New to Adventure Touring - Seeking Arkansas Ozarks Off Road Advice

Discussion in 'Tejas and the Gulf States' started by ken h, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. ken h

    ken h Been here awhile

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    Mar 5, 2013
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    Location:
    Coppell, TX
    I recently purchased a 2011 R1200 GS. The GS is my first bike that has more than just street capability. I have never done any off road riding anywhere ever. I have wanted to but I couldn’t because I was always on a street bike. Another reason I wanted to try adventure touring is because I wanted to be able to take advantage of more riding opportunities and to be able to see other things that you can’t see from the pavement. I plan on taking a trip mid April to the Arkansas Ozarks. I would like to take the GS off road while I am there to get my feet wet with going off road as well as see some things off the beaten path. I have been to the Ozarks on several occasions previously so I am familiar with the Ozarks but I don’t have a clue where or what some good off road choices would be for any first time off road excursions. I have been searching the threads on this site and I haven’t been able to come up the information I am looking for. I am aware of what the GS is and isn’t as far as off road is concerned. If anyone can suggest some off road roads and/or trails I can check out that are scenic and make for some interesting riding that are within the limits of a first timer I would appreciate it. And I would also be interested in learning about other websites that are adventure touring oriented. Thanks.
    #1
  2. MChappy

    MChappy Adventurer

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    Diana TX
    Anything around White Rock Mountain west of Cass is good riding, you can't go to the Ozarks without going to Oark for lunch then north or east from there is good riding. Up there just pick a dirt road and see where it goes all of them are good some just better than others. There is also a lot of good riding around Mena and over in eastern OK.
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  3. DrLewall

    DrLewall The Human GPS

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    Location:
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    Ozark gps trax & routes

    If you really have ZERO dirt experience, you might wanna rethink taking that HEAVY gs off road..keep the gs on the hwy and get your self a smaller DS bike to learn dirt on..500cc or less to start..build your dirt skills..think of it as your gs is a cessna, would you walk out on the tarmac and jump in a Lear for a quick spin with not a clue on how to do that?

    most of all those gps tracks are gs friendly, IF you know what you are doing! They can get you into a bind if you don't. Thats my advice, ymmv.
    #3
  4. ken h

    ken h Been here awhile

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    MC- thanks for the feedback.

    Dr.L- I think I should do OK on the types of roads I am looking for. i.e.- gravel, unimproved non-technical trails, forest roads perhaps, etc. I am NOT looking for stuff that truly requires a DS bike. FWIW, I have taken my ST1100 (700+ lbs.) up 18 miles of hard packed mountain gravel in Idaho and up and over a ridge on a trail in the Blue Ridge that I probably didnt really need to be on on my ST but I managed to successfully navigate that. Now, thats not to say that I think I am a qualified GS pilot at this point but I think I can manage on the type of stuff I am looking for.

    If I had the resources I would love to have a DS bike but since I can only have one bike and the majority of my riding will be on pavement an AT bike is what fills the bill for me. I just wanted something that I can day trip and tour on but has the capability for the occasional off road excursion when the opportunity presents itself. The seed for me was planted several years ago when I was in Big Bend and I pulled up on the side of the road by a gravel road that led to who knows where. I wanted to go down that road but couldnt. Since then I have been in the Pacific NW, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arkansas and the Blue Ridge. Over time I started Jonesing more and more about the opportunities I was probably missing because of being restricted to the pavement. As stated previously I think I have a fairly good understanding of what the GS is and is not capable of off pavement. And I think I understand what I am capable and not capable of off pavement as a rider but now that I have the GS I have to start somewere doing this type of riding. Thanks for the GPS tracks!
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  5. Navaho

    Navaho Long timer

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    :huh
    You could probably pick up a nice used dual sport for less than some people spend on basic farkles for that GS.

    To really enjoy the best that AR has to offer, you need a small bike because good dirt roads in the Ozarks often turn into rough jeep/quad trails. You'll find yourself in a similar situation - sitting on your GS at the end of a gravel road staring down a nice rocky jeep trail wondering where it will take you if were on a smaller bike. The best of AR is in these remote areas.

    There is still plenty to see on the GS. Take anything leading off of Hwy 7 South of Jasper, North of Russellville, and you'll have fun but be prepared to have to do some backtracking.


    I started exploring AR on a DR650. Too big, so I went to a smaller TE610. Still too big. Now I have a plated KTM dirtbike. The fun factor has doubled :clap
    #5
  6. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    Location:
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    I have not had any trouble following DrLewall and these other guys around on my old GS.

    You will be fine Ken h

    check out Oark, ar, its paved if you come in from highway 215, but gravel if you leave the other way, and a nice road with a low water bridge back to highway 21, comes out north of Ozone

    county road 1463 east of Fallsville crosses the buffalo river headwaters ( no bridge you ride through the river) and climbs a rugged road back up to cave mountain cemetery road, you can stay east on this road and come off the mountain near Ponca.

    you can also hike to whitaker point on that road.

    this is whitaker point.

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. ken h

    ken h Been here awhile

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    Navaho- I realize that may be unavoidable with an AT bike but I tend to look at it as a road that is traveled back the other way is a different road.

    Thanks for that info. Whitaker Point looks pretty interesting with all of that color. Obviously a picture taken in the fall.
    #7