January 29, 2014 Edition

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LawCo. motorcyle
route to be featured

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

Through a collaborative effort, Northeast Arkansas has a new motorcycle route to be listed in the top 21 routes in Arkansas.

The Gateway Gap/Rock 'n' Roll Highway route will be featured in the 2014 Arkansas Motorcycling Guide to be delivered in early March.

The booklet will include highlights from the top 21 tours, including maps, travel information, major biking events and more.

"This is the first time that Lawrence County has been listed," Charles Snapp, chair of the Lawrence County Tourism Committee, said.

Rumblin' Around the Ridge, the Randolph County Tourism Association and the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce worked together to plan the route. Henry Boyce assisted with the Jackson County portion of the ride.

The ride takes Highway 67 from Pocahontas to Walnut Ridge and on to Newport. It then goes from Highway 14, across the Black River, to the Ozark Foothills at Batesville. From Batesville the route takes Highway 167 through Ash Flat and Highland and on towards Hardy. The route splits into three different options from there.

The Black River serves as the "gap" between the farmland and the delta, for which The Gateway Gap gets its name. The ride is approximately four hours long and will cover six of the eight counties in the Ozark Gateway Region.

The route was presented in Little Rock last summer and officially made the list in late 2013.

"Tourism is the second largest industry in Arkansas with only agriculture being larger," Snapp said. "The motorcycle industry is the fastest growing attraction in Arkansas."

In addition to the route being listed in the booklet, the Chamber, Down Town Walnut Ridge and the Hotel Rhea have collaborated on a full-page ad to run in the booklet. The Ozark Gateway Tourist Council provided a grant to pay for the ad.

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