Ozark National Forest
The Ozark National Forest spans roughly 1.2 million acres from the northwestern corner of Arkansas south to the Arkansas River valley and the Ouachita National Forest. The mountains here, part of the Boston Range, are actually plateaus made rugged over the millennia by swelling rivers and erosion. Among the beautiful vistas are those of deeply V-shaped valleys and bluffs of sandstone or limestone.
At the forest’s northern border, you'll find the amazing Alum Cove Natural Bridge, a formation that stretches for 130 feet. Below ground, in the forest’s eastern reaches, are the Blanchard Springs Caverns (tours daily most of the year), with its stalactites, stalagmites, and other dripstone formations. Ozark National Forest is an ideal place to canoe, especially during the high-water spring season, and six designated Wild and Scenic Rivers also make for great kayaking and whitewater-rafting trips. Fishing for bass and trout is an option, too. Spring is also a great time for seeing the dogwoods and redbuds in bloom; in fall, the maple and hardwood oak and hickory trees that dominate the landscape are ablaze with color.
Exploring is easy, thanks to more than 400 miles of trails. Moccasin Gap Horse Trail, Huckleberry Mountain Horse Trail, and Mill Creek Trail serve as multipurpose foot, bike, off-road-highway-vehicle, and horseback routes. The 196-mile-long Ozark Highlands Trail spans the area from Lake Fort Smith State Park eastward to Buffalo National River There are plenty of developed recreation areas here as well as campgrounds with settings that range from quiet lakesides to overlooks and clearings atop 2,753-foot Mount Magazine, the state’s highest peak. You can also set out on your own for some backcountry camping, or, at the other end of the spectrum, head for one of the many bordering towns, where accommodations range from budget chain motels to charming inns and B&Bs.
605 W. Main St.
- Russellville, Arkansas 72801
- 35.27935000, -93.13836000
- Visit Website
- (479) 964-7200