Originally Posted by Jet2RV
We are in Eureka Springs, headed to Broken Bow tomorrow with my long bed GMC and 37' fiver. I was planning to take AR 23. Didn't even know it was called the Pig Trail. Thought I'd check the forum to see if there was any info. Glad I did. I guess we'll be going through Fayetteville and Ft. Smith instead. Wish I had my Indian Roadmaster with me. Sounds like fun!
The actually have a Pig Trail Harley Davidson
dealership in Rogers so you can buy one and ride through
More details on the Pig Trails, learned a few things that I didn't even know.
The “Pig Trail” is the name of a winding, mountainous byway between Fayetteville (Washington County) and Ozark (Franklin County), one used for decades by students from the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville and sports fans. A driver following the route travels on State Highway 16 southeast from Fayetteville just past Greasy Creek in Madison County to a junction called Brashears Switch, then turns right on the southbound State Highway 23 to Ozark and the intersection with U.S. Highway 64—some fifty-two miles. The Pig Trail Scenic Byway is a nineteen-mile stretch of this road located in the heart of the Boston Mountains, running through Ozark National Forest and over the Mulberry River. Today’s traveler is more likely to use the Pig Trail for leisure and recreation than for point-to-point transportation.
Possible origins of the name “Pig Trail” are many. Near the junction with the Mulberry River, it was not unusual in times past to see roaming pigs, both feral and domesticated, as Ozark farmers once considered the forest as open range for fattening their shoats and hogs. Whether the road was named for these hogs, its resemblance to a curly pig’s tail, UA’s Razorbacks football team, or some combination of the three remains unclear.
UA students declared “Let’s take the Pig Trail!” as they planned a weekend visit to Little Rock (Pulaski County) or elsewhere in central Arkansas, especially before Interstate 40 was fully opened in 1975. The Pig Trail at the time was an alternate route—narrow, tree shrouded, tiny shouldered, curvy, steep in places, and utterly devoid of franchise eateries, liquor stores, or other stops except for widely spaced “mom and pop” gas stations. The standard route of travel between Fayetteville and Little Rock wound down the mountain on U.S. Highway 71 to Alma (Crawford County), whereupon the eastbound traveler engaged U.S. Highway 64 all the way into the capital city. While these U.S. highways were two-lane roads before Interstate 40 and what is now Interstate 49were completed, they were concrete with wide bridges and roadside amenities. By contrast, Highways 16 and 23 had been paved by 1936, but just barely, with what locals called a “seal job.” That consisted of a gravel bed with bitumen sprayed on top to create a hard surface. “Secondary” was the Arkansas Department of Transportation’s term for such road treatments.
Motorcycle magazines have called attention to the Pig Trail as a fitting excursion for those who want to combine the picturesque and the sublime. Noted Arkansas outdoor photographer Matt Bradley once lay on his stomach in the road, camera ready, awaiting bikers to get the perfect shot of them on the Pig Trail. He succeeded as the motorcycles roared past him, and the photo was published in his book Arkansas: Its Land and People.