Arkansas Pig Trail Hwy 23

Arkansas Pig Trail Hwy 23

Arkansas Pig Trail Hwy 23

Arkansas Pig TrailIf you are approaching the Arkansas Pig Trail Scenic Byway from Interstate 40 begin the ride from the town of Ozark which is about midpoint between Ft. Smith and Little Rock. You will want to exit north on Highway 23 (exit 35) at which point you want to go through the town of White Oak. So this Arkansas motorcycle trip really begins at the intersection of Rte. 352 and Hwy. 23. What appears at first to be a leisurely ride turns into something altogether different when you enter the Ozark National Forest and ride into the world of the Arkansas Pig Trail. This 19 mile run of switchbacks, curves, and elevation changes takes you to the the intersection of Hwy 23 and Hwy 16. Be warned this is not for the feint of heart.  Like nearly every road in Arkansas the conditions are a 4 out 5. Good weather and light traffic is typical for Arkansas state highways.

Some of the most scenic country in the Arkansas Ozarks can be enjoyed with a ride along the Pig Trail Scenic Byway. This 19 mile adventure of Arkansas State Hwy. 23 winds through the picturesque Ozark National Forest. which is part of the Boston Mountains.  As you wind your way along this historic road you will pass scenic mountain views, drop-offs, waterfalls, rock formations,  and the popular Mulberry River.  This Arkansas motorcycle trip like all the other great trips in the state are spectacular in the spring (late March to mid May)  when the wildflowers are in bloom and in autumn (mid to late October) when the foliage can leave you breathless. You can ride another 18 miles to Huntsville for more complete services such as food, gas, and lodging. The ride can be extended northward another 18 miles to the town of Huntsville where there are complete services, food, gas, lodging.

Named for its popularity as a shortcut to Fayetteville for University of Arkansas Razorbacks fans heading to games, the Pig Trail is one of the most historic roads in the Ozarks. Before it was a popular route for Razorbacks’ fans, the Pig Trail was a winding pathway through the valleys and rolling hills of the Ozarks. It existed long before the Civil War and may have originated as an Indian or fur trapper path. French trappers frequented the region during colonial times.

During the Civil War it was part of a busy road connecting Fayetteville in Northwest Arkansas with the town of Ozark on the Arkansas River. The road was heavily used by both regular Union and Confederate troops and guerrilla forces during the war. In April of 1863, Confederate General W.L. Cabell led 900 men north up the Pig Trail from Ozark on an expedition that ended at the Battle of Fayetteville.

It passes through some of the most scenic country in western Arkansas. The section south of the Mulberry River passes two pretty little  waterfalls. Turner Bend is a focal point for people who come to canoe and kayak the beautiful Mulberry. Camping and cabins are available. The spectacular cliffs of White Rock Mountain can also be easily accessed by following the signs from the Pig Trail Scenic Byway.The Arkansas Pig Trail was incorporated as part of the Ozark National Forest when it was established by Presidential Proclamation on March 6, 1908. As the tourism potential of the forest grew and people began flocking to the region in the spring, summer and fall to admire the beautiful mountains, the 19 mile section from just north of Ozark to Brashears was designated a scenic byway.

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