Roaring River Area: Getting There from Northeast Oklahoma

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northernrouteWhether we are headed to Roaring River or Eureka Springs, I always take the faster northern route into the area from Oklahoma, rather than the slow and scenic southern route through Arkansas.  Driving US 62 east towards Eureka Springs can be a miserable drive, especially if you get stuck behind a trailer struggling through the hairpin curves.

From Bartlesville it is one hour to Vinita, another hour to Neosho, and a final hour to Cassville.  So I like to head out by 8 or 9 in the morning so we can lunch at an area restaurant before starting a day hike.

All-Terrain Drive

If you have a four-wheel drive sports vehicle (or a regular car and are feeling brave/stupid) you can take the old river road from Hilltop south of Cassville into Roaring River.  Be careful!  This very rough gravel road washes out and, while it is scenic, you could break an axle if you are not cautious.  This was the route into the area before they built Missouri 112 with its big hill down into Roaring River in the 1930s.  My dad showed me this route and recalled how when he was young his father would drive the car backwards up the big hill on Missouri 112, since only that gear provided the needed torque.  Yikes!


Take Highway F east out of Roaring River to visit the fun resort town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  Beyond the park Highway F has one segment which is like an overgrown rollercoaster at highway speeds. It dead-ends at Highway 86, so you turn right there. You can explore a less developed area of Roaring River under the bridge at Eagle Rock, and there is a campground and marina as you cross Table Rock Lake.  Then turn south off Highway 86 onto Missouri P, which becomes Arkansas 23 and runs right through the heart of Eureka Springs.

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