It’s an old Creek word (with no known definition) that named this beautiful Byway with giant clear-water lakes feeding sparkling mountain streams, ancient towering bluffs, magnificent underground caverns, abundant wildlife, mountain forests, a brilliant night sky, and intriguing history. Early coins discovered in a Native American burial ground point to Spanish explorer DeSoto traveling the area in 1541. The Creeks moved from North Carolina in the late 1700s. Soon after the Louisiana Purchase made the Arkansas Territory part of America, the first Scots Irish arrived from Tennessee making their way up the White River in 1807. By 1810, Mountain Home was quickly gaining settlers and cattle ranchers seeking huge spreads from which to drive their herds to Kansas City. Linking this heritage, the Sylamore Scenic Byway winds through the Ozark National Forest, which in fall is alive with lavish colors, sweet dogwood blossoms in spring, and gently falling waterfalls. Ozark communities live a relaxed modern-day lifestyle with little hustle and bustle and welcome visitors with authentic, warm mountain hospitality. Your days can range from high energy outdoor activities, climbing mountains and exploring mountain caves, to meandering unique artist’s studios and a dip in a hot springs spa. All the while, you’re surrounded by the ever present, age old, Ozark Mountains, carved by nature over the ages and worn down by millenniums of weather. They’re an anchor of timelessness that’s particularly soothing.