We at Arkansas To Do love a good road trip, and we especially love crisp autumn air, windy mountain roads, and a good cup of coffee or three. Fall leaves get us excited. It’s like snow, sort of.
We’re doing a series on the best fall road trips for all you leaf lookers and we think the short drive to Jasper is well worth it. Let’s break it down:
Follow up Hwy 7 from Russellville. We’d recommend stopping in at CJ’s Butcher Boy for one of the state’s best hamburgers. Get them to go, and let’s head north.
You’re on HWY 7. This road is listed as one one of the nation’s most scenic. Get 20 miles into it, and you’ll see why. The first stop an d last stop for gas is the quaint town of Dover. Home to the Big Piney Creek (great float trip!) and the Dover Lights(spooky stuff in a different article). You’ll twist and turn your way your way up the Ozark National Forest until you get to “The Grand Canyon of the Ozarks.” There’s a marker, and this time of the year you’ll see plenty of people pulled over to take a look. Trust us, know you’ll know when you see it. This is a great photo opportunity.
Let’s keep pushing north. You’ll come across the Cliff House Inn. It’s a great place if you’re needing lodging or hungry. The back deck overlooks a spectacular Ozark valley. You should be getting and eye-full of all the colors of fall…
Continuing on your journey you’ll be coming into one of our favorite mountain towns, Jasper. It’s a jewel, no doubt. The first thing you’ll want to check out is the Little Buffalo River. There is easy access to the river for a car under the bridge. Just drive beside it and go down. Now look at that view!
Can you tell we like to eat? Go into Jasper. A must stop is Ozark Cafe in the downtown square. It’s basically a landmark. Down-home cooking at its finest. If you’re planning on staying and want to continue your fall journey the next day, Jasper is an excellent junction. Go back in time and stay at Gordon Motel. Literally old furniture, no TV, no WiFi, and barely any cell service. No TikToc, kids. You’re liking this better already, aren’t you?
If you stayed the night, hit up Blue Mountain Cafe the next morning. Excellent breakfast! Before you leave Jasper, go to Bradley Park. It’s right beside the Little Buffalo and tucked into the city. The views are grand and so are the people. Now you have to ask yourself, are you heading home or going to Ponca? Well, that would be another road trip…
Browse around our site for more fall foliage trips!
Y’all have at it and GET OUT AND EXPLORE!
The Arkansas To Do Team
– Phil and Jess