The Heart of Newton County Tour
Approximately 60 miles
This tour takes you through many small towns and along roads at the "top of the world". Plan to spend time in Jasper on the courthouse square surrounded by shops, restaurants, and a National Historic Jailhouse.
Heading north, cross the Little Buffalo River, and turn left (west) on Highway 74 and drive up to Mount Sherman. Enjoy the vistas as you go through Low Gap to Ponca. Along the way, Kyle's Landing and Steel Creek offer access to the Buffalo National River. Steel Creek also features towering limestone bluffs. Catch a glimpse of Newton County's own herd of elk at Steel Creek or at the Ponca low water bridge at Highway 43.
Turn left on Highway 43 (south) into the Buffalo National Historic District of Boxley Valley. Look for beaver activity along the old mill pond and visit Beaver Jim Villines' boyhood log cabin home. Explore Lost Valley's many natural wonders, then continue on 43 to Highway 21 (south) left. Pass beautiful homes and the picturesque churches at Boxley and Mossville.
Stay on 21 to experience a fantastic drive through the Ozark National Forest and the quaint settlements of Fallsville, Salus, and Ozone. On your return trip bear to the right at Edward's Junction (highway 16 east). Before returning along Scenic 7 Byway north, you will want to explore the craft shops and quaint country stores at Swain, Nail, and Deer.
Once on the Byway (highway 7 north) you will view the incredible vistas and valleys--the Arkansas Grand Canyon and the Buffalo river Canyon. This trip will return to the town square in Jasper.
Scenic 7 Byway Tour
Approximately 42 miles
Arkansas' first Scenic Byway runs north and south through the middle of Newton Country from Dogpatch to Pelsor and was named one of the top 10 driving experiences in the country by Car and Driver Magazine. Panoramic vistas greet you around every curve such as the scenic overlook of the Buffalo River Canyon, called "The best View in Arkansas" by the Arkansas Times.
The Arkansas Grand Canyon is a breathtaking sight and the beauty of the Ozark National Forest surrounds you as well as small towns with rich histories along the way. From Pelsor to Dogpatch you will find many craft shops, antique stores , and an art gallery for your shopping pleasure.
Historical sights are abundant and it is very interesting to learn how the people who settled in these beautiful mountain survived so many years ago. If the stomach starts to growl, you will find everything from a good old-fashioned deli sandwich to superbly cooked meals at the restaurants along the way.
When you visit the quaint county seat at Jasper, you will want to stroll around the town where the native rock architecture sets off a charming courthouse square and the jailhouse is on the National Historic Register and is still in use.
This driving tour is one that you will always treasure and remember
The Little Buffalo River Tour
Approximately 35 miles
From Jasper, go north on Scenic 7 Byway across the Little buffalo river and turn left (west) on Highway 74. Turn left again onto Highway 327 and travel through the pastoral Little Buffalo River Valley. Follow the bluff line to the old creek rock buildings at Parthenon. Climb up the mountain to Wayton and on to Alum Cove which offers established trails to a natural bridge. Cross a quiet meandering creek and explore the caves. Wildflowers and trees are identified along the trail. This town also includes the fabulous views of Scenic 7 byway and the charm of Jasper. Six miles of this tour are via gravel roads.
Red Rock Point Tour
Approximately 15 miles
View all sides of majestic Red Rock Point by traveling east on Highway 374 just five miles south of Jasper. The 14% grade offers panoramic views of the Big Creek Valley's Farms, mountains, and hollows. Travel to Vendor along picturesque Big Creek along Highway 123. Turn left (north) on 123 to the Piercetown General Store and turn left again (west) on Highway 74 to Jasper. Don't forget to keep an eye upwards to view the ever-present Red Rock Point all along the way.
Country Farms And Country Towns
Approximately 53 miles
Travel north on Scenic 7 Byway across the Buffalo National River at Pruitt Range station. Enjoy shops along the way to Highway 206, turn right (east) driving through scenic pastoral and to Highway 65 at Bellefonte. Turn right (south) and enjoy craft shops and country meals at the grocery store in Western Grove. Turn right on Highway 123 (west) and drive the roller coaster ride through pastures and woods. Pass through Hasty and cross the Buffalo National River again at the Carver Bridge and visit the country store at Piercetown. Turn right (east) on Highway 74 and travel through forests and valleys with view of impressive Red Rock Point as you travel back to Jasper. Turn left (south) on Scenic 7 Byway to return to the Jasper town square.
Ridge Top, Forest, and Valley Tour
Approximately 53 miles
Travel south on Scenic & Byway from the charming Jasper courthouse square. Stop at the scenic overlook to view the panoramic views of the Buffalo River Valley- noted best view in Arkansas by the Arkansas Times. Then view vista after vista as you ride the ridge above the Arkansas Grand Canyon through Cowell to Lurton. Here you will turn left (north) on Highway 123 (gravel road) with more incredible views through the Ozark National Forest through quaint Mount Judea. The short jaunt into picturesque Bass on Highway 74 is well worth the trip. From Mount Judea, venture over two one-lane bridges as you cross Big Creek. At Piercetown, turn left on Highway 74 (west) to travel back to Jasper. On the way enjoy breathtaking views of Red Rock Point.
Buffalo National River Loop
Approximately 47 Miles
Travel west on Highway 74 from Scenic & Byway to Mount Sherman with Buffalo National River access at Kyle's Landing (three mile dirt road, steep). Continue on to Low Gap which was aptly named and was the historical crossroads serving as the lowest passage for Newton County pioneer travelers.
You may want to visit Steel Creek Campground which offers the longest continuous bluff line along the river. There is an excellent swimming hole, access to the Buffalo National River Trail, and a view of the elk, best seen in the morning or evening. A stop at the Ponca low water bridge (left at highway 43, then left again) provides photo opportunities of the elk that are often seen in the nearby field. Then a short walk to Beaver Jim Villines' boyhood log cabin which was lived in until the 1950s is well worth viewing.
After that, go north on Highway 43 to Ponca where the general store was built in the 1930s as part of the lead and zinc mining boom in the area. Logging was also popular, cutting oak to make whisky barrel staves, and cedar for pencils. In those days, the Buffalo River was used as the transportation highway within the county.
Continuing on north, the Centerpoint Trail offers hiking to Hemmed In Hollow and the highest waterfall between the Rockies and the Appalachians. Traveling on to Compton you will see the old one room schoolhouse the pioneers built that was used until the 1960s and is now the area's community building. Now the drive offers pull-offs atop Gaither Mountain that look down on the city of Harrison.
Turn right on Highway 206 traveling east past homes and farms to Highway 7. Turn tight again and you will travel through the beautiful countryside past Dogpatch, Mill Creek, and then to the Pruitt Ranger Station. You can stop in there, enjoy a picnic at the park, or just view the towering bluffs of the river. Then continue on south along Scenic 7 byway and back to the quaint city of Jasper.
Parthenon Valley Tour
Approximately 5 Miles
Highway 327, Jasper to Parthenon. The Hudson Sanitarium Agriculture Building Historic District, part of the first farm along this pretty little 5 mile drive along Little Buffalo, is another National Register site. Built to help finance a tuberculosis sanitarium that was part of a pro gram that served as a model for many states, it was owned by Dr. W.A. Hudson. Diamond Cave is located just a mile north of this road which will take you all the way to the Highway 16 junction at Wayton, but the part from Parthenon on is still under construction and not yet paved, so it could be rough and, in rain, very muddy.