Cherokee Hills Scenic Byway
Situated in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, the Cherokee Hills Scenic Byway is a showcase of eastern Oklahoma’s tremendous diversity. From breathtaking natural beauty to a rich cultural and historical background, the Cherokee Hills Scenic Byway is sure to capture the imagination of visitors. This federally recognized drive has been nationally designated as part of the American Byways program and is a must-see in every season.
The southern route entrance and exit starts by navigating along the shores of Lake Tenkiller, a clear lake that is a favorite of scuba divers, boating enthusiasts and anglers. Further down the byway, visitors are greeted by stunning views of the Cookson Hills and the lush forests of the lower Ozark Mountain range. Seasonal changes offer a unique and diverse array of views.
Travelers will also enjoy the story and history of Tahlequah, the Cherokee Nation Capitol. Beyond Tahlequah, the northern part of the route parallels the clear waters of the scenic Illinois River. The Illinois is a prime destination for canoeing, rafting or kayaking. Sheer cliff faces and unique vistas emerge with every bend in the road. Those traveling the northern route will be enchanted by Natural Falls State Park, which boasts the tallest waterfall in Oklahoma.
The Cherokee Hills Byway is defined as beginning at Highway 10 N (Carlisle Road) on the north side of I-40 in Sequoyah County. The byway proceeds north along Highway 10 to the junction of Highways 10/64 and then proceeds northwest to the town of Gore. The route continues northeast along Highway 100 until it reaches the junction of Highways 100/ 10A. At this junction, the route heads east on Highway 100 to the junction of Hwy 82 into Cherokee County.
From there, the route continues north along Highways 82/100 for 20 miles, passing through Cookson and Keys, to the junction of Highways 62/10. The byway enters the city of Tahlequah, where Highway 62 becomes Muskogee Avenue. The byway travels Muskogee Avenue north to Downing Street. From there, the byway follows Downing Street east to the Highway 51/10/82 interchange, where it proceeds east and then north along Highway 10 for approximately 20 miles to the Adair County line.
The byway continues northeast along Highway 10 through Adair County for 2.5 miles to the Delaware County line. At the Delaware County line, the byway follows Highway 10 north approximately four miles to the intersection of Highway 412. At this intersection, the byway turns back east and follows Highway 59/412-Alternate approximately 12.5 miles, ending at the Oklahoma/Arkansas State line in West Siloam Springs. The length of the byway is 84 miles long.