Scenic Highway Seven though the Ozark National Forest
The view from the Rotary Ann rest dtop.
Pedistal Rocks in the Ozark Forest
Scenic Highway Seven north of Russellville takes you through the heart of the Ozark National Forest.
Like most any Arkansas highway, you'll see a few motorcycles, pass a few old cemeteries and the graves of Arkansans who knew more about a horse and buggy than horsepower and miles per gallon.
And you'll see sights that seem like they belong on a postcard.
"It's just everything is pretty. The trees are beautiful. It's nice and peaceful," says Donnie Thornton from Hot Springs. After a week of what he calls the rat race at work, a drive through the country to get a look at something like this is just what the doctor ordered.
Thornton says, "It's just relaxing, you forget about everything. There are no worries. You don't worry about going to work the next day or nothing like that."
"I'm just looking for something besides the office," Jeff Terry says. The drive up Highway Seven may only be 45 minutes from Terry's home in Russellville. But to him - it's a welcome change of pace.
Terry explains, "We've been stopping at all the scenic overlooks. Spent a little time in the Buffalo River. The kids really enjoyed that, getting their feet wet. And just enjoying Arkansas.'
It seems people have enjoyed the drive along this route for some time. There were horse trails through these mountains even before there were horseless buggies. It was about 100 years ago when men and mules cut a formal route through the mountain forest.
The rest stop here on Highway Seven is called the Rotary Ann. It was the 1930's when the wives of the local Rotarians decided Highway Seven was so popular it needed a rest stop. The Rotary Ann's club, as it was called, actually paid for the construction of the first rest stop on the site.
And for those with time to wander there are other precious places to see, some only a mile's walk from the highway.
It's so much more than a chance to stretch your legs.
In the middle of the Ozark National Forest, sometimes, you don't have to be headed anywhere in particular to be Amazed by Arkansas.