This 54-mile Arkansas to Missouri Gravel route (with a stop at Whistling Springs Brewery) is brought to you by Kristie Holt from Bentonville, AR.
Riding gravel from Arkansas to Missouri during the Fall is a magical experience. The leaves are changing from red to yellow and the wildlife is abundant. The route took us through tree canopy covered gravel roads and up into the Southwest Missouri Ozarks.
Whistling Springs Brewery, a great place to stop at about mile 30, has a wide selection of beers including gluten-free beers, ciders, and sarsaparillas. If you just want a place to chill out you can sit outside and watch their cute pot-belly pig that wanders around! 🐖
Having friends along for the ride made both the climbs seem easier and the flats even faster.
The brewery is located at the bottom of a half-mile long hill. Its all fun and fast until you realize you have to ride back up after having a carbonated beverage.
There were some dogs on this route. Most of them were friendly, but a couple of them wanted to join the ride and chased us down the road.
Do this ride if you like long, challenging gravel rides with coffee at the start and a brewery stop during the ride. This route takes you through the countryside of Northwest Arkansas and Southern Missouri is especially beautiful in the Fall months.
The route was scouted by Touring the Ozarks, a woman-led bike adventure organization. Check their website for inclusive events that foster confidence and knowledge in adventure-minded bike riders.
This ride’s roads are mostly country gravel roads. The paved roads range from lightly traveled to short sections on a busy road with no shoulder.
Bring enough food and water to last at least 30 miles. The brewery is at the 30 mile mark and you can refill your water and they have complimentary peanuts and popcorn and sell hot dogs and nachos. If you are riding this route outside their normal hours, bring enough food and water for 52 miles. After you get going, the only real public bathroom is at the brewery.
Kristie recommends starting this ride and getting caffeinated at Airship Coffee which is just off SE 5th Street. (Their tag line is “Get Coffee. Go Outside.”- We like their style!)
Kristie founded the community-centric, trendsetting bicycle shop Local Hub Bicycle Company in Dallas, TX. She was able to make a permanent positive impact on the cycling culture in Dallas, and the legacy of what her shop provided to the community will live on through the projects they were able to accomplish and the people they were able to help. She currently works as the Northwest Arkansas Bike Business Innovation Manager at People for Bikes serving as a resource for employers in Northwest Arkansas to implement workplace-based incentive programs that rapidly increase the number of employees who bike for transportation and recreation through programmatic and infrastructure interventions. If you ever visit Bentonville, check out her variety of routes on Ride Spot.