Visitors come from far and wide to experience Arkansas outdoors. Whether you’re looking for record-breaking trout fishing, championship golfing or hiking in one of three national forests, Arkansas offers endless adventures. It’s also a place where you can simply slow down, relax and appreciate the natural beauty all around you.
LAKES AND RIVERS
Visitors come from far and wide to experience record-setting trout and bass fishing in The Natural State. Bassmaster’s list of “Best 100 Bass Lakes in America” includes four from Arkansas: #34 Lake Dardanelle, #44 Bull Shoals, #72 Millwood Lake and #88 Lake Ouachita. Major rivers include the Buffalo, Kings, White, Little Red and Spring. The Arkansas River hosts the annual Big Bass Bonanza, the state’s largest amateur fishing tournament, June 24-26.
Arkansas’s natural beauty and moderate climate, combined with the diversity of terrain available across the state, make it a year-round golfing destination. Play through rolling hills, hardwood forests, towering pines, grand prairies and fertile deltas and alongside tranquil rivers, crisp mountain lakes and pristine streams. Eleven of the state’s finest courses are listed on The Natural State Golf Trail.
Getting back to nature is a popular pastime, and hiking in Arkansas is a great way to experience the beauty and majesty of The Natural State. Arkansas boasts more than 250 trails designed for day hiking, as well as extended excursions, such as backpacking through the Ozark Highlands and Ouachita National recreation areas. Arkansas State Park trails are searchable online at ArkansasStateParks.com/things-to-do/trails. For underground adventures, book a guided cave tour of Cosmic Cavern in Berryville, War Eagle Cavern in Rogers or Blanchard Springs Caverns in Mountain View.
ROAD CYCLING & MOUNTAIN BIKING
Arkansas’s diverse terrain and mild climate makes for great riding. In Central Arkansas, the Arkansas River Trail is an 88-mile loop that runs alongside the scenic Arkansas River. It also includes the Big Dam Bridge, the longest bridge specifically built for cyclists and pedestrians. For rides of epic proportions, Arkansas boasts five “Epic” rides as designated by the International Mountain Biking Association: Womble Trail near Mount Ida; Syllamo Mountain Bike Trail north of Mountain View; Lake Ouachita Vista Trail in Hot Springs; the Ouachita National Recreation Trail near Hot Springs and the Upper Buffalo near Kingston. Bentonville is home to the Slaughter Pen Trail, a 16-mile, single-track trail system, and boasts the Razorback Regional Greenway, an impressive trail system that links Fayetteville, Johnson, Springdale, Lowell, Rogers and Bentonville.
Arkansas takes vacations to the extreme. Discover rock climbing, hang gliding, off-road ATV riding and zip lining. Two Arkansas State Parks offer hang gliding, the 2,753-foot Mount Magazine and the 1,350-foot Mount Nebo. Zip line excursions are located throughout the state, including Buffalo River Canopy Tours in Ponca, Ozark Mountain Ziplines in Eureka Springs, Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Loco Ropes at Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, Ouachita Bend Adventures in Malvern, Rowdy Adventures in Okolona and Zippin Griffin in Hardy, to name a few. No matter what your sport, you’ll always find adventure in Arkansas.
ARKANSAS STATE PARKS
This spring and summer, experience the best of The Natural State at one or more of 52 Arkansas state parks. Plan a hiking, horseback riding, canoeing or camping trip with friends and family. Museums, archeological sites and historic places make learning fun, while mountains, lakes and rivers provide peace and quiet in a scenic setting. Some unique Arkansas State Parks include: Petit Jean Mountain State Park near Morrilton, Mount Magazine near Paris; Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View and the newly renovated Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Mena.
Arkansas offers some of the best motorcycling in the country. In fact, readers USA Today rated the Pig Trail Scenic Byway on Hwy. 23 as #1 in the U.S. on its list of 10 Best Motorcycle Trips. The 2016 Arkansas Motorcycling Guide showcases 25 classic rides across the state plus six dual sport routes for off-road adventure. Mapped out along the way are interesting stopovers and must-see attractions in biker-friendly cities and towns. Also included are coupons for restaurants, lodges and other venues. Plan your trip around an award-winning rally or festival. Order your free copy of the Arkansas Motorcycling Guide today.