Hitchhiking in Arkansas isn't very difficult at all, especially in the mountainous regions. Since it's the South, people tend to be kinder than most, but the few people who are jerks are usually worse than most other places. But the combination of that general kindness and the laid back, outdoorsy atmosphere that surrounds the Ozarks makes for a place that a lot of extremely loving people live in.
Unless you're broke and need to spange, avoid the big cities. There isn't much there to experience and not too many travelers to share with.
When you find a good place to hitchhike, you will typically be picked up quickly. The main problem is that very few shoulders are built on the roads outside of major population centers, so it can be difficult for someone to pull over for you. The situation has been gradually improving the last couple years, but most of the two lane highways still lack sufficient shoulder room for hitchhiking.
Despite this, Arkansas contains some incredibly wild and scenic places. This has earned it the title of "The Natural State." Some of the greatest outdoor opportunities between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians exist here.
If you have the resources to have food, then a very cool place to travel through are the towns along the Buffalo River. There is a trail called the Buffalo River Trail which runs parallel to the river. It's a pretty trail, but like the rest of the South there are a lot of ticks. Be sure to print out a trail guide if you do decide to hike it because the trail crosses some privately owned land and private roads and the signs about exactly where to go aren't too clear. The trail isn't too high intensity, and it connects all these small towns along the river which make their living off of river activities. Ponca is a super cool town like this.
If you are passing through the Boston Mountains along highway 16, ask the locals about a place called the "Glory Hole Falls" It is quite a spectacular site and is only a mile hike off of the main highway.
Petite Jean State Park is also a must-see, it is near I-40 in the vicinity of Morrilton. There are several trails with some terrific natural wonders that rank among the best to see in the state.
The Talimena Skyway is arguably the most scenic road in the country between the Rockies and the Appalachians. Be prepared to not experience much traffic though, User:Thewindandrain was stuck walking on this road for almost 24 hours and ended up dehydrated and drinking his own urine before someone finally picked him up.
There are a few major music festivals that take place in the Ozark area over summer.
- Shoulders are rarely built at the edge of towns, making it difficult for people to pull over. The situation is improving in recent years in larger towns such as Fayetteville and Hot Springs but on most two lane roads, finding places for people to pull over is difficult.
- Pedestrian Rights
- All interstates prohibit pedestrians. Virtually all other roads allow pedestrians.
- Split-traffic interchanges are few and far between here when crossing non controlled access roads. Most if not all interchanges between two four lane roads do not require drivers to slow down, making it difficult for them to pick you up.
27-51-1205. Soliciting rides. No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride from the driver of any private vehicle.
27-49-212. Roadways. (b) “Roadway” means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel.
Because the definition does not explicitly mention the shoulder, it is probably best to hitch from the grass and not on the shoulder of the road.
Corruption is not unheard of among law enforcement in Arkansas. Mena county is the most racist place in the modern United States; it is rumored among locals that the murder of several african americans in 2001 was committed by members of the Sheriff's office of Mena County. Madison County is famous for a marijuana grow operation owned by it's sheriff. The sheriff died under suspicious circumstances; it was suspected to be an assassination. More information about the subject can be found in the book "When Money Grew On Trees."
Note:All land regulated by the National Park service prohibits hitchhiking under the Code of Federal Regulations Title 36 section 4.31: Hitchhiking or soliciting transportation is prohibited except in designated areas and under conditions established by the superintendent.
- Buffalo River National Park 4.31 has not been amended here, so hitchhiking is prohibited.
I have thoroughly hitchhiked through most of Arkansas and explored many of its parks and mountains. I would consider Arkansas to be average to slightly above average for getting rides, typically the more scenic areas are easier to hitchhike than the flat areas.. Outdoor opportunities abound here. Thewindandrain (talk) 00:34, 18 May 2013 (CEST)
Cheap food. I was able to get a bunk in the bunkhouse in Ponca for super cheap because I offered to mop it out for them. I wasn't even spanging and some ladies drove by from their cabin who had overheard the deal I made with the people who ran the bunkhouse and gave me fajitas. Super cool place. Whenever I got on the road instead of the Buffalo River Trail, I was picked up by the first or second car to pass more often than not. Very loving area. -Unknown
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