This time of year here in the “hills-n-hollers” of The Ozarks you can hear the breeze whispering through the trees, the sweet lilt of native songbirds, the chattering of scurrying squirrels and off in the distance you can hear the iconic gentle rumbling of motorcycles as they travel to and from this Victorian village. What you don’t hear are the “Wow!”s that resonate in the minds of each and every biker as he or she leans into yet another thrilling curve, staples of the highways that surround Eureka Springs.
“Eureka Springs has been so blessed with a topography that seems as though it was designed just for motorcyclists,” said Bill Ott, former board chairman of the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce. “What some might call our twisty, curvy highways are like tracks of a rollercoaster to those who venture out on two or three wheels. Our neck of the Arkansas Ozarks is a biker’s dream come true.”
One of the most popular motorcycle rides in the country is a stretch of Highway 23 that has gained the designation of Scenic Byway. Its natural beauty and grand vistas that run along its shoulder makes it a pretty drive. Its hairpin S-curves and numerous steep switchbacks makes “The Pig Trail” (aptly named due to its resemblance of the corkscrew tail of a native razorback hog) a pretty thrilling ride.
“Sitting atop The Pig Trail is Eureka Springs,” explained Ott. “That is why local residents have mapped out five great rides that start and end in a place known for its hospitality and for taking care of weary travelers. They even secured a website to make it easy for bikers to discover these rides for an exhilarating multi-day biker destination getaway. That way it’s ride by day, relax by night in a resort community with great places where bikers can put down their kickstands and then kick back.”
The website, EurekaSpringsMotorcycleRides.com, has put together a list of local lodging, dining, and attraction venues. Ozark mountain resources, an events calendar and a chance for bikers to add their comments to a blog following their experiential excursion to the greater Eureka Springs area can also be found at this online site. This is in addition to the well-mapped, and well-appointed five suggested mountain rides.
“Those five rides take you to or by some really awesome places,” Ott added. “The first ride takes you into the Arkansas Grand Canyon and past the grazing elk near Boxley’s Lost Valley. Ride two takes you on The Pig Trail through Ozone and back through Withrow State Park. Number three centers around water, taking riders over the Little Golden Gate Bridge and the dam that forms the popular Beaver Lake with the trout-filled White River just below. The fourth ride is a sojourn to the Buffalo National River and across the famous Pruitt Bridge. Ride number five travels north for about 10 miles into Missouri and its Roaring River State Park as well as Dogwood Canyon. Each ride is both ‘outa sight’ and full of sights to see!”
Ott concluded, “As much as we want our friends on motorcycles to visit our area and have fun while they are here, we want even more for them to ride safely. In fact, we want all of our visitors -no matter how many wheels they have under ‘em when they arrive here- when they return home to take with them nothing but lifetime memories that they can share again and again with family and friends.”