take advantage of the riding popularity in the Ozarks, several area groups have developed a riding route and plan to market to motorcyclists throughout the country.
The Harrison Convention & Visitors Bureau, along with several local motorcycle groups, developed the “Ozark Moonshine Run,” a route that covers many of the most scenic locations in the Ozarks and takes in the best “sweepers and twists” the roads have to offer. The route begins and ends in Harrison, Arkansas, taking riders south through the mountains on a 110-mile loop.
“Forever, the area has been known for Scenic Highway 7 and the ‘Pig Trail’ which is Highway 23,” said Terry W. Cook, executive director of the Harrison Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Now we have a new route to offer our tourists traveling to the area – the ‘Ozark Moonshine Run.’ The run is more than 110 miles long and encompasses the best riding roads in the Ozarks if not the state.”
Starting in Harrison, the Ozark Moonshine Run travels south on Scenic Highway 7 to Jasper, Arkansas. Traveling through Jasper, the route follows Highway 374 east to Highway 123 South. The Highway 123 stretch, known for its switchbacks and adventurous stretches, comes out again on Scenic Highway 7. The run continues back north on Scenic Highway 7 to Highway 16 West where the run travels through several small, rural communities. Highway 16 joins Highway 21 and goes north through Boxley Valley, home of the state’s large elk herd. Highway 21 meets with Highway 43 through Ponca and winds its way back to Harrison. The entire route is 110 miles long and takes approximately four to eight hours to complete based on the rate of travel speed.
The Moonshine Run passes many great landmarks along the route, such as the old Dogpatch theme park, the Buffalo National River, Grand Canyon of the Ozarks, Sam’s Throne, Boxley Valley, the Elk Education Center and Gaither Mountain. The route takes travelers past some of the highest points in the Ozarks and through some of the lowest valleys, and along the route are many attractions, trails and swimming holes to visit.
Bob Richards, event chairman for the Dogpatch Biker Bash and treasurer for the motorcycle organization Silent Bonez, said, “For many years the route has been unofficially known as the Moonshine Run. During the prohibition days, many of the roads on the Moonshine Run were used by bootleggers to move the moonshine between their stills and clients. We felt it was time to officially name the route to help our motorcycle friends throughout the country to locate and find the best riding the State of Arkansas has to offer.”
Future plans for the route include working with the highway department to develop signage along the run which will help riders identify the route, development of a riding guide to showcase the Moonshine Run and the other great routes in the area and a promotional campaign to let riders throughout the United States know about the route.
Cook said, “Motorcyclists have for years stumbled upon the many routes through the Ozarks and fallen in love with the quality of our roads and the friendly people of the area. We felt it was time to let the world in on our little secret by developing the Ozark Moonshine Run as part of an ongoing effort to develop the Ozarks into the premiere motorcycle riding destination in the United States.”
For more information, visit www.HarrisonArkansas.org or call 870-741-1789.