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8 Thrilling Motorcycle Ride Loops Await

“Bikes, Blues & Bar-B-Q” 2016

Just in time for the more than 400,000 riders coming to the 2016 version of Northwest Arkansas’ highly-popular “Bikes, Blues & BBQ” motorcycle rally, September 21-24 comes three new “loop” rides that bikers will love to lean into!  Starting and ending in Eureka Springs, which is only 45 minutes east of Fayetteville, are the three new loops: Peel Ferry, Arkansas Dragon’s Tail, and War Eagle Mill.   These have been added to the much-ridden “Big 5” of Eureka Springs: Goldwing/Highway 21; Beaver Town Bridge; Jasper; Highway 103; and the number one motorcycle ride in America, The Pig Trail.  Each offers outstanding curves, switchbacks, hairpins, scenery and panoramas.  And each of these loops is a day’s ride or less.

The Peel Ferry loop takes riders north into Missouri; east through highways carved out of limestone peel ferry rideand into world-famous Branson; then further east and south into Arkansas.  There, along the banks of Bull Shoals Lake, bikes will board Peel Ferry that runs during daylight hours the year-round and is the only existing ferry that plies any Arkansas river or lake.  Serpentine highways wind past Bull Shoals southward to U.S. Highways 412 and 62 leading riders back to Eureka Springs.  This ride is approximately a 200 mile / 5 hour sojourn.

The Arkansas Dragon’s Tail loop takes riders south and east of Eureka Springs through the hills-n-hollers shared with such topographic notables as the Buffalo River National Park, America’s only river ever designated as a national park, and the “Arkansas Grand Canyon”.  At the bottom of the dragons-tailloop is the little historical community of Lurton that sits along the old wagon trail that was known as the Chisum (sic) Turnpike.  On either side coming down or going back up toward Eureka Springs, riders will be “passin’ thru” Western Grove; Mt. Judea (pronounced “Judy”); Ponca and its herds of grazing elk; and Howe Hollow valley.  Total round trip is 177 miles or approximately four hours of travel time.

The third “new” loop is called The War Eagle Mill and war-eagle-milltimes out at one hour and 16 minutes with 54 miles being logged to and fro Eureka Springs.  “What makes this short loop so awesome,” said one rider, “is that it leaves plenty of time to eat, shop or just relax in the rustic charm of the mill itself.”  War Eagle Mill is one of America’s last operating undershot, burrstone gristmills that sits over War Eagle Creek.  Here riders can watch product being made, taste some that has been baked up in the mill’s Bean Palace restaurant, take plenty of product home or have it shipped.  The loop also takes riders in, around and through Hobbs State Park and Conservation Area, 12 thousand acres of pristine Arkansas woodlands.

The Goldwing/Highway 21 loop encourages riders to leave Eureka Springs early to see the sunrise goldwingover amazing vistas like the Bluebird Hill Overlook.  As this loop continues along its 269-mile and six-hour route, it takes riders through the Buffalo River National Park and a chance to watch grazing elk near Boxley and Lost Valley.  An eagle could be spotted overhead as riders near Kingston and the “Arkansas Grand Canyon”.

Curvy roads and historic bridges carry riders over the White River and Beaver Lake on the Beaver Town Bridge loop beaver-townwith great views of the water.  Riders have perhaps a once in a lifetime experience as they encounter one of the true treasures of the Southern road.  The historic Beaver Bridge, best known as the “Little Golden Gate of Arkansas”, was built in 1949, is 554 feet long but only 11 feet wide thereby only allowing one way at a time traffic.  This is quite a large return for a ride that is only 26 miles and 44 minutes.

The Jasper loop is another route that takes riders through the Buffalo River National Park and jasper-rideacross the 1930’s iron truss Pruitt Bridge.  Two stops during the 150-mile/four-hour ride could be the Elk Education Center in Ponca and the Ozark Café on the town square in Jasper.

Riders are in store for a potpourri of wildlife opportunities on the Highway 103 loop.  Big cats, up close and personal, at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, and a trout hatchery and fishing stream at Roaring River State Park, just over the line in Missouri.  All of this with the added dividend of Ozark scenery is part of the 142 miles and 4 hours invested.

But the cherry on top of the Eureka Springs’ loops’ sundae is the internationally famous Pig Trailpig-trailThis ride is as challenging as it is scenic.  Switchback after switchback between hairpin turns makes this ride a “must do” event when riding in Northwest Arkansas.  The Designated Scenic Highway portion of Arkansas Highway 23 is truly breathtaking.  Stops in Withrow State Park and alongside the Mulberry River allow riders to catch their breath and relax in beautiful, natural surroundings.  Many riders say that this loop is the best seven hours and 280 miles of their riding lives.

For more information about all eight of these loops designed for motorcyclists, one should go to EurekaSpringsMotorcycleRides.com.

Bikes, Blues & BBQ – Motorcycle Rally 2015

For over a decade, thousands of folks have rallied in Northwest Arkansas for one of the best motorcycle events in the country. Bikes, Blues & BBQ has some amazing events but the real attraction is actually the journey.bikes blues bbq eureka springs northwest arkansas

 

See an entire BBBBQ Schedule Here and Read the Official Blog “Road to the Rally” Here!

Centered in the Ozark Mountains, winding roads and breathtaking scenery make the road to the rally spectacular. Of course, next to the Pig Trail, the roads leading to Eureka Springs are some of the best for riding. Eureka Springs is located near many area attractions and is a great hub for multiple routes.

See great motorcycle rides in Northwest Arkansas.

Feel free to stay awhile and explore. Eureka Springs is motorcycle friendly. Check out Pig Trail Harley in Eureka Springs. Discover area attractions, Eureka Springs Lodging, Dining and other resources.

Make plans for your group to stay together with these amazing rates just for you!

5 Rides, 5 People, Five Reasons

Five Rides, Five People, Five Reasons your friends are going to love Eureka Springs …eureka springs motorcycle rides crescent hotel

#1 The most adventurous and most scenic rides in the Ozarks are all accessible from Eureka Springs.

Ribbons of road curl around the Ozarks to reveal the most amazing views. From grazing elk in the historic Boxley valley near America’s First National River to the famous Pig Trail, Eureka Springs is centrally located to access the best motorcycle rides in the state.

#2 Eureka Springs is motorcycle friendly

Eureka Springs’ landmark hotels have been welcoming visitors to the area for centuries. They wouldn’t be able to keep their historic reputations if they didn’t know how to take care of their guests. The 1886 Crescent Hotel and the 1905 Basin Park Hotel both offer designated bike parking to secure your most prized possession while you relax for the night. Special pricing for groups of 5 people or more make staying overnight a great value so you can use the money you saved to fill up and hit the road for your next adventure.

#3 Unique and breathtaking places to hang out together

Enjoy drinks over a game or two of pool in Lucky 7 billiards at one of the highest points in downtown Eureka Springs. Make the veranda of the Crescent hotel your private hang out by staying in the connecting rooms or choose balcony rooms that look out over the Crescent East Lawn. Rock it out old school in rocking chairs on the porch overlooking the town. Gather around the fire in the pocket garden near the Crescent moon. Hang out at the copper bar of the Balcony Restaurant overlooking Basin Spring Park downtown. There are so many options. Give us a call and we will assist you in arranging a memorable trip.

#4 Lots of fun, quirky and exciting things to do

Eureka Springs is home to castles, the blues, bears and other big cats, crazy festivals and craft shows, fabulous parades, rivers, lakes and natural springs … The list goes on and on. Learn more about Eureka Springs and get ideas for things to do.

#5 Eureka Springs is ALWAYS OPEN

Spring and Fall are the best times to visit just for the colors of the season but Eureka Springs is open year round. There are different things to look forward to depending on the time of year. Talk with us about what time of year you plan to visit.

CALL 800.342.9766

Spring Break 2014

eureka springs motorcycle rides st pattys daySpring Break in Eureka Springs always promises something funky and fun.Get Out and Ride!

Wear something green and don’t miss the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the heart of historic Eureka Springs.

Get Biker’s Best Rates on lodging.

Fly a kite at the Eureka Springs Kite Festival. The kite festival is held at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge so while you are there, stop in and see Bam Bam the bear. Get tickets!

Hunt ghosts in Americas Most Haunted Hotel. Featured on top cable shows like “My Ghost Story” and “Ghost Hunters”, the ghosts are pretty well documented but you can experience the spirits for yourself. Tours are offered each evening. Get tickets!

Take a ride along the Arkansas Art Trail and visit some of the most beautiful and inspiring sites in Arkansas.

Eureka Springs Warms the Heart

Eureka Springs is a Winter Destination Too!eureka springs motorcycle friendly february

Eureka Springs is the perfect getaway for couples. Treat your and your partner to a hot stone massage in one of Eureka Springs Spas. Enjoy amazing Eureka Springs food and discover you new favorite hangout where you can meet up with others just like you. Eureka Springs is renowned for its music festivals like Blues Weekend, Bluegrass Weekend, Ozark Folk Fest and the newest festival Ozark Mountain Music Festival but you don’t have to wait for a festival to enjoy the town. Get the inside track on things to do in Eureka Springs during the winter. Eureka Springs is just getting warmed up.

See Biker’s Best Lodging Deals!

 

Eureka Springs

eureka springs motorcycle rides

A Motorcycle Friendly Town.

Located in the heart of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs is an eclectic mountain town listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been recognized as a Top 25 Arts Destination. Eureka Springs is home to dozens of natural springs and winding streets lined with Victorian houses. Its historic downtown is bustling with events and activities all year long and at night, the mountain town lights up with live music on the streets and in one of several funky pubs owned by Eureka locals.

Landmark buildings like the 1886 Crescent Hotel make Eureka Springs a destination. World class spas like New Moon Spa offer relaxation after a long ride.

Learn more about motorcycle friendly lodging and Eureka Springs dining.

A Motorcycle Adventure: 2 Wheels, 2 Reasons, 2 Seasons

eureka springs pig trail motorcycle ride

All over the “lower 48”, men and woman who love their motorcycles are marking days off of their calendars as they count down to when they will pull on their leathers, fire up their bikes and start their adventurous ride to the Arkansas Ozarks and one of “America’s Distinctive Destinations”, Eureka Springs.  The reasons are two-fold and it all centers on “pork” …The Pig Trail and Bikes Blues & BBQ. The Pig Trail is a not-so-straight ribbon of asphalt; in fact, the ribbon that looks like someone has scraped it across the edge of a scissor blade.  It stretches, for all practical and awesome purposes, from Interstate 40 near Ozark (AR) north along State Highway 23 to Eureka Springs, the gateway to northwest Arkansas.  This 80-mile route is universally praised in motorcycle magazines, on biker websites, and even by The Discovery Channel for being one of the best in America.  For example, MotorycleRoads.com has elevated the Pig Trail to the number eight position in their most recent “top 100” poll.  BikerBudz.com gives it a “highly recommend” while Motorcycle-USA.com refers to it as “my new favorite ride”.

The Discovery Channel has given the Pig Trail its highest mark yet: number two in the nation.

The official National Scenic Byways’ 19-mile portion of the Pig Trail starts as you enter the Ozark National Forest from the south and ends near Brashears (AR) as you exit the national forest to the north.  This route, which crosses both the Mulberry and the White rivers, has so many S-curves that motorcyclists are forced to make dozens of ultra-quick right-to-left-to-right and back again leans; perfect first-gear switchbacks.  But riders should not think the challenge of the ride is limited to “the forest”.  It starts once you exit Interstate 40 heading north and doesn’t end until you put down your kickstand for the night in Eureka Springs.

“The Scenic Byways section of the Pig Trail may be like the most thrilling point in a roller coaster ride,” one biker explained, “but like a roller coaster, the runs on either side (11 miles to the south; 50 miles to the north) are pretty exciting too.  For me, every year between late August and the Hunter’s Moon is when I enjoy the full 80-mile ride.  ‘Cuz if you’re gonna ride the Pig Trail, ya gotta go whole hog.”

“The highway going up to Eureka Springs and all those around that town,” he continued, “are one exhilarating rush.  I hub out of Eureka, a funky, biker-friendly mountain town with lots of places to stay, lots of places to play.  I’ll spend four or five days searching out new Ozark roads with new crazy curves and new breathtaking sights.  It’s like a rally every day.  Plus Eureka’s only about 45 minutes from Fayetteville and the ‘triple-B’, Bikes Blues & BBQ.”

For Bikes Blues & BBQ the aforementioned “whole hog” is dressed, seasoned, grilled till tender, slathered with sauce, and then served up razorback-style when more than 400,000 bikers converge on Fayetteville (AR) for the four fabulous days of this event in September.  This year this awesome fall festival goes from September 18th through the 21st. “One of the best parts of Bikes Blues & BBQ,” a biker from Central Texas, who has not missed any one of the previous 13 annual events, proudly stated, “is that you don’t just get a festival, you get the Pig Trail and all of its Ozark side-roads.  Me and my group like to arrive a couple days early or stay a couple days late to make sure we have plenty of time for day rides to and around Eureka on their fantastically freaky yellow-striped trails.  We only wish we had routes like this back in Texas.”

Find new, thrilling nearby motorcycle rides in the Ozarks.

If you are unable to attend the “triple-B event” do not despair, because “does Mother Nature have a deal for you” in October and often through early November!  There is no more lovely autumn color than the reds, oranges, golds and violets of the Ozarks when fall falls.  To help you with perfect timing, the State of Arkansas, beginning in September each year, has a “fall color updates” page on their very popular Arkansas.com website. And speaking of the State of Arkansas, their Department of Parks & Tourism has developed a short movie that will whet your appetite and make you hungry for a motorcycle vacation to “The Natural State”.  It just so happens that a local motorcycle enthusiast who is also the Mayor of Eureka Springs, Morris Pate, narrates the movie.  His narration begins with him and his 2001 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic parked in front of the “Little Golden Gate Bridge” just a few minutes west from downtown Eureka.

“The Beaver Bridge is a landmark that must not be missed,” bragged Mayor Pate.  “This beautiful old wooden suspension bridge was built in 1949 and is 554 feet long, only 11 feet wide and has been painted a bright yellow.  Because it is so narrow, traffic can only move one way at a time across the span.  So hold your breath and grip tight, this is one bumpy and thrilling ride on two wheels.” So whether you ride the Ozarks in late summer, late fall or anytime in between, you will be glad you did.  “No matter how many other motorcycle routes you’ve been on,” concluded our Texas biker, “once you’ve conquered the Pig Trail and its web of side-roads, you’ll be happier than a hog in slop.”

Make Eureka Springs your hub for Ozark rides. Check out Eureka Springs Lodging and great deals for two wheels.

Inspiration on the Arkansas Art Trail

eureka springs motorcycle rides inspiration point

Photo by Edward C. Robison III.

With attention to the Northwest Arkansas region on a high mark with the opening of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Civil War, tourism leaders in the region have come together in the development of The Arkansas Art Trail.  “A large group of new visitors to the area will be drawn to Bentonville for the opening of the museum; however these same touring vacationers will also want to know what else is available in the region.  The Arkansas Art Trail will provide those answers” stated Rachael Moyer, CEO of Historica Consulting and the driving interest behind the concept.

“The Arkansas Art Trail is a project to map sites in the Natural State where nature inspires art.”  Modeled much in part to the Thomas Cole Art Trail in the Hudson Valley, Arkansasarttail.com will feature Breathtaking vistas, mountain views, nationally significant sites, and natural settings are complimented by architectural features and made meaningful by local heritage and cultural sites.  Arkansasarttrail.com includes ten stops that include such well known destinations as Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art or Downtown Eureka Springs but also guides you lesser known but nationally significant points of interest such as Boxley Valley or Inspiration Point.  The website provides resources to guide you on your actual or virtual journey along the Trail encouraging touring vacationers to wear comfortable shoes open your eyes and prepare to be inspired.

Realistically, viewing the Arkansas Art Trail in its entirety can take 3-7 days depending upon how long you choose to linger at each site or how many side trips you take. The trail has been organized into 3 legs that take an average of one day to complete. Side trips have been noted that include additional features you may find inspiring.  Samples of each leg are provided on the website with breathtaking photography provided by Edward Robison III.

Throughout the year, events relating to the Trail including guest speakers, gallery strolls, open studio tours and guided walks are held and will be promoted by arkansasarttrail.com with active blogs and social media as a vital component of the effort.

“Overnight on the trail” at one of Eureka Springs Lodging and get great deals for two wheels.