There is a good reason Arkansas is called the Natural State, it is incredibly beautiful. Many of you reading this probably think “Arkansas? Seriously? Would never have thought about that.” Well, here is why you should not overlook it.
For all you nature lovers visiting the States you should put Arkansas high on your list of places to visit. From mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers, it has everything an outdoor lover could dream of.
Hiking, camping, and cliff jumping are some of the most popular activities to do is this lively state. There are about 30 state parks to choose from to hike/camp and numerous rivers to float/cliff jump. I lived in Fayetteville, AR for 4 years while attending university so majority of my time here I stuck to places located near the Northwest region of Arkansas in the Ozark National Forest.
Devil’s Den State Park
Devil’s Den has great trails that are easy to navigate and a lookout point that is very popular among locals and tourists. In West Fork, AR this state park has trails for all levels- if you want an intense hike the Butterfield trail is for you, if not, stick to the Yellow Rock trail.
Beaver Lake, Rogers, AR
Located way northwest in Arkansas sits Beaver Lake. It is man made and has almost 500 miles of shoreline. Many people own boats and jet skis come out to this lake for a good time. Some of the best times I’ve ever had were at this lake jumping off these cliffs with my college friends!
Eureka Springs, AR
Just west of Beaver Lake is the city of Eureka Springs that is known for its Historic District and Victorian style architecture. This quaint city has naturals springs throughout that you can just walk up to and drink from!
There is numerous activities to do in this small town that you might not expect and also a haunted hotel! Explore caves, explore downtown underground tours, and visit taprooms! If you don’t feel like walking, take the tram tour that slowly cruises around town to see all the sites. Stay the weekend in the haunted Crescent Hotel if you’re feeling brave!
Must sees: Thorncrown Chapel, Christ of the Ozarks, Palace Bath House, Crescent Hotel
More info at https://www.eurekasprings.org/
Floating down the Buffalo River
The river stretches for 135 miles through north central Arkansas and is separated between the Upper, Middle, and Lower Buffalo that each run through different cities/areas. Canoeing/ Kayaking down this river is a whole lot of fun just be sure to plan ahead and check the river levels before heading out. They will not let you float down in certain conditions. I’d recommend canoeing or kayaking instead of tubing because if you reach stagnant water (and you will at some point) you’ll want to paddle out.
More info about traveling down the Buffalo: https://www.nps.gov/buff/canoe-rentals.htm
Kyle’s Landing Recreation Area and Campground, Jasper, AR
This almost hidden gem is located in Jasper, AR is apart of the Buffalo river and is great for a weekend of camping. From here you can continue your float trip down the Buffalo river to whichever spot you want to stop at. There is also a cliff ledge that’s a popular jumping spot as you can see below in the top right of the picture.
Greer’s Ferry Lake
Located in Heber Springs, AR (Arkansas is big on springs if you can’t tell) about 60 miles north of the capital of Little Rock sits this 40,000+ acre lake (yeah, it’s huge). Just like Beaver Lake, it’s perfect for boating, wake boarding, tubing, and jet skiing. And the sunsets never disappoint.
Ouchita State Park/Lake Ouchita, Hot Springs, AR
Pronounced [wash-it-taw] this beautiful forest stretches from eastern Oklahoma to western Arkansas. I attended a summer camp on Lake Ouchita for 4 summers during high school and it was a great experience. The Ouchita mountains are very scenic and great for backpacking through. Lake Ouchita has some of the clearest water and is one of the cleanest freshwater lakes.
More info on backpacking throughout this forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/ouachita/recreation/hiking/?recid=10712&actid=51
These are only a few of the great places in the Natural State of Arkansas that are worth visiting. I could go on and on about how beautiful this state is and how much I love it, but that would go on for a while, so go find out for yourself just how wonderful it is!
List of other beautiful places in Arkansas: http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/arkansas/must-see-sites-in-arkansas/