Originally Posted by 335bhs
All good suggestions on places to visit in Arkansas. Take some advice on a couple day trips from an Arkansas motorcyclist that travels the Ozarks almost every weekend. If you are staying at Fort Smith State Park then you cannot miss Oark, Arkansas which boasts the longest continuously operating business in Arkansas. The Oark general store is a great destination place with great food and atmosphere. They may have the best pies you will ever eat. Between Fort Smith and Branson is the Buffalo National River, specifically Boxely Valley near Ponca, Arkansas. In October you are likely to see a herd of Elk along the Buffalo River in Ponca. This is the most beautiful spot in Arkansas (in my opinion). On your way out of the valley stop at Low Gap Cafe between Ponca and Jasper for some French cuisine. An ex dude ranch chef from the area opened this gourmet resturant a couple of years ago, another cannot miss destination.
The Oark general store is extremely unique, and as pointed out is the oldest eating establishment in Arkansas. My mom and oldest sister both went to the Oark school right there.
However, anyone who is going to be at Oark (especially on 2 wheelers, but 4 wheel too), need to make sure to travel the Pig Trail and stop at Turner Bend store. They have all kind of neat souvenirs and patches for all the cycle rides and scenic highways around the area.
Turner Bend Store & Outfitter - Turner Bend
This is also a good website to help. and has the side trip to Oark built into the maps. You can just travel as much or as less as you want of the Pig Trail.
Pig Trail Scenic Byway - Top Motorcycle Roads - Side Trip to Oark, Arkansas
This was taken of my son on our last ride there:
I actually like the Arkansas Dragons Tail (and they have patches, pins, for it at Turners Bend store. The Tail is about 15-20 miles of twistys and scenic driving.
If you have 15 minutes to wet your appetite, here is a youtube video (but not the whole ride, nor my video) of it. The closer to Mt Judea you get, the better the scenery gets. You run into several switchbacks on your descent, which you can skip to the 10 minute mark to start seeing. Notice all the curvy road signs though. I think we encountered two vehicles the whole time we were on it. Man, now I've hyped myself up into trying to make another trip soon.