Description - This beautiful byway serves as a major travel way for residents, visitors and commercial vehicles traveling north from Clarksville to well known recreation areas and resorts, centers of commerce and points of local interest. Chief among these are the Arkansas communities of Harrison, Jasper, Berryville, Eureka Springs, the Ozark National Forest, the Ozark Highlands Trail, Buffalo National River, and the White River.
This Scenic Byway offers spectacular panoramas, rugged landscapes, colorful fields and forests, and glimpses of a variety of wildlife. It is also a thread of commerce connecting the Arkansas River Valley and the interstate highway system to Missouri and points north.
The Pleasant Hill Ranger District and the byway lie in the heart of the Boston Mountain range with some of the highest elevations in the Ozarks. Blanketing the byway are large stands of upland hardwoods -- primarily Oak/Hickory with scattered stands of native shortleaf pine dotting the area.
Traversing the byway from south to north, you will find the historic Ozone Recreation Area and a trailhead for access to the Ozark Highlands Trail. Nearby attractions include the Mulberry, Big Piney and Buffalo Rivers, and the Upper Buffalo Wilderness.
Adding to the natural scenery in stark contrast are both old and new homesteads. Many old stone fences of various construction techniques, placed during early settlement days make some of the older homesteads picturesque. They dot the landscape bearing witness to the rugged, early times in the Arkansas Ozarks.
- The outstanding characteristics of this highway are panoramic views, colorful flora, and rugged terrain. Wildlife is abundant and it is not uncommon to see white-tail deer, wild turkey, and black bear as well as smaller species such as songbirds and squirrels. Occasionally, bald eagles and golden eagles are also seen.
Located on the byway is Ozone Recreation Area. Significant landmarks include the escarpment overlook of the Arkansas River Valley, the settlements of Ozone, Salus, Fallsville, Edward's Junction and Mossville.
Very few amenities are available along the scenic byway, except a vault toilet at Ozone Recreation Area and a country store at Fallsville (no restroom facilities are available).
Climate - The Ozark Region has four distinct seasons with a temperature range from 10-15 degrees below zero to over 100 degrees F. Winters have occasional cold periods of brief duration with daily temperatures near zero in January and February. Annual precipitation measures around 50 inches, but the range may vary considerably from this average. Snowfall occurs in the forest covering the ground from a few hours to occasional extended periods of up to several days. The area can offer snow-free outdoor recreation opportunities during the winter months. Be prepared however, for occasional cold weather during the winter, especially at the higher elevations of the Forests.
Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway is located in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas. The Byway includes 35 miles of State Highway 21 from the Ozark National Forest southern boundary north of Clarksville, in Johnson County, to the northern boundary near the Upper Buffalo Wilderness and Buffalo National River in Newton County. State Highway 16, from Fallsville to Edwards Junction in Newton County, joins this route for eight and one-half miles. This is truly a "highlands route," traversing ridges between headwaters of several major streams.