Bike Trails of N. Central Arkansas Ozarks
Riding the Ozarks can be exciting and challenging. Forested trails offer differing degrees of difficulty, and the paved roads are steep and twisty. Several intense road trips run from Harrison to other towns in the region -- often strenuous, but absolutely breathtaking!
Harrison Area Bike Tours
There are dozens of short bike trails in and around Harrison, AR. Check with the local bike shops for ideas. But if you're ready to really roll, take a crack at one of these.
Mt. Hershey Loop Excellent beginner's ride on dirt and gravel roads with a short portion on pavement on AR 123. One rough patch is the narrow double track descent from the south river road to Mt. Hershey ford. For more difficult fun, try some of the many double track leading off the main route. The trail is located 25 miles SE of Harrison.
Harrison to Russellville 84-mile ride, starts on Scenic Hwy 7 South and climbs a 5-7% for nearly two miles until it reached the scenic point at "The Grand Canyon of the Ozarks." The route is like grandpa's old story about walking to school uphill both ways. From Jasper to Russellville is about 65 miles, and the road seems to go up and up with only a few downhills. Make it to Interstate 40, and you've reached Russellville.
Harrison to Mountain Home Two routes give you the choice of a long or short ride: one is 98 miles, the other 49.
For the longer ride, take AR Hwy 7 N. to AR Hwy 14 E and head to AR 125. 125 takes you along the south side of Bull Shoals Lake until Peel's Ferry. Take the free ferry across the lake and when you disembark, you're in MO. Turn right and ride 26 more miles on Hwy 125.At the junction with US 160 head East until you reach AR Hwy 5 S, and take it into Mountain Home, AR. The road just ends at the Lake. Hop on the free ferry.
The shorter route leaves Harrison on Hwy 65 S. and travels 5 miles to the intersection of US Hwy 62. Take 62 through Yellville, Cotter and Gassville, and end at Mountain Home.
Jasper Disaster Whoever named this route wasn't being funny. It's a very popular motorcycle route, but bicycle riders who love a challenge will also enjoy it. If you leave Harrison and travel Scenic 7 S to Jasper (18 miles) and then take Hwy 74 W to Boxely where you turn right on AR 43 to return to Harrision, you'll understand how it got its name. Steep and strenuous, it's still the most beautiful road ride in the Ozarks, and worth the effort.
Bull Shoals Area Bike Trails
Oakridge Mountain Bike Trail is a multi-use trail for hikers and mountain bikers and offers access to more remote areas of Bull Shoals-White River State Park. The trail, which traverses the oak-hickory upland crosses creeks, dirt roads and meadows. Long downhills, strenuous uphill rides. Control the difficulty of your experience by choosing the direction in which you ride this 3-mile loop trail. Rental bikes available at the Camper Registration Center in the park. Bring your helmet.
Mountain Home Area Biking Trails
Pigeon Creek Park on Lake Norfork is home to what is one of the premier trail systems in the Ozarks. Twenty miles along the lake make up this "stacked loop" trail system, with trails varying in length and difficulty, accommodating bicyclists of all skill levels. The trails cut through deep ravines, pine glades, and along a creek, and afford views of the remains of old homesteads and lots of wildlife and summer butterflies. Located on Hwy 21 N.
Robinson Point Trail is a 3.4 mile loop trail located 9 miles east of Mountain Home on Lake Norfork. Scenic views and rated moderate difficulty. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round; the end of the trail is a short loop atop Robinson Point, a high bluff overlooking one of the largest sections of the lake.
Buffalo River Area Bike Trails
This is quite possibly the most beautiful section of the Arkansas Ozarks. There are quite a few trails and back roads that would be fine to ride, but here are some of the most highly rated mountain bike trails in the area. Most of the hiking trails are closed to bikes, but there are many double-track trails set aside for mountain bikers.
Erbie Loop A 20-mile loop for cyclists of all skill levels. A short section of trail runs on paved AR 7, and then heads onto rough and rocky seldom-used four-wheel-drive tracks. Further on, the loop is maintained dirt and gravel roads. The trail is located 5 miles north of Jasper on AR 7.
Snowball Loop A good beginners ride, the 19 mile loop covers 3 paved miles, 12 miles of gravel road and 4 miles of rough, scenic four-wheel-drive road. The gravel road runs through open farm country and offers views of the Point Peter and other formations of the Boston Mtns. The trail is located 12 miles northwest of Marshall.
Upper Buffalo Wilderness Loop Not a technically difficult 37-mile ride, but there are a few rough and rocky sections and some steep climbs --helps to be in good condition. The trail is located near Boxley, just south of the junction of AR 21 and AR 74.
Woolum Ford-Richland Creek Tour Ride this 19 mile trail pint-to-point between Richland Creek Campground in the Ozark National Forest and the Woolum Ford on the Buffalo, or take the long way around the 40-mile loop. You'll see the best of North Central Arkansas landscape--high mountains, deep farm valleys, and across the Buffalo. It's all on roads and not technical, but you'll need to be in good shape for the long climbs. The descents and scenery are worth it. The trail is located 30 miles southeast of Harrison.
Blanchard Springs Area Bike Trails
The Syllamo (also called the Sylamore) Trail is a 50-mile series of interconnecting loops, much of it single-track. Difficulty varies from easy to difficult. Trail loops can be accessed from four different trailheads. The Syllamo Trailhead is on the east side of AR 5, 10.2 miles north of Mountain View. There are three secondary trailheads on Green Mountain Road (gravel). The White River Bluff Trailhead is 1.3 miles up Green Mountain Road from AR 5. The Scrappy Mountain Trailhead is 3.8 miles from AR 5. The Bad Branch Loop is 5.8 miles from AR 5. Green Mountain Road is the first gravel road to the west , 0.5 miles north of Jack's Fishing Resort on AR Hwy. 5 North.