Most Scenic Drives in Arkansas

Most Scenic Drives in Arkansas

Woof woof and a sniff sniff to ya! Bradi Bear here and happy to report that spring is arriving in Arkansas. What better thing to do than take a nice car trip with the windows down, wind in your face, tongue out, enjoying those scenic Arkansas views? I can practically TASTE it now, just thinking about it. 

I’ve gotten to travel with Taylor King to his new offices and explore some of these scenic drives myself. So, doing my dog due diligence, it is only fair I share them with you! Plus…you know I can’t resist a good Bradi Bear’s Best List.

Boston Mountain Scenic Loop

(U.S. Highway 71 and Interstate 49)

Near our Fort Smith and Springdale offices, this drive crosses the highest part of the Ozark Mountains and twists through the Boston Mountain range.  The route starts outside of Alma, winds towards Mountainburg, then continues through Winslow, West Fork, and Greenland before ending in Fayetteville. All of these towns offer not only beautiful scenic drives, but also outdoor activities ranging from lakes, hiking, backpacking, and biking, as well as known attractions like Artist Point and Devil’s Den State Park.

https://www.arkansas.com/mountainburg/motoring/boston-mountains-scenic-loop

Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway

Photo: Kelsey Lovewell

Another section of the Boston Mountain range in the Ozarks offers a drive for those interested in recreational water activities. The White River, Buffalo River, Mulberry, and Big Piney Creek are all accessible throughout the thirty-five-mile route. Starting in Clarksville, this route is worth the drive from our Northwest Arkansas offices or Little Rock location.

https://www.arkansas.com/clarksville/motoring/ozark-highlands-scenic-byway

Mount Magazine Scenic Byway

Highlighting the highest peak in Arkansas, this route takes drivers and bikers through the rise and falls of Mount Magazine. This 45-mile drive starts in Havana, AR and makes its way to the top of Mount Magazine. Mount Magazine State Park greets you with full-service facilities and amazing views of Blue Mountain Lake, the Ouachita Mountains, the Arkansas River Valley, and even Ozark Mountains. 

https://www.arkansas.com/paris/motoring/mount-magazine-scenic-byway

Talimena Scenic Byway

Photo: Greg Ryan

Starting near Texarkana in Mena, the Talimena Scenic Byway travels to the top of Rich Mountain and Winding Stair Mountain as it makes its way into Oklahoma. This relatively short 54-mile trip features at least 18 scenic vistas in addition to a number of trails and activities. The trip can last anywhere from an hour to an entire day depending on how leisurely your approach is.

Peel Ferry Route

This 33-mile drive takes you from Harrison, AR to Brandon, MO, showing off Arkansas’ picture-worthy landscapes and open spaces. At the end of the drive, you have the option to take a 2-mile ferry trip across Bull Shoals to round out your Arkansas adventure.

https://www.arkansas.com/bull-shoals/tours-experiences/peel-ferry-route

National Scenic 7 Byway

Photo Courtesy of www.arkansas.com

This one starts in tried and true Arkadelphia! It’s a doozy—290-miles from start to finish—but boy, do you get to see just about everything the Natural State has to offer! You hit the Ouachita Mountains, Lake DeGray, Hot Springs (known for its famous Bathhouse Row), and onto the Ouachita National Forest. The drive offers several stops and activities, ending in Harrison, AR.

https://www.arkansas.com/arkadelphia/motoring/national-scenic-7-byway

Crowley’s Ridge Parkway National Scenic Byway

Those in Northeast Arkansas are already familiar with Crowley’s Ridge. We can thank the Mississippi River for the unique landscape and flatland view offered on this route. Seven state parks are stretched along this 198-mile stretch, bringing together the Arkansas Delta for exploration.

https://www.arkansas.com/jonesboro/motoring/crowleys-ridge-parkway-national-scenic-byway

Natchez Trace Parkway

Over 444-miles long from start to finish, this Mississippi drive isn’t technically in Arkansas, but it’s not far away and it’s one-of-a-kind. The entire route starts in Natchez and finishes in Nashville; however, a portion of the drive does start in Jackson, MS and go on through Tupelo. The drive traces a historic route used by American Indians, European settlers, slave traders and more.

https://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm

Quick Safety Tips for Your Drive

Remember, while you’re enjoying the beauty these drives have to offer, think about safety on the road…

  1. Keep your focus on the road and surrounding cars, especially if it is winding.
  2. Always buckle up and minimize distractions in the car.
  3. Last, make sure you have enough gas before embarking on your adventure. Sometimes the most scenic parts of Arkansas don’t offer the most opportune gas stops!

Taking your furry friend on the trip with you? Here are my Best Tips for Traveling with a Dog in the Car.

On the lookout for the perfect car for your road trip? Here are 2020’s Safest Cars in Each Class.