2016-07-21The Ouachitas are true mountains in that they are uplifted folds between continental plates. Interestingly, unlike most other ranges in North America, the Ouachitas run east-west instead of north-south. The majority of the Ouachitas are located in Arkansas, with a portion in eastern Oklahoma.
This is one of the best rides in Arkansas and includes the nationally recognized Talimena National Scenic Byway. This gorgeous stretch of pavement is beautiful any time of year, but has garnered its reputation based on flaming autumn foliage. Riders may enter anywhere along the loop they find convenient, but it’s best started at Mena, taking AR 88 northwest out of town. The road quickly snakes its way up the mountain rising out of the valley where Mena sits at 1,110 feet. The highway tops out on Rich Mountain at 2,681 feet. The elevation change consists of challenging, tight curves.
Atop Rich Mountain, AR 88 passes Queen Wilhelmina State Park, which offers spectacular views from its lofty setting. Park facilities, include a large lodge, campsites and hiking trails.
Courtesy of Arkansas Motorcycling