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Talimena Scenic Drive

Ride Rating:

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Ride Stats:

  • Distance: 52 miles / 83.7 km
  • Ride Time: 2-4 hours
  • Approximate Fuel Costs: $3.95
  • States Visited: Arkansas, Oklahoma
Submitted by:
OpenRoadRider pro

Stretching 54 miles through eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas, the Talimena Scenic Drive winds along the top of the Ouachita, Winding Stair, and Rich Mountains, providing stunning views and outdoor opportunities sure to please and interest all visitors. Enjoy one heart-stirring panorama after another as this Byway treads its way along forested mountain peaks.

Weaving its way through the Ouachita National Forest, the Byway route presents travelers with bewitching sights of the forest's natural magnificence. Visitors can partake of the route's visual wonders through scenic turnouts. Each stopping place showcases one of the Byway's scenic highlights, from copious woods of oaks and maples to meadows and valleys peppered with wildflowers.

Talimena also ambles through fascinating historical and intriguing geological locations. Explore trails that horse thieves used in the 1800s at Horsethief Springs Historical Site and Picnic Ground. While crossing the state line between Oklahoma and Arkansas, stop at the five-foot iron marker that once delineated the border between the State of Arkansas and the Choctaw Nation. Discover old tombstones and learn about Rich Mountain's settlers at Pioneer Cemetery Historic Site. Budding geologists can examine the mountain's history by observing the rock glacier at Sunset Vista, and everyone can appreciate the forest's dwarf oaks on an interpretative trail at Castle Rock Vista.

Adventurers will find a welcome outlet along Talimena Scenic Drive, which boasts access to recreation destinations through not only the Ouachita National Forest and Winding Stair National Recreation Area, but also Queen Wilhelmina State Park and Cedar Lake Recreation Area. The forest has over 700 trails for hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and off-road vehicles, such as Ouachita National Recreation Trail, a 194-mile trail that traverses Ouachita National Forest. Whether you desire quiet fishing holes, energetic hiking trails, adventurous camping spots, or marvelous sightseeing views, this Byway's state and federal lands present travelers with an opportunity to relish the forest's harmonious solemnity.

Situated among the highest east-west spanning ranges in between the Rockies and the Appalachians, the Talimena Scenic Drive combines enchanting natural grace and outdoor amusements, making this drive not only a sight-pleasing pursuit but also a vacation destination everyone is sure to enjoy.

The fall color season attracts the highest number of vehicles and tour buses at any one time, particularly on the weekends and at the facilities.

Information was obtained by permission from

This is a motorcycle ride in the states Arkansas, Oklahoma. This motorcycle route has 6 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by OpenRoadRider in February. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by OpenRoadRider

Rider Photos:

  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 1 for Talimena Scenic Drive
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 2 for Talimena Scenic Drive
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 3 for Talimena Scenic Drive

Ride Scenery:

Historic SitesParksFall ColorsForestMountainsRural

Best Time to Go

Spring, Fall

Road Characteristics:

Light TrafficAdequate Gas StationsAdequate

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Previous Comments from other Riders:

bluelaramie says:

I have road this twice so far and I am planning another ride in early November 07 and it is absolutely beautiful and serene. An absolute joy to ride.

UPDATE: My brother and I made the ride in November 07 and the leaves were absolutely beautiful. Our only problem was that the weather turned cold on us and it was overcast throughout the ride. The weather did make hot coffee at Queen Wil State Park especially nice. I would definately do it again.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:10 AM

murph3204 says:

Rode this from Queen Wilhelmina State Park and back on Sept 25th '07. We didn't see one car the whole way. We had good weather and took the time to stop at several of the vistas along the way. The views are amazing. Lots of hills and twisties. You could easily get up to 75+ on the down hill roads only to have to downshift into second gear to climb the next one. Having a gps really helps to know what's coming before you get there. Great ride and I plan to ride it again. There aren't any gas stations along the way so be sure and have enough before you head out. The nearest gas once you hit the end is ~20 miles away. I did notice a park restroom at about the halfway mark.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM

sv650s says:

Road this route many years ago with my biking buddy from KC. It is a beautful road, with great views of the surrounding land. At one specific area the ridge you run along is so narrow that you can see down both sides as you wind back and forth on the roller coaster ride. It was actually a bit disorienting because of the lack of solid ground to give your brain a coordinate system ! We didn't stop to see the sites along the road because the ride was just too darn good. Magazine mountain is another ride in the vicinity thathwas a great winding road Arkansas 309. Had a great lunch in Paris Arkansas after the great ride up and over the mountain. (Magazine Mountain is the highest point between the Appalachians and the Rockies.) Both roads have beautiful views of the land below with hawks and eagles soaring along the mountain side. Only reason I give this a 4 is the road surface wasn't as smooth as some - but not bad.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM


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