Monday, September 19, 2011

Best Autumn Drives #1 - Scenic Highway 7 in Arkansas

Overlook on Scenic Highway 7
With the first hints of fall in the air, I thought you might enjoy looking at some of the best autumn drives in the South. First up is the stunning Scenic Highway 7 in Arkansas.

Dedicated in 1994, Scenic Highway 7 was the Natural State's first national scenic byway. It has been named as one of the ten most beautiful drives in the nation and stretches for 290 miles past waterfalls, mountains, valleys, streams, historic sites and more. The northern half of the highway passes through the rugged and scenic Ozark mountains and takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in the South.

Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area
Scenic Highway 7 begins near Harrison and not far from the noted Ozarks resort area of Eureka Springs. From there it winds south through the mountains to the Buffalo National River, a scenic and historic national park area that protects more than 150-miles of the free-flowing Buffalo River. Noted for its deep canyons, scenic bluffs and historic sites, the park is nothing short of spectacular during the fall leaf change, which usually begins in October.

From the Buffalo River region, the highway continues south through the mountains of the Ozark National Forest and eventually emerges at Russellville on the Arkansas River. The southern half of the byway then picks up and extends down through the Ouachita Mountains to Hot Springs and eventually on to the Louisiana state line.

Hot Springs National Park
As it passes through Hot Springs, Scenic Highway 7 becomes the main street down historic Bathhouse Row at Hot Springs National Park. This stunning national park preserves a major resort of the 19th and early 20th century, along with the remarkable hot springs that feed its saunas and pools.  The park also protects thousands of acres of spectacular mountain scenery.

To learn more about Scenic Highway 7 and the array of natural and historic points of interest along its route, please visit

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