400,000 Bikers Expected for Bikes, Blues and BBQ in Northwest Arkansas
More than 400,000 motorcycle enthusiasts from all over Arkansas are expected to converge on the highly popular Bikes, Blues & BBQ motorcycle rally, which has raised more than $1.3 million for charity since its inception in 2000. This year's ride takes place September 21-24 and starts in Fayetteville, Ark., and ends in Eureka Springs.
Three new loops have been added to the route this year, including the number one motorcycle ride in America known as the Pig Trail. Each ride provides bikers lots of switchbacks, hairpin curves and plenty of panoramic views with incredible scenery along the way.
The Peel Ferry loop takes riders north into Missouri; east through highways carved out of limestone and into world-famous Branson; then further east and south into Arkansas. There, along the banks of Bull Shoals Lake, bikes will board Peel Ferry that runs during daylight hours the year-round and is the only existing ferry that plies any Arkansas river or lake. Serpentine highways wind past Bull Shoals southward to U.S. Highways 412 and 62 leading riders back to Eureka Springs. This ride is approximately a 200 mile / 5 hour ride.
The Arkansas Dragon's Tail loop takes riders south and east of Eureka Springs through rolling hills through the Buffalo River National Park, America's only river ever designated as a national park, and the Arkansas Grand Canyon. At the bottom of the loop is the little historical community of Lurton that sits along the old wagon trail that was known as the Chisum Turnpike. On either side coming down or going back up toward Eureka Springs, riders will be passing through Western Grove, Mt. Judea, Ponca and its herds of grazing elk and Howe Hollow valley. Total round trip is 177 miles or approximately four hours of travel time.
The third new loop is called the War Eagle Mill and times out at one hour and 16 minutes with 54 miles being logged to and from Eureka Springs. What makes this short loop so awesome is that it leaves plenty of time to eat, shop or just relax in the rustic charm of the mill itself. War Eagle Mill is one of America's last operating undershot, burrstone gristmills that sits over War Eagle Creek. Here, riders can watch products being made, taste some that has been baked in the mill's Bean Palace restaurant, take plenty of product home or have it shipped. The loop also takes riders in, around and through Hobbs State Park and Conservation Area on 12 thousand acres of pristine Arkansas woodlands.
Other riding loops bikers have a choice to choose from is the Goldwing Highway 21 loop, Beaver Town Bridge loop, and the Jasper loop. No matter which ride you choose to take one thing is for certain expect sweeping vistas of the natural beauty of northwest Arkansas.
For more information about all eight of these loops designed for motorcyclists, go to Eureka Springs Motorcycle Rides.
The ride to Fayetteville from Texarkana is approximately 236 miles north on Hwy 71. The drive will take around 4 hours and 21 minutes depending on traffic and how many times you stop.