Highway 7 from Arkadelphia to Harrison became Arkansas’ first scenic byway in 1993. The scenic byway was extended in 1999 to include the highway from the Louisiana state line to Arkadelphia. Scenic Highway 7 is approximately 290 miles in length.
Scenic 7 starts in the coastal plain region of southern Arkansas. This area consists of lowland rolling hills covered with dense pine forests and numerous river valleys covered with bottomland hardwood forests. The region is rich in wildlife, outdoor recreation, and historical resources.
South of Hot Springs travelers will enter the Ouachita Mountains which are noted for wide valleys, rich agricultural lands, timbered mountains and abundant wildlife. The Ouachita Mountains are unique in that they are the only mountain range in the U.S. whose ridges and valleys are oriented west to east.
Next is the Arkansas River valley between the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains. Since the earliest days of European settlement in Arkansas, this valley has been an important transportation corridor and has been served by flatboats, keelboats, and steamboats, and the overland stage coach.
In the northwest portion of Arkansas, Scenic 7 traverses the Ozark Mountains. This region is famous for its colors, particularly in the fall when the oak-hickory forest turns to yellows, oranges, and reds contrasted by bright green pines and the spring when the dogwoods, redbuds, wild plums, and wildflowers bloom. The Ozark Mountains are also noted for their clear mountain streams.