Top Tips for Motorcycling State Route 21 in Arkansas
At just under 100 miles, State Route 21 is one of the most enjoyable rides that Arkansas has to offer motorcyclists.
Beginning life on the south end in either Clarksville or Berryville, riders will travel north until they hit the Missouri state line. With switchbacks, tight corners, beautiful scenery and a clean, natural environment, riders will find themselves closer to nature than anywhere else in the state.
While State Route 21 is a popular travel system, it's never too crowded to enjoy. Whether you're local or simply passing through, or planning an epic road trip to take in the highlights and scenery, State Route 21 has something for riders to experience time and time again.
Riding the Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway
While the entire length of State Route 21 is easily ride-able in a single afternoon, riders should focus their attention to the Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway. At just over 35 miles, this stretch of SR-21 offers riders both a white-knuckle ride and beautiful scenery over the state's most recognizable natural features. Sweeping corners, death-defying drop offs and gorgeous backdrops provide the Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway journey from start to finish. Because the wildlife in this area is so abundant, riders should be cautious of animals entering and exiting the highway at all times. But don't let that deter you from opening the throttle and dragging those knees!
From highway 16 in Newton County to U.S. 62 in Carroll County, State Route 21 intersects with many important highway systems throughout its 99 miles. Riders can choose to follow 21 through its entire journey – and it's very much encouraged – or they can opt to choose a more popular route, such as U.S. 62, and continue east to New York or west to Texas. Whichever path is chosen, State Route 21 helps motorcyclists find more fun and exciting roads for their adrenaline needs.
What to Wear
Proper attire for a motorcycle outing can be as difficult as choosing the right tires for your whip. If you choose the wrong gear or equipment, it could greatly impact the rest of your journey. Of course, it really does not to be that hard of a decision, as a flexible but snug jacket can make your ride that much more enjoyable. For a region such as the Ozarks, River Road makes a great line of vests and leather jackets that fit comfortably and allow riders to breathe, especially when riding your bike with a passenger, as it will lessen the heat and numb feeling after hours of driving. Of course, riders may choose to wear something a bit heavier and weatherproof during the Fall and Winter months, and Icon's Patrol lends itself nicely to the task at hand.
Where to Stay
There are plenty of campgrounds along State Route 21 if you so wish to connect with nature in a personal way, but other lodging options are available if you desire. The great thing about State Route 21 is that it truly has something for everybody, no matter the budget or recreational preference.
Check the Weather Forecast Before Departing
Before heading out, though, you should check the local area for forecast, traffic details and keep important things along with you in your saddlebags. You wouldn't want to suit up for a brisk ride through the Ozarks if rain is guaranteed to stand in your way, because that area gets really wet!