What to know
Take a trip around the heart of the Ouachita Mountains on this picturesque route. AR 7 north out of Hot Springs is very curvy and runs through a wonderful part of the Ouachitas. The highway weaves through pine and hardwood forests and features plenty of tight curves and turns. Located within the boundary of the Ozark and Ouachita mountains is Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas’s first state park, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. AR 154 runs east from AR 7 up to Petit Jean State Park. The highway rises out of the Arkansas River Valley and winds up on the isolated mountain between the two rivers. The state park is perched above the Arkansas River on an extremely rugged ridgeline. The views and hiking trails are very scenic, and the park’s accommodations are elegantly rustic. AR 154 intersects AR 9, a north-south running highway. North, it leads out of the River Valley into the Ozarks. South, AR 9 winds out of the valley into the foothills of the Ouachitas. AR 9 south is a twisting road that runs through heavy pine forests along the eastern end of the Ouachitas. The curves are fun without being technically too difficult.