Road Trip Destinations: Autumn in Arkansas

(BPT) - As the leaves begin to change and cooler weather arrives, fall is the perfect time of year to take a road trip getaway and experience all the season has to offer. With all its natural beauty, a trip through Arkansas is sure to be unlike anything you’ll experience elsewhere.

The fall foliage displays throughout the state present visitors with a picture-perfect autumn experience. By beginning in the south, traveling west and finishing in the north central part of the state, a road trip through Arkansas offers outdoor adventure and unique scenery that reminds visitors why it is called The Natural State.

Stop One: Hot Springs National Park (Southwest Arkansas)

To kick off your road trip, start in Hot Springs National Park located one hour away from Little Rock in the southwest portion of the state. If you’re looking for breathtaking sights, you can’t miss the Hot Springs Mountain Tower, with 360-degree panoramic views of the Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs Mountain and Diamond Lakes area from 216 feet above ground. You can also make the short drive up West Mountain to see views from the opposite side of the park.

Later, enjoy a scenic cruise on DeGray Lake. The fall colors are vibrant along the unique outcroppings and islands of the lake. You might also be fortunate to see a Bald Eagle, which are plentiful in the area during the fall. Make sure to dress for cooler and windier conditions on the lake.

Stop Two: Mount Magazine (Northwest Arkansas)

From Hot Springs, enjoy the drive on Scenic Highway 7, a 290-mile route that winds through the state, to Mount Magazine State Park, where you will find hiking trails, rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and a breathtaking view of the Arkansas River Valley. Arkansas’ highest peak, Signal Hill at 2,753 feet, is atop Mount Magazine.

Mount Magazine has a variety of options for you to extend your stay, including cozy cabins available for rent with fireplaces, perfect for enjoying a cool fall evening, as well as designated campsites with modern restrooms and electricity. Visitors who prefer a comfortable night after an adventure-filled day can stay in a resort mountain lodge with views of the valley below.

Stop Three: Jasper (Northwest Arkansas)

Continue on Arkansas’ Scenic Highway 7 to Jasper, Arkansas. There you’ll find ideal fall scenery, especially overlooking the Buffalo National River, which is America’s first national river.

For unforgettable views of the changing leaves, visit the Arkansas Grand Canyon at sunrise.

Horseshoe Canyon Guest Ranch offers another way to escape to the great outdoors, with horseback riding, fishing, hiking, ziplining and more. Sound like too much to do in just one day? No worries, Horseshoe Canyon has cabins that sleep up to seven guests each.

Stop Four: Mountain View (North Central Arkansas)

The final stop on your Arkansas autumn adventure is Mountain View, a great spot for thrill-seekers and foodies alike. The Syllamo Bike Trail, designated an EPIC Ride by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, consists of five routes perfect for riders of all levels.

Next, experience the changing leaves up close at Loco Ropes Treetop Adventure Park, a high-wire ropes course with 30 unique challenges to solve from up in the trees. Loco Ropes is family-friendly but be sure to check their website for height restrictions if you have little ones.

After biking and finishing a ropes course, you will likely work up an appetite. The Skillet Restaurant at Ozark Folk Center State Park is a great place to enjoy southern country cuisine with a scenic view. While there, visit the restaurant’s active butterfly garden and view birds, raccoons and other animals too.

To find even more activities to explore in these locations and begin planning your next road trip, visit Arkansas.com.