Boston Mountains

The Boston Mountains are breathtaking plateaus located in the southern boundary of the Ozark Mountains. It is bounded in the north and south by the Springfield Plateau and Arkansas Valley respectively as well as the White River and Arkansas River. Primitive settlers called the area “Boston” upon discovery of the area not because it had any connection with Massachusetts but because of it’s challenging and rugged topography. It is technically not a mountain range but a chain of plateaus hoisted from the ancient ocean floor. Chunks of land built up by waves with subsequent hardening of inherent sandstones and shale transformed into breathtaking valleys that we know today.

The Boston mountains outstretch the east-west territory of northwestern Arkansas to northeastern Oklahoma state line for roughly 200 miles. Buttressed by the heterogeneity of natural stones such as shale, siltstone, and Pennsylvanian sandstone, the Boston mountains is considered a highly protected ecosystem because the forested area not only serves as a sanctuary for various trees that keeps the air we breathe clean but also provide a home for different animals that maintain existing natural food chains. The different trees that can be found here are those belonging to oak species – red, black, scarlet, white, and chestnut oaks; hickory species – pignut, bitternut, shagbark hickory as well as flowering dogwood, blueberry, mountain laurel, and hawthorn. Boston mountain’s oak-hickory forest also function as a natural habitat for different animal and bird species such as flying squirrels, gray squirrels, chipmunks, blue jays, and wild turkeys.


The highest portion of the Ozark mountains is located in the Boston mountain plateaus. In fact, several peaks are found here. The summits can reach as high as 2,560 feet from the ground. The Turner Ward Knob peak, located in Newton County is the highest pinnacle in the Boston mountains. It is 2,463 feet elevated from the ground. Turner Ward Knob peak serves as the central point for locating five other nearby summits. Two of these summits, one of which nestles the Buffalo lookout fire tower, are located several miles west of Turner Ward Knob. The other three peaks are located southwest of Turner Ward Knob.

How to get there

Northwest Arkansas was recognized as one of the places with the best trails to visit especially during the fall season where once can fully appreciate the landscape. There are various starting points you can choose to take if you plan to visit the Boston mountains via land travel. You can start from north of Cass on Arkansas 23 and take Arkansas 215 or take Arkansas 74, west to Ponca if you are coming from Jasper. Another route to take is Arkansas 43 south to Ponca if you are coming from Harrison. You can also begin in Hagarville, Johnson County, and take Arkansas 123 north to Mount Judea. You could also take the Pig Trail Scenic Byway north to Huntsville if you’re coming from the Ozarks. These are just some of the ways you can reach the Boston mountains.

So if you want to stand atop the plateaus and witness the majestic beauty of nature, the time is now.

Check out this other attraction in Northwest Arkansas! Fayetteville Confederate Cemetery

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