Eureka Springs Backroads
Route Distance: 134 miles with 571 curves
Gasoline locations: Harrison, Huntsville, Eureka Springs, Berryville, Green Forest, Alpena
Time Frame: 3 hours
Eureka Springs is a beautiful Victorian Village nestled in the Ozark Mountains. The city has a great downtown shopping district and many attractions. The Eureka Springs Backroads Route is designed to take the rider through spectacular mountain scenery, rolling farmland, and quaint little communities. Experience locations and roads like the Pig Trail, Kingston, Race Track Road, and Withrow Springs State Park. Enjoy the elk herds in Boxley Valley, the Elk Education Center in Ponca, and other unique attractions.
From the top of the Crescent Hotel to the bottom of the Pig Trail on Arkansas Highway 23, the Eureka Springs Backroads Route from Harrison, Arkansas, is a memorable route you must experience. This 134 mile (roundtrip) ride has 571 curves to keep you alert, with the estimated time at just under five hours.
Starting from Harrison, head south on Arkansas Hwy 43 all the way to AR Hwy 21 N just south of Ponca. Be sure to allow time to stop at the lookout that you can view back towards Harrison when you reach the top.
Take Arkansas Hwy. 21 five miles south of Ponca. Between Ponca and Boxley you will pass fields on the left which are often full of Arkansas elk that roam the lands of the Buffalo National River. Off to the right is the Lost Valley Trail and camping area. The 2.3 mile trail (roundtrip) is one of the most popular along the 149 mile Buffalo National River, America's first national river.
At the stop sign, turn right towards Kingston. In Kingston, circle the iconic square (maybe twice) to see the sites and then head west on Arkansas Highway 74 to Huntsville. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County and the original home of former Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, who became famous for his role in the Little Rock Central High School integration crisis of 1957. His former home is located high above the town.
While in Huntsville, a great restaurant to enjoy and popular with bikers is Granny's Kitchen. You can indulge in homemade food of all kinds, a great atmosphere and some of the best homemade pie in all of Arkansas!
Turn right on Highway 23. You are now on the upper stretches of the famed Pig Trail heading to Eureka Springs.
What can one say about Eureka Springs that hasn't already been said many times? This quaint, Victorian Village is a special place to the Arkansas Ozarks. A drive down Spring Street on the Historic Loop is something you do not want to miss. The narrow streets remind you of being in a foreign country that adds to the uniqueness of the city. There is too much to do in Eureka Springs to list all of it; you must experience it for yourself.
After you have experienced Eureka Springs, get back on US 62 heading East until you come to Highway 221 (also known as Race Track Road). Turn right and follow the signs to Berryville and Harrison. If time permits, a stop at the Saunder's Museum just off the Berryville Square at 115 E. Madison Ave. might be worth the time. Colonel "Buck" Saunders left his extensive gun collection to the city so that others might enjoy it.
When finished get back on US 62 and head to Harrison. This route will offer numerous climbs and descents with plenty of thrills. Gas is available in Harrison, Ponca, Kingston, Huntsville, Rockhouse, Eureka Springs, Berryville, Green Forest and Alpena.
Directions: You will Start in Harrison and travel Highway 43 South to Highway 21 North just south of Ponca. You will drive through scenic Boxley Valley where the elk herds are visible most days. Many hiking trails are off this route as well. Follow Highway 21 North to Highway 74 West in Kingston. While in Kingston, if you're needing a quick bite, stay on Highway 21 for about 7 more miles and stop by Sugar Booger's for some great BBQ and a cold drink. Highway 74 West will join with Highway 23 North just south of Huntsville. Detour through Withrow Springs State Park and enjoy the short drive through the park. The park road is a straight shot through the park and comes out again on Highway 23 North. Take Highway 23 North, known as the Pig Trail, to Eureka Springs. Follow Highway 23 North until it intersects with Highway 62 East in Eureka Springs. After enjoying Eureka Springs, take Highway 62 East to Rockhouse Road. Rockhouse Road winds through the countryside before intersecting with AR Highway 221, known as Race Track Road. Take Highway 221 South to Berryville where it will meet with Highway 62 East. Follow Highway 62 East back to Harrison by way of Green Forest and Alpena.