Special Places

The Ozark-St. Francis National Forests have something for everyone and are on the way to almost everywhere in Arkansas! Rustic mountain  cabins have provided a peaceful getaway for people since the 1930's at Lake Wedington and White Rock Mountain. Six National Scenic Byways offer breathtaking Ozark vistas and out-of-the-way places for those who enjoy driving for pleasure. There are 200+ camping and picnic sites, 9 swimming beaches, 11 special interest areas, 5 wilderness areas, thousands of acres of lakes and streams, and more than 400 miles of trails. Located in central and northwest Arkansas and also along the Mississippi River in eastern Arkansas, the forests offer numerous opportunities for either one-day trips or extended vacations filled with fun and relaxation.

The Ozark National Forest offers three spectacular multiple use trails - the Moccasin Gap Horse Trail, the Huckleberry Mountain Horse Trail, and Mill Creek Trail. Although the first two trails were designed primarily for horseback riding, all three trails are also open to hiking, mountain bike riding, and off-highway vehicles (OHVs). There are over 400 miles of hiking trails including the 196-mile-long Ozark Highlands Trail. This trail has already become one of the most important trails in the midwest. The trail traverses the forest from the western end at Lake Fort Smith State Park near the Oklahoma border to the famous Buffalo National River in northern Arkansas. The newly added section of the Ozark Highlands Trail, called the "Sylamore Section," begins on Spring Creek Road near Mountain View and winds around the Leatherwood Wilderness Area.

For over 40 years, spectacular cave formations have drawn visitors to  Blanchard Springs Caverns.  Blanchard is located on the Sylamore Ranger District, 15 miles northwest of Mountain View, Arkansas.  The cave offers visitors a view of the subterranean wonder world below. The Caverns are open seven days a week from mid-March through October (closed Mondays and Tuesdays November through mid-March). Blanchard is also closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Days. Please check the current schedule for more information. The Visitor Information Center, which is fully accessible, opens daily at 9:30 a.m. with the last tour of the day departing at 4:30 pm.  For current information call 1-870-757-2211.  For  tour reservations, go to www.recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777.

Eastern National Association sells forest related items and souvenirs at Blanchard Caverns and most district offices.  Free materials; such as brochures, general maps and trail information are available.

Highlighted Areas

Blanchard Springs Caverns

All tours at Blanchard Springs Caverns are temporarily suspended until further notice!

Blanchard Springs Caverns is one of the most spectacular and carefully developed caves found anywhere.  Visitors enter a "living" cave where glistening formations like stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and flowstones are still changing.  These crystalline formations are the result of minerals deposited by dripping water.  Forest Service interpreters guide all tours. For more information about this natural wonder, check out the Blanchard Springs Caverns website.