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North/NW Arkansas feedback needed

Discussion in 'Tejas and the Gulf States' started by Boondox, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    The last couple of times we tried to explore Arkansas we were chased off by torrential storms. Gonna try again this year on our way to southern Utah in late April. Just me and the dog in a street-oriented sidecar rig looking to see as much as possible in three days. I prefer scenic rides with plenty of places for pulling over to let Glenlivet play and stretch. Trying to keep it low key - bordering on a layover - so he can relax after the long transit from Vermont. Also want to stay north of I-40.

    The plan is to drop down from Mark Twain NF in MO on Hwy 19 to Mountain View, meander along interesting roads to Ozark, then take the Pig Trail north to Eureka Springs before continuing on our way across southern Kansas. (I might squeeze in Push Mtn when leaving Mountain View.) Good route, or are there roads/places we ought to add? As I recall there are plenty of decent roads in the area.

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    #1
  2. Just Cliff

    Just Cliff Been here awhile

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    As far as the storms go it's springtime in AR, you have a 50/50 shot of getting wet.

    You can't hardly go wrong anywhere north of I-40 so I want confuse things to much. Staying mostly on the track you have laid out, 74 from 66 to Marshall is very good & a better choice than that stretch of 66. Also 377 from 65 to Witt Springs is nice & 123 down to Hagarville is a nice alternative. I would definitely take 103 up to Oark Cafe for a burger, Catalpa Cafe is also a good choice. After leaving Oark take 215 E to 23, It's a great road & follows along the Mulberry river.

    I you go to Push Mountain, take the lower 10 -12 miles up (the best section) then turn around & go back to 14. Take 14 N to Yellville, then 235 W to 65 N to Western Grove (get gas there) then take 123 S & pickup your route. 123 is one of our best roads.
    #2
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  3. jay547

    jay547 Long timer

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    Agreed 100% on these. 123 is probably my favorite road.
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  4. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    Catalpa Cafe has been better than oark in my opinio

    Low gap Cafe near Mt Sherman ( Jasper area) is even better

    Peel ferry across bull shoals is pretty neat but s good ways from anything

    The pig trail and eureka springs are not really destination worthy to me

    Jack's resort is a good place to stay just north of mountain view on highway 5
    #4
  5. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    Back east pretty much every road with a name is either hyped or crowded. Is that the case with Pig Trail? The goal for my last day in Arkansas is head north from around Ozark up to Carthage MO where we’ll stop for the night. What route would you take?

    Pete and Glenlivet
    #5
  6. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    the pig trail IS like that to me
    but I live here, ive been driving or riding it since the 1970s

    I guess you should see it ONCE if you never have, but none of us locals every really set out to "ride the pig trail" ya know what I mean?

    let me look at some routes and Ill get back with you soon.
    #6
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  7. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    If you needed to you could just take 23 from Ozark North to Eureka, and be done.

    But if you have time, Just South of Huntsville come East on 74 to Kingston, head North on 21, some of the prettiest land I have ever seen is right around Metalton and Berryville, come back West at Berry ville to Eureka.

    I cant help in MO, other than saying 90 and K are pretty highways.
    #7
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  8. jay547

    jay547 Long timer

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    Last time I rode K in Missouri (August, 2018), they had chip and sealed it. It was downright scary.
    #8
  9. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    Okay, thanks for the advice so far. Here's Mark II Mod 3.

    Drop down 9 from Thayer to Mountain View. 66/74 to Marshall, 27 down to Tilly then 377 past Witt Springs. 74/65/374 and 14 to Yellville. 235 to Western Grove then 123 all the way south to Hagerville. Dogleg over to Oark (lunch) then Cass. 23 north to 74 east to Kingston. 21 up to Berryville, 62 through Eureka Springs and pick up MO 37 to Carthage MO

    Now I need to find some quiet campsites not packed with RVs...

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    #9
  10. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    I rode it two weeks ago with a NEWBIE harley rider friend.
    And it seemed fine, to me, and apparently him too.
    #10
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  11. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    are you camping? ( like wilderness)

    or "camping" at places that you pay to camp?
    #11
  12. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    I prefer near water and away from civilization, but stealth camping is tough with a bright yellow sidecar.
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  13. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    ok, shoot me a PM with where you think you might stop while in this area, and I will show you any secret spots that I know.

    :beer
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  14. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    Crooked road alert :yikes
    Your arms are gonna be tired unless your rig steers a lot easier than mine. Stopping for breakfast somewhere?
    #14
  15. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    Ha! After the first year with no steering mods my wife looked at me and said, "Your shoulders are a lot bigger!"

    Last winter I rebuilt the rig, lowering the GSA tug and switching to 17" wheels all around. It sacrificed dirt road comfort, but my dog was not a fan of washboard anyway so I tended to avoid it. The difference in road handling is incredible!

    Breakfast. Yeah, somewhere along the line. Got a good Mom n' Pop diner to recommend?

    GillyDragonLOW.jpg
    #15
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  16. Just Cliff

    Just Cliff Been here awhile

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    Hwy 19 through MO is a great road, there is a nice little cafe in Eminence across from the Sinclair station. You can't hardly go wrong with any of the alphabet roads in MO. That last 20 miles of 9 south of Melbourne is very crooked, 58 through Guion is also good just faster with more sweepers. Jojo's there at Jacks resort in MT. View has great catfish.

    Have you set the dates yet?
    #16
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  17. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    "Got a good Mom n' Pop diner to recommend?"

    I know all of them in this area, what town do you expect to be near?
    #17
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  18. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    We'll reach Cape Girardeau on April 25th, explore NW Arkansas and depart the area on the 30th.

    Over the years I've learned that where I plan on riding and where I actually end up are usually two different things. That said, my baseline will be the second map image above. We'll look for some place with a hot shower and soft bed in Mountain View to wash away the grit accumulated since leaving Vermont. Looks like a promising campground on 123 between Sand Gap and Hagerville would do nicely as a base for exploring that area. Then over to Oark and Cass, up to Kingston and Berryville, over to Eureka Springs and continuing west across Kansas
    #18
  19. Cav47

    Cav47 Look, Lean, and Pray!

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    Shady Oaks Campground has always been good to us. We ha e been there no less than 3 times.

    Just south of Harrison.

    camptheoaks.com The good riding is all around.

    Head down to Petit Jean Park and go for a walk to the waterfall. 01390D45-AD54-422E-A096-C9CB56989BB6.jpeg

    Attached Files:

    #19