Take the Long Way Home: Arkansas' Scenic Byways
Autumn’s colors and spring’s blossoms draw sightseers by the carloads for scenic drives across Arkansas. Here’s a look at a few popular routes:
• Scenic Byway 7 takes travelers from the Louisiana state line through the piney woods of south Arkansas, the eastern Ouachita Mountains, across the Arkansas River Valley and through the Ozark Mountains to Bull Shoals Lake on the Missouri border.
• State Highways 27, 23, 21 and 5 are other popular north-south sightseeing venues in the Ozarks. Popular east-west routes crossing the Ozarks include state Highway 14, which begins in the Delta and ends at Table Rock Lake, and state Highway 16 from Searcy to Siloam Springs. Heading east out of Fayetteville before turning south, state Highways 16 and 23 combine to form the winding Pig Trail Scenic Byway. U.S. Highway 71 and Interstate 540 form the Boston Mountain Scenic Loop.
• Crowley’s Ridge Parkway – a National Scenic Byway – runs roughly the length of its namesake, Crowley’s Ridge. It begins in the northeast corner of the state at St. Francis and continues to its southernmost point at Helena-West Helena.
• Great River Road, also a National Scenic Byway, winds through the eastern part of the state. The route runs from Blytheville in the northeast to Eudora in the southeast.
• Interstate 530 runs south between Little Rock and Pine Bluff and offers brilliant colors in the spring and fall.
• Talimena Scenic Drive winds for 54 miles along the crest of Rich Mountain and Winding Stair Mountain in the Ouachita National Forest. One breathtaking panorama follows another on this scenic byway between Mena and Talihina, Okla.