The Arkansas High Country Route is a scenic long-distance cycling route. It was developed by Chuck Campbell of Russellville working with the Adventure Cycling Association, a non-profit organization that promotes bicycle travel and tourism.
The entire route is approximately 1,200 miles (1,930 kilometers) long and consists of a network of paved and gravel roads, as well as some existing trails. The route passes through the beautiful Ozark and Ouachita Mountains, showcasing the region’s natural beauty, diverse landscapes, and charming rural communities.
Cyclists who embark on the Arkansas High Country Route can expect to encounter stunning vistas, dense forests, rolling hills, picturesque rivers, and historic sites along the way. The route takes riders through various points of interest, including state parks, national forests, and quaint towns, offering opportunities for camping, lodging, and dining.
The route provides cyclists with an immersive outdoor adventure, allowing them to experience the natural wonders of Arkansas while challenging themselves on a long-distance cycling journey. It is designed to cater to experienced bicycle tourists.
Before undertaking the route, it is recommended to plan and prepare adequately, considering factors such as weather conditions, road surfaces, available services, and personal fitness levels. Adventure Cycling Association provides detailed maps, route information, and resources to assist cyclists in planning their Arkansas High Country Route adventure but if you really want to do it right, Purchase a copy of Arkansaw – High Country Route Guidebook, by Chuck Campbell because no one knows the route better than the guy who created it.
About the Book
The book breaks down the ride into 20+ sections, most of which are ridable in a day (the longest being 64 miles with the exception of an alternate singletrack route at section 3.5), starting from Little Rock and going clockwise. Chuck’s career as a teacher is evident in his book, as he guides readers through each section by not only describing the ride, but also highlighting the surrounding areas and their notable features. This guide is more than just directions – it’s an introduction to the laid-back culture of Arkansas, presented in Chuck’s charming and down-to-earth style. Here is a random excerpt:
“gnAR. Lots of gnAR. Backwoods gnAR. There are three monster climbs, roads that are often rocky, and one secton that is little more than singletrack. And don’t forget the wet crossing of Calf Creek! The only “cities” on this section are Mt. Judea, Witts Springs, Snowball, and Silver Hill. The combined populations are around 600 souls.” – Section 16
If you are unfamiliar with the term “gnAR”, there is a definition page at the front of the book. Besides the definition page, the book also includes information like bike choice, what to take, and a bit on safety. Chuck’s unique personality is evident throughout the book, and for those of us who are acquainted with him, we appreciate and embrace it wholeheartedly.
There are bicycle quotes throughout to add some context to life on a bike or just in Arkansas, “People who don’t like Arkansas can go to the Devil,” Mattie Ross in the Charles Portis book, True Grit. Arkansaw – High Country Route Guidebook comes spiral bound with instructions on the last page on how to detach the pages to easily take on your ride.
The book can currently be purchased online at the Arkansaw – High Country Route Guidebook website. Whether you intend to tackle the entire route or just a portion of it, this could prove to be an essential item to bring along. We also recommend you get detailed maps and gpx files from the Adventure Cycling Association.
The book may be the best way to ride the Arkansaw High Country Route with Chuck at your side, I don’t believe there is a better way to do it.