Destinations: Arkansas' Highway 7

Motorcycle touring the Ozarks


| September/October 2006



Dates

We like twisties, how 'bout you?

Photo by Landon Hall

The Skinny - Arkansas Highway 7
Where:
Nearly 160 miles running from Harrison, Ark., to Hot Springs, Ark.
Why: Great curves of all kinds, nice elevation changes, unbeatable views, and unique towns you’d never know were there.
Best Kept Secret: Eureka Springs, Ark., is located just over 40 miles to the west and north of Harrison, Ark., on Highway 62. A city that survives almost completely on tourism, it’s full of bed and breakfasts, hotels, restaurants and watering holes, and its main street shops are a great place to wander on foot.
Scenic Routes: Highway 7 is the scenic route. For more technical curves, try the piece of Highway 74 that heads West out of Jasper. Check the websites listed below for more.
Avoid:Branson, Mo. There’s plenty to do and it’s close by, but if you’re just looking for a place to stay, skip it. The traffic can be horrendous during the summer months.
More Info: www.motorcycleroads.com;
www.motorcycleroads.us/ar.html;
www.bikerroads.com/rides;
www.hotsprings.org 

There’s an old folk saying about the Ozarks: “It’s not that the mountains are so high, it’s just that the valleys are so deep.” They should coin another saying: “It’s not that it’s that far, it’s just that it takes so long.” The mountainous parts of Arkansas are chock-full of curvy roads that are great for motorcycling — as long as you’re not trying to get anywhere fast.

Highway 7 is located in west-central Arkansas, and runs from the southern shore of Bull Shoals Lake near Diamond City, Ark., approximately 20 miles north of Harrison, Ark., to its southern tip just over the Louisiana state line. It’s one of the best motorcycle roads in Arkansas, and has been noted in many sports car and motorcycle magazines over the years as one of the top 10 U.S. roads to travel.

Our favorite piece is between Harrison and Hot Springs. Though 7’s curves aren’t as technical as other Ozark roads, the scenery is some of the best the state has to offer.

Beginning  in Harrison, Ark., and heading south is one of two obvious directions to run the route. Heading south, Highway 7 drops down a winding path, passing Mystic Caverns.

Jasper comes up next, and is a great place for a meal or just a little walk around town. Don’t miss Emma’s Museum of Junk, which is a great piece of Americana and an honest antique shop all in one.





bike on highway

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