a tour of Mystic Caverns. Two large caves offer visitors a view of subterranean rock formations including two favorites that resemble a giant pipe organ and a crystal dome. If you take a detour off of highway 7 onto Rt. 74 you can travel to the town of Ponca. From here you can reach Buffalo River and enjoy floating and canoeing along one the nations National Rivers (equipment rentals are available). North of the town you will find a trail that leads to Hemmed-in-Hallow, and see a collection of waterfalls that stand 175 feet and travel down huge limestone cliffs - you won't be disappointed by this journey. Traveling further south you will see Arkansas' version of a Grand Canyon. The Buffalo River carved this gorge, leaving behind tall red rock bluffs. In the distance you will see the Boston Mountains. If you care to stay in this area you may want to try the Cliff House Inn (870-446-2292), which gets its name from its position hanging over the canyon itself. Travel shortly down the road and you can take a detour along Rte. 16 to see a massive 130 ft. natural bridge carved out of sandstone by a small stream. The place is known as Alum Cove Natural Bridge Recreation Area. Take a 4-mile detour east on Rte. 16 to see a large collection of rock formations known as Pedestal Rocks because of their unique structure (large boulders upheld by much smaller columns of rock). Traveling further along route 7 will lead you by many antique and craft shops and finally you will enter the million plus acres of the Ozark National Forest. This National Forest offers visitors caves, waterfalls, streams and abundant trails through its forests and prairies. An entire vacation could be spent in this one park. Further south along 7 you will pass through Dover (more antiques) and then through the large town of Russellville and make your way down to Dardanelle where you can visit the Lake Dardanelle State Park. At Rte. 155 you need to head west towards Mount Nebo State Park. On the way you will travel some great zigzag roads that will convince you that a motorcycle is the only way to travel. Another detour you will love is further south where you will want to take Rte. 154 for a great tour of the Arkansas river valley that you can take till Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge or further up the road to Petit Jean State Park home of a the 94 ft. tall Cedar Falls waterfall. Heading down route 7 further south will make its way through the Ouachita National Forest that offers ample camping and hiking opportunities. Finally the route takes you down into the city of Hot Springs Arkansas with a number of coffee houses, craft shops, art and antique boutiques, and many lodging possibilities. You also will want to experience first hand what the town is know and named for - hot springs. These mineral-laden hot springs can be found at the Hot Springs National Park. There is an operating 'bath house' known as the Buckstaff and the Fordyce that serves as a museum and visitor center. There are many roads in this area that offer a great collection of zigs and zags yet every motorcyclists must travel the road leading up to the observation tower at the summit of Hot Springs Mountain.
"At the over look east end of Petitt Jean State Park "
"At the over look to Cedar Falls waterfall in Petit Jean State Park"
"At the entrance to Petit Jean State Park" In Aug of 22 "Jaspermercgirl" added - "Newton County has some of the best hiking and waterfalls in the Ozarks that are easily accessible along this route. You will find restaurants at the town of jasper, and also up in Mt Sherman at an area called Low Gap. There are several 'scenic stops" along the way to take in views of the mountains and the Grand Canyon and also to stretch legs and enjoy a picnic. The Boxley Valley has a historic district open year round and there is a Buffalo National River recreation campground area(Steel Creek)) by Ponca."