AR Hwy 103 from Clarksville to Oark + ADD NEW ROUTE
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From Interstate 40, take any exit to the heart of downtown Clarksville. 103 starts where it intersects Main Street (US 64) near the Johnson County Courthouse. Take 103 North out of town and follow it all the way to Oark.
Clarksville is a very old town by Arkansas standards. The old downtown is well-preserved. Hwy 103 starts downtown and heads north past a small college and out of town. You'll ride past timber land and family cattle farms. The pastures are beautiful most of the year.
The road crosses into the Ozark National Forest 12 miles out of town and that's where the road gets interesting. The road climbs from 800 to 2,000 feet in about 3 miles. This stretch includes some 1st gear switchback curves. The road reaches the mountaintop and gives you a break for a couple of miles before making a really twisty and steep run down the north side of the mountain. The road then crosses the Mulberry river a mile before reaching your final destination in Oark. The General Store at Oark and its famous food is well-documented. You've gotta stop and enjoy.
From Oark you can take Hwy 215 west to Hwy 23. You might be tempted to try and head east to Hwy 21. You can do that, but you'd better be riding a dual sport. The road turns into gravel at Catalpa and it's pretty rough with some washboard surfaced hairpin curves.
If you're riding the Pig Trail south, a good alternative from going all the way to Ozark is to take Hwy 215 from just north of Cass east to Ozark, take a break and then take Hwy 103 south to Clarksville.
Addition from Gorilla Grunts in Apr 2018: "Cove Creek runs beside a good portion of the beginning and there are a couple of nice places to pull over and enjoy the valley below. However, you won't want to pull over on your first trip, you'll be too busy trying to squeeze around those tight corners."
The surface is nice and smooth. The curves are well-engineered and the surface is fairly new and smooth. The traffic thins out a lot before you hit the mountains.
Addition from Gorilla Grunts in Apr 2018: "This is a standard country highway; no ruts or giant potholes. The beginning of the trip is fairly peaceful with a few bends. However the twisting climb to the top will make you glad that you own a motorcycle."
There are a couple of country stores before you get to the mountains. The Oark General Store has great pie and greasy burgers. Buy gas in Clarksville.
Addition from Gorilla Grunts in Apr 2018: "The only real amenity is at the end of the ride. You will find yourself at the Oark General Store. This famous little hovel will allow you to fill your bike and your belly. No one has ever left this place hungry!"
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