GATEWAY TO THE OZARKS 179 MILES • Bus Rte 71; Rtes 86, 76, 112, 37, 90, 43
[ 58 ] 2016 Missouri Motorcycle Guide
going straight. Route 76 becomes Route 112, and you’ll want to follow it all the way to Roaring River State Park, which has more than fifty picnic areas and two covered shelters complete with outdoor grills, picnic tables, and power outlets to recharge phones. Leaving Roaring River, stay on Route 112 for a few short miles until you reach Seligman. In Seligman, take Route 37 north to Washburn, then turn west on Route 90. This stretch of the route should have enough turns and hills to hold your attention all the way through Noel to the junction of Route 43. Take Route 43 north to Loma Linda, where you’ll catch Route 86 for the ride back into Joplin. Plan on staying overnight in a bed-andbreakfast or one of two dozen hotels. Mother Road enthusiasts will want to explore Joplin’s historic past along Route 66. The perfect Joplin experience would be to pair this route with the Route 66 Regatta on page 68 of this motorcycle guide.
COURTESY OF JOPLIN CVB
BIKERS REFER TO THEM as the Rolling Hills of the Ozarks. A geologist teaches that the hills result from the late Paleozoic geological time, when South America collided with North America and the existing deep ocean basin was uplifted to create the scenic Ozark plateau. This Gateway to the Ozarks skirts the borders of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. From Joplin, head south on Business Route 71 to Neosho. If you feel like a game of Nine Ball or a cold beverage, check out Buck’s. For fine dining and an eclectic menu, sit down at Leah’s Borrowed Table. At Neosho, catch Route 86 and ride it through the hills and curves of the Missouri countryside to Wheaton. Just south of Wheaton, you’ll catch Route 76 all the way to Cassville. Check out the Texas-style barbecue at the family-owned, family-run, and family-friendly BBQ Station. At junction Routes 76 and 37, you’ll keep
MISSOURI STATE PARKS
Roaring River State Park