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Old 09-27-2018, 09:42 AM   #1
organ donor
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motorcycle road trip planner app and Arkansas advice

Hey guys and gals,
Is there any trip planner apps that you can recommend that can be put on my phone and be used like gps, but keeps me off of the slab and on the twistiest and most scenic roads between points "A" and "B". Normally I would sit down and plan my route out old school and with...gasp....a paper map, but I see a window of opportunity to try and get a long weekend trip down to Arkansas and I just don't have a lot of time for planning. I'd love to put in my start point and my finish area and just have it take me to the twisiest roads between those two places. Most just want to take you the most direct route instead. My first trip to the area by the way. To give you an example of how unprepared I am I plan on stopping at REI in St. Louis on my way down to buy a tent and blanket and hope I can find an open campground that has space to pitch a tent.

Anyone know if I'll be able to find an open campground with available space or should I try and call ahead now and then plan my trip around that. My plan right now is to just wing it and see where I am in Arkansas when it's time to wind down and then try to find a campground close enough by, as opposed to setting the destination now and planning my trip around getting there in time.

I'm planning on just taking the most direct route to St. Louis and then taking the scenic routes from St. louis to Arkansas. Which brings me to my next question, where is the best place to base camp? I'm going to ride down Friday and maybe have a couple hours of riding before time for supper and then ride all day Saturday and then get up Sunday maybe do a couple more passes and then ride home.

Any input or advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:04 AM   #2
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I've looked at all kinds of route planning apps and software and websites. None that I've found are capable of doing what you are asking. I think your best bet is to ask folks that have been there, or, if you can get one, a Butler map of the area you are going. This is the one you want: https://www.butlermaps.com/motorcycl...ps/ozarks-map/

The Butler maps show all the good roads with different colors.

Now as for Arkansas, let us know about how far you want to ride per day and we'll set you up with some great routes.

If I was doing what you are doing, I'd stay in the campground near Jasper. It's called Dogwood Springs. It's right on 7 north of town. Near gas stations and food. Literally in the heart of the twisty road country. You can go any direction from there and go many miles on great roads. In the couple of days you have, you cannot exhaust what's available in the area.

If that works, let us know, and we'll give you some routes.

Also, get in touch with glory racing. He'll probably show up here soon. He's local and if he's in a riding mood, may show you around a bit.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:38 AM   #3
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Yes, staying near gas and food is a smart idea. Glad you mentioned that. I want to ride all day since Saturday will really be my only real day to ride the area. I'm on motorcycle roads.com and just trying to piece meal some routes together. Looks like I can bring a route out of st louis that will drop me down into Mark Twain national forest and about half way through catch 32 over to Salem Missouri and from there piece meal a couple more routes down into Arkansas.

Last edited by organ donor; 09-27-2018 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:03 AM   #4
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You should be able to find tent camping anywhere along the Buffalo River that would put you in the middle of the good riding areas. Those campgrounds would typically be busiest spring and early summer during floating season. Google [buffalo river camping] for available options. Buffalo Point Campground, in the Buffalo National River Park, which is south of Yellville and east of Hwy 341, would be suggested campground to checkout.

https://www.nps.gov/buff/planyourvis...campground.htm

But for not much more than the cost of a tent and campground fee, you could probably get a hotel/motel room. Maybe checkout the Riverview Motel in Jasper here: http://www.riverviewmotelandcanoe.com/

If you are coming from St. Louis to north Arkansas, I would suggest you hit every road possible in the Mark Twain National Forest in southern MO and end up on MO Hwy 125 at Chadwick, MO (east of Ozark, MO) and then continue south crossing Bull Shoals Lake via ferry to Peel, AR.

Here is an example route I quickly put together from St. Louis to Buffalo Point:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/St.+...36.0817954!3e0

Don't miss AR roads: Hwy 341 (Push Mountain Road) from Norfork to Hwy 14 near Big Flat and Hwy 123 from Mt. Judea to Hwy 7 near Sand Gap
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:21 AM   #5
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Just picking Buffalo Point as a starting point, here is the route to ride Hwy 341 - this road you want to ride down and then back. Instead of riding all the way to Norfork, you could turn around somewhere before Lone Rock.
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:29 AM   #6
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Here is a loop that takes you over all of Hwy 123 and some good bits of Hwy 21, 16, and 7:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Vall...36.0817954!3e0

You should be able to do both of these rides in a day.
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:37 AM   #7
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Keep in mind that what you plan on paper, won’t move as fast once you are on our roads. With only having Saturday as your main day, I’d say put MO125 & AR341 as your priority targets and don’t try too hard to work the stuff that is west of US65 into your plans. 300 miles on Ozarks roads is not comparable to slabbing 300. Also bring a reserve of cash for fuel, some stations have sketchy internet service and operate on a cash-only basis.

I’d connect with you but I just got back into town and am preparing to head back out again so have to take care of some business.

I don’t like auto-calculating GPS apps or machines, as they are squirrely in this area. I use Galileo Pro on the iPhone. I lay out routes on Mappite.org and transfer that to the app. The app is basically an “electronic paper map”. It does not route you or try to recalculate what you import. So you end up with a highlighted road to follow, or not follow. If you go off route, you will just have to navigate back to it or go wherever, lol. But using an app like this, it’s not any help unless you already have a plan set up, it just keeps you “on plan”. ��
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:45 AM   #8
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Here is one of our favorite routes: Jasper to Oark. (get buttermilk pie at the Oark General Store) https://goo.gl/maps/gQWBTacxHjG2

Here's another one of our favorites, which is an expansion of Arkie's Push Mountain route: https://goo.gl/maps/nKszH9PwnZo

And another one: https://goo.gl/maps/jA4yG25XE8T2

All good stuff.

General notes:

- On 123 south of Mt Judea, there are some switchbacks. When it says 10mph, take heed. After you get to the top of the mountain, there are 3 more tight corners, marked 15mph. Take heed. At least one of them is not marked.

- On 103 south of 215 and Oark, and on 23 north of the 215 junction, there are switchbacks. 10-15mph.

- Good places to eat: Roma Cafe in Harrison. Oark General Store. Heidi's Ugly Cakes in Norfork. Angler's in Allison.
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Old 09-27-2018, 12:42 PM   #9
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Dang fellas, thanks. Now as long as I have internet someplace I can pull these up and link over, much appreciated.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:07 PM   #10
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Dang fellas, thanks. Now as long as I have internet someplace I can pull these up and link over, much appreciated.
Are you using an iPhone? If so, just open this thread (while connected to the internet) and leave it open. As long as you don’t close it or shut the phone down, the page images will still remain. No matter what phone you do have, most navigation apps do not require internet or data service. Phone GPS is totally independent of cell service.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:35 PM   #11
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Phone GPS is totally independent of cell service.
Without cell service you won't get any map data unless you download the areas ahead of time. I know you can do this on the iphone with google maps.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:38 PM   #12
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Without cell service you won't get any map data unless you download the areas ahead of time. I know you can do this on the iphone with google maps.
I too have done this and it works great, really helpful in “dead” zones.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:41 PM   #13
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I do have an I-phone just not very tech savvy.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:50 PM   #14
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I do have an I-phone just not very tech savvy.
It's easy.

Click on the options icon in Google Maps in the upper left.

Select Offline Maps




Select "Custom"





Pick the area you want to download, and bingo!

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Old 09-27-2018, 01:51 PM   #15
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Without cell service you won't get any map data unless you download the areas ahead of time. I know you can do this on the iphone with google maps.
Most decent smartphone apps have a map database, no data or cell service is required. I had a spare phone for awhile that wouldn’t even connect to a service provider, used it solely as a GPS.
But yeah, I did say that he could just connect to the internet and open this page.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:55 PM   #16
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Since Arkie was making him some routes in Gmaps I just figured it would be helpful to download them ahead of time.
Google maps doesn't store maps locally unless you download them yourself.
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:36 PM   #17
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Meh. Just get yourself lost, and have fun exploring. Beautiful area.
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Old 09-27-2018, 06:10 PM   #18
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Meh. Just get yourself lost, and have fun exploring. Beautiful area.
This. Anywhere is great, some more technical. All will wear you out and eat tires. Push Mtn. 341 is littered with gravel in most corners now, 14 getting there is good.
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:33 PM   #19
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.... Push Mtn. 341 is littered with gravel in most corners now, 14 getting there is good.
This still a problem? I haven't been back to Push since June.
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Old 09-28-2018, 05:55 AM   #20
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I use both an automotive Garmin and an android phone with Google maps.

With the Garmin I can create some interesting routes in BaseCamp and then download it into the Garmin. It's a pain to list all the waypoints and sometimes the nav freaks out and auto picks alternate turns but overall it works. The best part of the Garmin is that you can see gas station locations and distances at a glance with the map up.

Using the phone I turn off highways and toll ways and let the app create the route. Most of the time it's very close to the preplanned route on Garmin. I have a phone that receives cell signals from US Cellular, Sprint and T-Mobile so I'm rarely out of cell range. However, it does help to download the offline map to the phone. What I don't like about the phone app is that you have to switch screens to find gas stations. The same applies to Waze.

Now the best part is that even with the two GPS devices I like getting lost and then using them to find the way back or to the destination.
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