Scenic 7 Byway - Arkansas Scenic Drives

Arkansas State Highway 7 is an existing scenic highway from the Louisiana State line near El Dorado, Arkansas to Diamond City, Arkansas, near the Missouri State line. A 60.6 mile section of this highway that passes through the Ozark and Ouachita National Forests has been designated by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the National System of National Forest Scenic Byways.

Driving Arkansas' Scenic Ozarks provides a great rundown of the northern part of this roadly treasure.

The Byway

Although the Scenic 7 Byway is located only within the Ouachita and Ozark National Forest's, several major population centers along the Byway provide a wide variety of opportunities for its travelers.

On the southern end are Arkadelphia, DeGray Lake, Hot Springs National Park and its bath houses, Lake Ouachita, Ouachita National Forest and Like Nimrod. Approximately mid-way along the route is the Arkansas River Valley which includes Lake Dardanelle and Russellville. On the northern end, Scenic Highway 7 will lead you thru the heart of the Ozark National Forest to Marble Falls, the Buffalo National River, and Harrison.

The Land

Distinctive mountain scenery is continuously revolving around the traveler, offering a unique driving experience. The Ozark and Ouachita Mountains are noted for exquisite Fall colors.


A variety of landmarks await the traveler of the Byway. Along the Ozark National Forest portion of the byway special landmarks includes: Alum Cove Natural Bridge and National Recreation Trail, Richland Creek and Hurricane Creek Wildernesses, Sam's Throne, Pedestal Rocks Geo-logical Trail, Ozark Highlands Recreation Trail (160 miles east-west hiking trail through the Boston Mountains); Rotary Ann Overlook, one of the most favorite viewing locations on the Forest; and Big Piney Creek and Illinois Bayou, both cannonball and popular fishing streams.

Special landmarks along the portion of the Byway through the Ouachita National Forest include: Nimrod Reservoir, Flatside Wilderness, the Ouachita National Recreation Trail (a 175 mile east-west hiking trail through the Ouachita Mountains); numerous stream crossings including the Fourche La Fave River.

Tourists' Viewpoint

The Ouachita Mountains and the Boston Mountain Range of the Ozarks provide miles of scenic side-roads branching out into the forest. Highway 7 provides tourists with an opportunity to enjoy leisure travel, to explore the unspoiled scenic landscape, and to experience the natural charm of the area.

Along and within a few miles of the highway there are many recreation areas and natural features, unusual rock formations and other features characteristic of the Ozark/Ouachita areas. This entire region is noted for its cliffs, blufflines, waterfalls, and wildlife observation as well as for the unlimited opportunities to canoe, fish, and hike on three National Recreation Trails.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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