Fall into the Ozarks

(EUREKA SPRINGS, ARKANSAS) — Thousands of bikers flock to Arkansas in the fall for color and colorful events.  Not only does Mother Nature put on a show but so do several Arkansas communities like Fayetteville with their “Bikes, Blues & BBQ”, Harrison’s “Rev. Troll’s Rock-N-Roll Revival” and Hot Springs’ “Hot Springs (HOG) Rally”.  One common element to all Arkansas rallies seems to be a side-trip to Eureka Springs.

“If we have seen one market for our community that is on a steady growth curve, it is motorcycles,” said Jack Moyer, past chairman of the Eureka Springs Tourism Coop.  “Bikers of today, love the Rallies but are also choosing fun destinations with breathtaking scenery, that offer them two or three or more days of great rides from one hub.  Rides which are not only scenic but a thrill to challenge.  Rides with evening rest stops that include a comfortable bed, a cool beverage, a great meal, and yes, even a relaxing spa appointment.”

Realizing that Eureka Springs has become one of those popular hubs, a motorcycle web site eurekaspringsmotorcycleroutes.com was created to be “Eureka Springs motorcycle authority”.  This site has established five rides meeting those aforementioned criteria that offer “867 thrilling miles” with “one great starting point”.  These routes are being debuted on their web site and in a colorful free brochure that can be found throughout Arkansas and adjacent areas.

Web site designer, Rachael Prevatte of Historica, Inc., stated that, “Our routes give bikers an array of challenging Ozark highways with a variety of sights and stops along each route that make putting the kickstand down a treat in itself.”

The carefully chosen routes allow for day-long, partial-day and quick rides.  Length of rides vary from one that is 280 miles or six hours plus to a “sunset ride” that is only 26 miles and can be accomplished in 44 minutes.  Suggested scenic sights and fun stops include Lost Valley, a grazing area for herds of elk; Mystic Caverns; Withrow Springs State Park; Arkansas’ “Grand Canyon”; the “Little Golden Gate” Beaver Bridge; Beaver Dam; three rivers including the Buffalo, Kings and White; Beaver Lake; Roaring River State Park; and Dogwood Canyon.  The last two located just over the state line in Missouri.

“But our research showed us that as important as the routes are, where the bikers overnight is equally as important,” added Prevatte.  “That is why we have partnered with the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa and the 1905 Basin Park Hotel.  Both have great places to eat, sip an adult beverage, get a massage after a hard day’s ride, and slip into a soft bed for a satisfying night’s sleep.”

The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa is a 76-room property that is a proud member of “Historic Hotels of America”.  At the very top of the hotel is Dr. Baker’s Bistro and Sky Bar (the highest point in the county) that offers bistro-style food served up until 11:00 p.m.  The Sky Bar not only offers outside seating with a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding Ozarks dotted by the Christ of the Ozarks but nightly “High Times” at the Sky Bar from 9 – 11PM,  offering of live music, supple snacks and late night food and beverage.  In the Garden Level of the five-story limestone structure is the New Moon Spa and Salon.

“For those wanting to add a unique lifetime memory might consider taking the hotel’s nightly ghost tour,” suggested Prevatte.  “It gives tour attendees an inside-look at what is called ‘America’s most haunted hotel’.”

The downtown “sister” of the Crescent is the 1905 Basin Park Hotel, known as “The Most Fun”, the historic hotel is 61-room, seven story structure which is located in the center of historic Eureka Springs downtown entertainment district.  It offers a place which serves “the best burger in Eureka Springs” with a bird’s eye view of downtown.  The Balcony’s new Copper Biker Bar gives an elbow-to-elbow way to sip a beverage while overlooking all the activity of adjacent Basin Spring Park.  The hotel’s Serenity Spa takes offers a complete menu of spa services including a visit to their Mountainside Sun Deck with hot tub and sauna.  Their Lucky 7 Rooftop Billiards Bar is home to the finest pool tables in Eureka Springs.

“While many trips may be planned around rally dates, no ride in Arkansas is complete without a journey up the Pig Trail and a rest stop in Eureka Springs,” concluded Moyer.  “Eureka is called the ‘extraordinary escape’ for a reason, it is a chance for guests to make this town that time forgot their own and remember it for a lifetime.”

To see the five routes and special overnight biker lodging packages on-line, one should go to eurekaspringsmotorcycleroutes.com .