Peel’s Ferry – Because When Do You Get to Ride a Ferry?
To the northeast of Harrison, almost on the Arkansas/Missouri border, lies the town (um, town may be an exaggeration – perhaps community is a better descriptive) of Peel, Arkansas. Just a few miles to the north of Peel on Hwy 125 is Peel’s Ferry. There are a couple of unique things about the ferry. First, when we were there, it was operated by just two men, which is probably the case on any given day. Second, the ride is completely free, as opposed to the $24 fee that was charged for the only other ferry ride I ever took. Yep, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department offers this joy to any rider or driver at absolutely no cost.
We crossed the lake and then came immediately back on the return trip. Both we and a couple of the cars simply wished to ride over and back. The ferry crew graciously let us turn the bikes around on the ferry rather than having to drive off and return as the cars were instructed. The trip itself takes about 20 minutes each way with a brief unloading and loading period between trips. Frankly, we enjoyed it so much that it seemed much shorter than the 20 minutes.
It appeared to me that the ferry accommodates up to 9 cars at a time in its three traffic lanes, though an independent article I read put the total at 6. At any rate, there’s plenty of room for bikes and bikers are more than welcome.
Of course, like many of the best places in the Ozarks, one of the best features of Peel’s Ferry is the route you take to get there. From Harrison, it’s north on the legendary Hwy 7, a few miles on one of Arkansas’s unpublicized gems – Hwy 14, and then north on 125 to Bull Shoals Lake, home of the ferry. Coming south from Missouri, it’s still Hwy 125. For those coming to Bikes Blues and BBQ® from the north, I’d recommend a trip down U.S. 65 to Branson, and a detour to Hwy 125 via U.S. 160 east from Branson. Once you are on 125, it’s simply south to the ferry. After that, there is no shortage of roads to the rally.
The Essential Rides of Northwest Arkansas.
The following five ride routes are the local guy’s suggested “must ride” list for newcomers to the rally, or to those who haven’t been on these routes before. The Ozarks are packed with great roads, but with limited time to ride and enjoy, try these. For more maps of more really good rides, scroll to the bottom of the page.
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Bikes, Blues and BBQ Ride Maps
To help make your riding experience more enjoyable we have developed the series of maps listed below. Click the links, print out the map, and explore the different routes.
We hope you enjoy the maps and if you would like to rate the ride or add a comment please click on the link at the top of the written directions on the left side (for those maps with written directions. We really think you can read a map without employing written instructions.)
- BBB Rally Map
- BBB Parade of Power Route
- Alpena Ride
- Gateway Ride
- Hub Ride
- Joplin, Missouri, Ride
- Noel, Missouri, Ride
- “Old Town” Van Buren Ride
- Roaring River Ride
- Siloam Springs Ride
- And for other ride maps, check out:
It’s easy to get directions to the starting point from your location:
- Open a map from the links above.
- Click “Save to My Maps.” This is located on the left side of the page at the top right of the written directions. You will then have to either sign-in with a current Google account name and password or create one. This only takes a few minutes and it’s free!
- Then click on the starting point link on the left side.
- Click on the box on the map and enter your location next to “Get directions.” Then click, “Go.”
- The left column will show you the directions from your location to the start point of the ride map that you have selected.
- Finally, click “My Maps” located at the top left under the Google logo to get the directions for the rest of the route.