IRON TOWNS 142 MILES • Rtes 8, 19, 49, 21
[ 76 ] 2016 Missouri Motorcycle Guide
Take a break from the road at the scenic viewpoint, right off of Route 21, a few miles before Belleview and Elephant Rocks State Park. Route 21 curves east along the park and then takes a sharp right where it intersects with Route NN. After the turn, you’ll hit Pilot Knob, Ironton, and Arcadia, where the road crosses Route 72. The tri-town area is a great place to stretch your legs, grab a bite, or soak up some history. After Arcadia, Route 21 curves to the west and skirts a few conservation areas and Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park before meeting up with Route 49 and heading north through the middle of the Mark Twain National Forest. Be prepared for long stretches and winding roads through a canopy of trees. Some small towns along the way provide places to gas up. Once you leave the forest, take Route 19 in Cherryville to get back to Steelville. After a long day’s ride navigating the forest, reward yourself with an ice cream cone, a float, or any other tasty treat from the Soda Fountain in Steelville.
THIS LOOP—which takes you along Routes 8, 21, 49, and 19—would make a great sidetrip for the Cuba Route 66 Mural City route on page 26 of this guide. The best parts of this route are the long stretches of beautiful country, the twisting roads of the Mark Twain National Forest, and the rich history of mining. Reconnect with nature and enjoy the scenic rivers, lakes, creeks, and rolling pastures— some of eastern Missouri’s prettiest—while following the twists and turns of this ride. Beginning in Steelville, meander your way east down Route 8 until you reach Potosi. The road goes through downtown Potosi before intersecting with Route 21 where you’ll turn right and head south across Big River. Don’t miss the chance to get a look at some of the beautiful antebellum homes and historic architecture in Potosi. From there, continue along Route 21, passing through Caledonia. A few good places to eat are Caledonia BarBQ Co. and the Music Kitchen.
MISSOURI STATE PARKS
Elephant Rocks State Park