If you’re looking to take a road trip through Arkansas, Scenic 7 Byway is an excellent guide for your route. This byway passes through almost the entire state of Arkansas, from the north to the south. It includes numerous scenic lookouts, passes through the Ozark National Forest and the Ouachita Mountains, and ends at the Louisiana border.
Many motorcyclists approach Route 7 from the north or south and take it to its middle point — the historic Hot Springs. Read on to learn everything you need to know about taking a Route 7 tour to Hot Springs, Arkansas.
What Is the Scenic 7 Byway?
The Scenic 7 Byway was Arkansas’ first state-designated scenic byway. It spans from Arkansas’s northern border to its southern border, covering 290 miles and passing through four of the state’s geographical regions.
The Scenic 7 Byway, known as Route 7 to locals, starts in the Ozarks near Bull Shoals Lake. It includes many challenging twists and turns as it winds around the Ozark and Ouachita mountain ranges and through the Arkansas River valley. It also passes into the thick of southern Arkansas’s dense pine forests.
All About Hot Springs, AR
Hot Springs, AR, is the perfect travel destination for a relaxing getaway. The resort city is in the heart of the Ouachita Mountains and features many naturally heated springs perfect for unwinding after a long day on your bike. The water comes out of the ground at 147 degrees, then cools to a comfortable temperature once it reaches the pools.
This city also includes Hot Springs National Park, which is filled with natural elements and scenic beauty. You can experience the water from the hot springs by taking a dip in the pool, listening to the relaxing sounds of running water, and even drinking it. You can also go hiking, camping, swimming, and picnicking in and around the park.
Hot Springs also has a rich history. For hundreds of years, residents have believed that the hot spring water possesses healing properties. Native Americans came to the area to harvest this healing power and quarry novaculite, which they used to make tools and weapons.
In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson sent the Dunbar-Hunter Expedition to the Hot Springs area to explore the southern portions of the Louisiana Purchase. After this expedition, a town began growing up around the hot springs, leading to the development of Hot Springs, AR.
Things to Do In Hot Springs, AR
As a resort city, Hot Springs features numerous activities and attractions for everyone. Here are a few of the best attractions to see in and around Hot Springs:
- Hot Springs National Park
- Garvan Woodland Gardens
- Magic Springs
- Mid-America Science Museum
- Lake Catherine State Park
- Gangster Museum of America
- Hot Springs Mountain Tower
Taking a Route 7 Tour to Hot Springs, Arkansas
Hot Springs is situated near the middle of the state, which means you can approach it from the north or south. The southernmost point is the Louisiana state line near Lockhart, Louisiana. Traveling from Lockhart to Hot Springs on your bike will take around two and a half hours, passing through Arkadelphia and the Ouachita Mountains.
You can also take Route 7 from the northern Arkansas border south to Hot Springs. This route will take you through the Ozark Mountain Region, allowing you to explore the Ozarks before continuing to Hot Springs. If you decide to start at the northern border, your trip should take around four hours.
You can also travel the entire scenic route and stop in Hot Springs for a few nights before continuing your course. Whichever path you decide to traverse during your Route 7 tour to Hot Springs, Arkansas, you’ll enjoy beautiful scenic views and numerous exciting attractions throughout the state of Arkansas.
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