Wednesday, July 20, 2016

War Eagle to Lake Wedington Route

155 Miles
 3h 59min 
Ride Map >

This route could easily be cut in half if one were to travel down I-49, however, if you have a day to indulge it's a worthy ride. The route could be called "Roaring Bridges" due to the fact that it consists of two awesome bridges, War Eagle Mill and the Little Golden Gate aka Beaver Bridge, as well as two wildlife attractions; Turpentine Creek for wild cats, and Wild Wilderness Drive-thru Safari. There are far too many interesting places to stop on this route to hope to achieve them in one day, but having a wide selection to choose from makes the route one you could travel many times, enjoying different stops each time.

You'll start out at Dickson Street and head east on 265 through quaint Arkansas small towns, meandering past ranches and horse farms. Once you take the jog on 412 and get on 303 N, look for the rustic covered bridge on the left side of the road.  Continue north to War Eagle Mill, being sure to have a gander at the incredible scenic overlook with a view of the river, meadows, and the mill in the background.  Upon arriving you'll enjoy seeing and riding over the historic War Eagle Mill bridge. Be sure to stop at the mill and at the very least take a walk through. (We have a habit of collecting a spackleware dish each time we pass through, and a jar of jalapeno jam). The cafe on the top floor is outstanding, so if you're ready for a meal you won't regret taking it there. Old fashioned southern cooking at its finest.

From there you'll continue north, where you'll enjoy the beautiful drive and smooth, velvet highways through Hobbs State Park. Once you leave the state park, you'll head north on HWY 23, also known as the Pig Trail. You'll pass by Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge along this highway as you make your way north to the beautiful Victorian village of Eureka Springs.  Here, you'll find a huge variety of shops, restaurants and diversions. If you plan to hang out, you might visit this website for tips on places to go, things to do and where to eat.

North of Eureka Springs you'll cross the Beaver Bridge, affectionately called the Little Golden Gate Bridge by most locals. It is the last suspension bridge of its type in the state. Built in 1949, the beautiful old bridge is 554 feet long and only 11 feet wide. Because it is so narrow, traffic can only move one way at a time across the span. There is a good deal of history recorded on this website about the bridge:

After crossing the bridge, you'll head south on HWY 62 through Rogers, where you'll be passing by Pig Trail Harley-Davidson (2409 West Hudson Road, Rogers) and the Rockin' Pig Saloon.  You'll continue west on this road, which become HWY 102 after you go under the I-49 overpass, until you reach the small town of Decatur.  Here, you'll head south on 59 until reaching Siloam Springs, home to the Cherokee Casino, which boasts an outstanding buffet!

The final leg of the trip takes you south from Siloam Springs on HWY 16, a beautiful rural drive heading into state forest and Lake Wedington.  Upon reaching the lake, you'll find three options to pull over, the recreation area, campground in the middle, and small parking area at the furthest east end.  From there it's beautiful twisties and quiet roads all the way back in to Fayetteville.

Recommended places to eat:

War Eagle Mill
11045 War Eagle Road, Rogers
Breakfast: Saturday & Sunday from 8:30am – 10:30am
Lunch: Every Day from 10:30am – 4pm
Tea Time: Every Day from 4pm – 5pm with Cobbler and Ice Cream 

Cathouse Grill 
82 Armstrong St., Eureka Springs, AR

Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse
2883 Highway 23 N, Eureka Springs
Open W - Su at 5pm

Rockin' Pig Saloon
2407 W. Hudson Road, Rogers
Monday - Saturday 11am - 4pm

Cherokee Casino River Cane Buffet
2416 Highway 412, W. Siloam Springs, OK

11am - 10pm

Choose your stops:

War Eagle Mill
Hobbs State Park
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
Eureka Springs
Beaver Bridge aka Little Golden Gate Bridge
Pea Ridge National Military Park
Pig Trail Harley-Davidson
Wild Wilderness Drive-thru Safari
Cherokee Casino
Lake Wedington 

Key Cities
  • Fayetteville 
  • War Eagle Mill
  • Hobbs State Park
  • Eureka Springs 
  • Beaver
  • Gateway 
  • Pea Ridge
  • Rogers
  • Decatur 
  • Siloam Springs
  • Lake Wedington 
  • Fayetteville 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Art's Place

By Joe Giles

Obviously, we all love when folks show up in Northwest Arkansas for Bikes, Blues, and BBQ, but the Ozarks has a lot to offer as a destination for riders throughout much of the year. And one of the best things about this part of the country is the food. Now when we’re on the road, we stop at the fast food places as much as anyone.  BUT, you can’t beat locally owned, unique spots for good food and interesting times.

So, let’s talk about my favorite burger joint in the world. On North College Avenue in Fayetteville sits an iconic Fayetteville establishment, Arts Place. It’s a little dark inside, and sometimes it’s a little smoky.  Further, depending on the time of day and whether they’ve had a chance to sweep the floor, you may very well walk across a surface replete with peanut hulls. Taking up a large part of floor space are four pretty good pool tables. Got the picture? You won’t find any posh food (or people) there, just honest sandwiches, fries, and cold drinks. And it’s all wonderful food. Among the locals, it’s generally accepted that Art’s has some of the best burgers in this part of the country. (I personally think they are the best, hands down, but that’s a matter of personal taste.) The burgers are large, well-seasoned, and have the perfect “grease quotient”. If you are a burger fan, you know exactly what that means. Everything is reasonably priced. Burger, fires, ice cold long-neck for less than $10. You can’t beat that.

Visit Art's Place on Facebook >>
Of course, in a place like this, you will always meet some of the local characters and that makes Art’s even more attractive to us who spend time on the road. Art’s Place is located at 2530 North College Avenue, Fayetteville for those of you who do the GPS thing. If you come on a nice day, you’ll notice a proliferation of bikes in the parking lot, both in the front and out back. After all, we know good food when we see it. As always, the places and businesses about which I write in this space aren’t necessarily associated with the rally; they are some of my personal favorites and I want to share them with you.