Hit the road on a scenic fall drive in Arkansas

Photo: Devil’s Den Start Park

Arkansas Tourism, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, says fall is a wonderful time to take a scenic drive as you head out in search of seasonal color. Fall drives are also perfect for social distancing, and Arkansas’ lodging, dining and attractions are following safety protocols so you can make the most of your route as you enjoy the beauty of The Natural State.

The rugged and forested Boston Mountains region of the Ozark Mountains provides the setting for Pig Trail Scenic Byway/Ark. 23, which often runs through a tunnel of foliage during spring, summer and fall. Spring wildflowers and brilliant autumn foliage make the route especially popular during those seasons. The route crosses the Mulberry River and the 165-mile Ozark Highlands Trail. Arkansas 23 is 19 miles from the south boundary of the Ozark National Forest to its intersection with Arkansas 16 at Brashears.

Photo: Mount Magazine State Park

Shopping, lodging and dining are available in Ozark near the southern end of the route and Fayetteville to the northwest. Cabins and camping are available on the byway at Turner Bend and nearby at the White Rock Mountain Recreation Area, which offers dramatic views of the surrounding Ozarks from atop the 2,260-foot peak. Other Ozark National Forest campgrounds in the area are Shores Lake and Redding.

Arkansas is a member of the 10-state Great River Road National Scenic Byway. This nearly 3,000-mile National Scenic Byway runs through 10 states, from Minnesota to Louisiana. It is one of the oldest, longest and most unique scenic byways in the nation, offering a gateway to the Mississippi River Valley’s great history and a host of recreational options to all visitors.

Photo: Hot Springs

Arkansas’ 362-mile section of the Great River Road National Scenic Byway winds its way through the state’s eastern Delta region along the mighty stream. The waterway created a scenic and natural border that has beckoned people to its banks for centuries. Visitors can gaze upon acres of cotton, soybeans or rice, as they travel through some of the most fertile land in the country. Along the trek, numerous historical and cultural sites preserve the history of Arkansas and its people and welcome visitors to learn more about this remarkable region. And the section that runs through the St. Francis National Forest/Mississippi River State Park between Marianna and Helena-West Helena is beautiful for fall color outings.

For more on Arkansas Tourism’s fall driving suggestions across the state, click here.

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