LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Fall is here, and with winter’s cold in front of us it is time to see some Arkansas sights and enjoy the fall colors.
The Natural State has some great destinations to enjoy fall but make your plans. Peak colors are arriving early this year.
As you start to put some pins in the map and plan your trips, here are some spots to consider.
The Arkansas Grand Canyon south of Jasper is a must-see. The big – dare we say grand – valley runs south of Jasper along the scenic Arkansas Highway 7. Stop at the Rotary Ann Roadside Park for a 180-degree view.
The Boxley Valley west of Jasper is another one to put on the list. It is north of the town of Boxley and just south of Ponca on Arkansas Highway 43. After taking in the view, head south on 43 toward Boxley. You will want to stop and see the Old Boxley Grist Mill, now part of the National Park Service. It had been a popular meeting spot for families until the millrace was washed out in a flood in the mid-50s.
South of Boxley is one of the best places to see the Arkansas elk herds. The best part about this is that it being the fall, the elk will be in mating season through mid-November. Time it right, and you will hear the elk’s call. The best time to see them is around sunup and sundown from one of the pull-off areas along Arkansas highways 43 and 21.
Farther north and you can visit the ghost town of Rush in the Rush Historic District in northern Arkansas. This was once a thriving community when all the lead and zinc mining took place in the North Arkansas Lead and Zinc District. Zinc mining in the area has ended, people moved away and Rush was declared a ghost town in 1972. Many of the old dwellings are still intact, and the site is under the care of the National Park Service.
Prefer something less rustic but still historical? A day trip on the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad will fit. The west-northwest Arkansas working railroad offers excursion trips featuring a luxury coach, parlor, dining cars, and even a caboose. All these offer great views of fall colors in Arkansas from a unique platform.
Finally, no Arkansas fall destination list would be complete without mentioning the Arkansas State Parks. The state has 52 parks, with 14 offering either cabins or lodging.