Explore the Talimena Scenic Drive


In response to the popularity of ‘driving for pleasure,’ the USDA Forest service established the National Forest Scenic Byway Program in May 1988. This program promotes and recognizes highways in the 156 national forests across 44 states with outstanding scenery and historical significance.

One of the first National forest Scenic Byways, the Talimena Scenic Drive, is located in the western part of the Ouachita Mountains. The drive, designated in February 1989, is between the city limits of Mena, Arkansas and a point of US highway 271 just north of Talihina, Oklahoma.

Constructed by the Oklahoma and Arkansas Highway departments between 1964 and 1969 with federal public highway funds, the route connected two truck trails originally built by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The Oklahoma and Arkansas highway departments’ now maintain the byway.

View Talimena National Scenic Byway in a larger map