Challenging scenic roads and mountain trails
Seasoned bikers will enjoy the demanding road and mountain biking experiences available in the Ozark Mountain Region. Scenic byway trips of varying lengths offer challenging road biking excursions, and Ozark mountain trails confront bikers with hills, dips and twists. Bike rental and repair services are available from several Ozark Mountain Region outfitters and shops.
For Mountain Bikers
In the Buffalo National Forest, roads that were once used to reach homesteads now serve as bike trails. Together with scenic Highway 7, these mountain trails make for a beautiful biking adventure.
For Road Bikers
Arkansas is known for its excellent road biking tours. Several scenic bike routes cross through the Ozark Mountain Region and are rated difficult to very difficult. Historic sites, attractions and mountain towns along the routes offer plenty of opportunity for rest and recreation.
Mountain Trails and Road Trips
To help you plan your biking adventure, we have provided descriptions of mountain trails and popular road trips in the Ozark Mountain Region. For more biking information click on Biking the Ozarks.
The Ozark Mountain Bicycle Trail - The Ozark Mountain Bicycle Trail, still under development, runs about 40 miles through the Buffalo National River area.
Starting at Forest Road 1205, the ride begins with beautiful waterfalls along Falling Water Creek. The trail passes by Richland Creek Campground and climbs up Horn Mountain. From the summit, the trail descends to Richland Creek Valley and the little town of Snowball. From Snowball the trail heads into the scenic Buffalo National River area ending at County Road 39.
NOTE: The trail is still under development and not completely marked. Bikes are available for rent at various outfitters. For information, contact: Searcy County Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 836, Marshall, AR 72650 (870)448-5788.
Backwoods Ozark Tour - This 58 mile Backwoods Ozark Tour has been rated "Very Difficult" by Arkansas Parks and Tourism.
To embark on this journey, leave from Jasper on Ark. 74 to Boxley; turn left on Ark. 21 to Ark. 16; left on Ark. 16 to Ark. 7. There are two extremely difficult climbs out of Jasper and Boxley; The last 3 miles is downhill to Jasper; refreshments available at Swain, Deer and Jasper; traffic is heaviest on Ark. 7.
Mountain View to Mountain Home Bike Tour - This road tour with its final destination in the Ozark Mountain Region Mountain Home covers 60.5 miles, plus 14 miles to the Bull Shoals State Park campground. The tour is rated "Difficult."
Take Ark. 5 north from Mountain View all the way to Calico Rock. The seven miles from Mountain View to Allison is generally downhill. After Allison, Ark. 5 enters the Sylamore District of the Ozark National Forest and stays within the Forest almost all the way to Calico Rock. This section of Ark. 5 is classified as a National Forest Scenic Byway. It runs along the White River valley and is generally level with a few easy climbs.
As Ark. 5 approaches Calico Rock, the bluffs for which the community was named come into view. As you cross the White River, you enter Calico Rock's beautiful, historic downtown Stay on Ark. 5 northwest out of Calico Rock all the way to Mountain Home. This road carries a good deal of traffic; however, it is predominantly tourist traffic, rather than commercial traffic. You'll be generally climbing from Calico Rock all the way to Mountain Home -- again, without any extremely difficult hills.
This section of Ark. 5 also follows the White River valley, offering beautiful scenery and enjoyable activities. Two interesting diversions are the Wolfe House in the community of Norfork and the Federal Fish Hatchery at the base of Norfork Lake dam. Mountain Home offers excellent stores, restaurants and motels. The communities of Lakeview and Bull Shoals just west of Mountain Home also offer several motel or campground options. There are a number of nearby campgrounds on Bull Shoals Lake and a great campground at Bull Shoals State Park, either right on the bank of the White River or on the lakeshore. Gaston's White River Resort, a world class trout fishing resort offering a great restaurant and a variety of lodging, is right on the river just below the state park. The community of Bull Shoals also offers a number of motel, resort and restaurant opportunities. Bull Shoals State Park lies 14 miles west of Mountain Home on Ark. 178.
The Arkansas Bicycle Tour - This two week bicycle tour through Arkansas includes the Mountain View to Mountain Home tour described above. The Arkansas Bicycle Tour makes a loop from Little Rock north through Heber Springs, Mountain View, Mountain Home, Harrison and south through Russellville and Hot Springs. Estimated to take up to two weeks, the tour is outlined in the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism's booklet, "Bicycle Arkansas," which is available by calling (501) 682-1301 or by writing Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Outdoor Recreation Grants Section, One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201.