Talimena Drive in Eastern Oklahoma Shines with Fall’s Glory

As fall approaches, the leaves begin to change color from green to fiery red, burnt orange, lemon yellow and sultry brown.

The Talimena National Scenic Byway is stunning 54-mile route in southeast Oklahoma, but it is also a picture-perfect way to view breathtaking fall foliage. Designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as an official National Scenic Byway, the Talimena Drive was built specifically to highlight the area’s foliage and spans one of the highest mountain ranges between the Appalachians and the Rockies.

Winding through the heart of Oklahoma’s Choctaw Country, the scenic drive runs from Talihina, Oklahoma, to Mena, Arkansas. 

Yet the route offers so much more than just a pleasant drive. The Talimena Drive has scenic turnoffs to see the crested peaks with 22 designated vistas. Roadway interpretive signs help drivers understand the unique geography of the Ouachita National Forest, but the forest’s foliage really explodes in a riot of color during the fall months. 

Be sure stop along the drive at some of the area’s most popular destinations, including Talimena State Park, the Ouachita National Forest and the Cedar Lake Recreation Area to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, horseback riding and more.