The Best Outdoor Activities in Arkansas

Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.

Backpack to the Natural Bridge

Arkansas / Hurricane Creek Trailhead (unofficial)

After you drive across the one-lane bridge and take the dirt road immediately after it, follow that dirt road until it begins to bend to the left.

John Chau
935 Saves

Camp on Big Bluff

Arkansas / Big Bluff (Centerpoint Trailhead)

This adventure begins at the Counterpoint Trailhead just north of Ponca, AR. Follow the trail downhill for about 2.7 miles until you reach a split in the trail.

Parker Dodson
767 Saves

Hike to Hawksbill Crag

Arkansas / Hawksbill Crag/Whitaker Point TH

This is one of the most popular hiking spots in all of Arkansas. However, doing the hike early in the morning provides one of the best places of all time to watch a sunrise.

Parker Dodson
668 Saves

Hike Lost Valley

Arkansas / Lost Valley Trailhead

This is a beautiful trail that is easily accessible and only a short 3 mile hike. Start at the trailhead on the north end of the parking area.

Parker Dodson
480 Saves

Relax at Falling Water Falls

Arkansas / Falling Water Falls

This is definitely a hidden gem located in the middle of nowhere. This waterfall is literally on the side of the road, which makes for a great place to stop and have lunch.

Noah West
472 Saves

Hike the Yellow Rock Trail

Arkansas / Yellow Rock Trailhead

Yellow Rock Trail offers an easy loop hike with stunning views of the Ozark Mountains. The trail is located just south of Fayetteville, AR in Devil’s Den State Park.

Jon King
424 Saves

Hike Sam's Throne

Arkansas / Sam's Throne Trailhead

This hike starts at the Sam's Throne Campground parking area. Once you walk to the end of the campground there is a fence with three different entrances that all lead to different trails.

Parker Dodson
383 Saves

Hike to Hemmed-In Hollow Falls

Arkansas / Hemmed-In Hollow Falls Trailhead

After parking at the Hemmed-In Hollow Falls Trailhead, follow the path down as it descends into the valley.

John Chau
347 Saves

Camp at Horseshoe Bend Campground, AR

Arkansas / Horseshoe Bend Campground

The campground has several sites along the shores of Beaver Lake. Its restrooms are clean and include free hot showers. The campground does not provide firewood.

Jon King
329 Saves

Camp along the Buffalo National River

Arkansas / Buffalo National River, Steele Creek

This is a night of camping that is one for the books. Head to the Steele Creek area on the Buffalo River.

Parker Dodson
324 Saves

Backpacking Cecil Creek

Arkansas / Hideout Hollow

From Tulsa, head out east along US-412 until you reach HWY 103. Take a right (south) on HWY 103 and follow it toward Compton, Arkansas.

John Chau
323 Saves

Explore Twin Falls, Arkansas

Arkansas / Twin Falls Parking Area, AR

Proceed to the Camp Orr Campground down near the banks of the Buffalo River. Once you reach the bottom of the hill you will cross a low water bridge over a small creek.

Parker Dodson
320 Saves

Backpacking Along the Buffalo River

Arkansas / Centerpoint Trail

Park at the Centerpoint Trailhead and follow the Centerpoint trail as it heads about 3 miles downhill towards Big Bluff.

John Chau
295 Saves

Hike to Punchbowl Falls

Arkansas / Ozark Highlands Trail (Searcy 12 Highway)

Go in the early Fall or late Spring! You start off on the Ozark Highland Trail. As you start walking along the trail you can see where people have slept the night before.

David Cox
291 Saves

Hike to Scenic Big Bluff

Arkansas / Big Bluff (Centerpoint Trailhead)

The hike starts at the Centerpoint Trailhead and follows a clearly defined trail for 3 miles (approximately one hour) with mostly downhill or flat terrain and views through the trees of the rolling O.

Seth Cagle
283 Saves

Backpack along Hurricane Creek

Arkansas / White Rock Mountain-Shores Lake Trailhead

After arriving at the trailhead near the Shores Lake Campground (there is a $3 parking fee, so bring cash), head along the path and go west at the T-junction.

John Chau
238 Saves

Backpack Along Whitaker Creek

Arkansas / Hawksbill Crag/Whitaker Point TH

After arriving at the Whitaker Point/Hawksbill Crag trailhead, start going down the path for about 1/8th of a mile. You’ll cross a small stream, and here is where you’ll turn off the trail.

John Chau
219 Saves

Hike to Hideout Hollow

Arkansas / Hideout Hollow

After parking at the trailhead, head down the well-trodden path and follow it the 0.85 miles downhill to the overlook.

John Chau
216 Saves

Hike the Glory Hole Falls Trail

Arkansas / Glory Hole Falls Trailhead

This trail and waterfall is located 13.8 miles south of Boxley, AR or 5.7 miles east of Fallsville, AR.

Kevin Abernethy
211 Saves

Hike to Tea Kettle Falls

Arkansas / Tea Kettle Falls Trailhead

Finding Tea Kettle Falls is the most challenging part of this adventure. The trailhead is located in the McIlroy-Madison County Wildlife Management Area in northwest Arkansas. From Forum, travel 6.

Jon King
191 Saves

Hike to Cedar Falls

Arkansas / Mather Lodge Parking Lot

When I did this hike it was unbelievable. This entire valley looks like something out of a painting.

Noah West
188 Saves

Hike to Magnolia Falls

Arkansas / Magnolia Falls Trailhead

This adventure starts at the parking area that is marked by a Wilderness Area sign. The trailhead is actually the old jeep trail that makes its way through the woods.

Parker Dodson
185 Saves

Hike to Sweden Creek Falls

Arkansas / Sweden Creek Falls TH

Proceed to Sweden Creek Falls Natural Area near Kingston, Arkansas. Find somewhere to park near the gate along the dirt road. The trailhead is located beside the gate.

Parker Dodson
182 Saves

Paddle the Buffalo National River: Ponca to Kyle's Landing

Arkansas / Buffalo National River, Ponca Bridge

Put in at the Ponca Bridge, or Steel Creek if the water is too low, for the most scenic float in Arkansas.

Matt Bishop
170 Saves

Hike to Neil Compton's Double Falls

Arkansas / Whitaker Creek Trailhead

The parking area for Neil Compton’s Double Falls is approximately 1.1 miles past the trailhead for Hawksbill Crag on Cave Mountain Road.

Jon King
168 Saves

Hike to Pam's Grotto

Arkansas / Pam's Grotto Trailhead

Getting to this trailhead is the most difficult part. The small parking area/campground is located about a half mile east of the Haw Creek Falls Campground.

Kevin Abernethy
154 Saves

Fly Fish the White River

Arkansas / Bull Shoals-White River State Park

Spend a week or weekend trout fishing on the world famous White River, located in north central Arkansas.

Parker Dodson
146 Saves

Paddle the Little Red River

Arkansas / Little Red River

The Little Red starts at the base of Greers Ferry Dam. This river is crystal clear and is stocked with trout.

Tanner Kuespert
142 Saves

Climb at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

Arkansas / Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch (HCR) 36°0'25"N 93°17'23"W is located just West of Jasper, Arkansas and hosts hundreds of sport/trad climbing routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.

Zachary Heiliger
136 Saves

Hike Hot Springs Mountain then Soak at Buckstaff Bathhouse

Arkansas / Buckstaff Bathhouse

Start your day at the Buckstaff Bathhouse.

Joy Scarola
135 Saves

Drive the Talimena Scenic Byway

Arkansas / Highway 88, Mena

The Talimena Scenic Byway is one of the highlights of the Ouachita National Forest.

Josiah Liston
133 Saves

Hike the White Rock Rim Trail

Arkansas / White Rock Mountain, AR

The trail around the Rim of White Rock Mountain is one of the best trails for vantage points.  Nestled in the beautiful Boston Mountains in north central area of Arkansas.

Parker Dodson
115 Saves

Hike Pedestal Rocks Loop

Arkansas / Pedestal Rocks Trail

Shortly after the trailhead, you’ll come to a three-way intersection. Head straight on Pedestal Rocks Trail to make a counterclockwise loop. Follow through the woods until you reach the bluff line.

Jon King
108 Saves

Camp at Richland Creek Campground

Arkansas / Richland Creek Campground

This is one of my favorite places to camp in Arkansas. Once you get there you can hike to Twin Falls or Sandstone Castle, or explore the numerous cascades along Richland Creek.

Noah West
102 Saves

Canoe or Kayak the Buffalo River From Pruitt Landing to Hasty

Arkansas / Buffalo River Pruitt Landing

The Buffalo River is America's first National River and flows freely for 135 miles.

Jess Curren
84 Saves

Photograph Crooked Creek Falls

Arkansas / Crooked Creek Falls

This 16 ft waterfall is located just off the road, and can be combined with a day trip to Little Missouri Falls, nearby. Photo Credit: robert thigpen

Hike the Rim Trail at Mount Nebo SP

Arkansas / Rim Trail Trailhead

The official trailhead for the Rim Trail can be found on the north side of Country Rd 92, but it seems to be much easier to start the hike right behind the visitors center.

Nick Garcia
76 Saves

Camp at Petit Jean SP

Arkansas / Petit Jean State Park Visitor Center

Located between Ft. Smith and Little Rock, just south of Interstate 40, you will find the state treasure that is Petit Jean State Park. Its central location makes it very easy for any one to visit.

Nick Garcia
75 Saves

Hike to Little Missouri Falls

Arkansas / Little Missouri Trail

This beautiful waterfall in the Ouachita National Forest is only a short distance along Little Missouri Trail. There is a picnic area by the parking lot, as well.

Hike the Caddo Bend Trail

Arkansas / Caddo Bend Trailhead

Located within the Lake Ouachita State Park, the Caddo Bend Trail is an wonderful 2-3 hour hike.

Mike Fennell
74 Saves

Hike the Pinnacle Mountain West Summit Trail

Arkansas / Pinnacle Mountain State Park West Summit Trailhead

This rocky trail begins at the park picnic grounds and winds its way to the top of Pinnacle Mountain.

Nick Garcia
66 Saves

Backpack the Eagle Rock Loop

Arkansas / Albert Pike Recreation Area

Located in Ouachita National Forest, Eagle Rock Loop is Arkansas' longest loop, perfect for a 3-4 day backpack.

Drake Osborn
64 Saves

Camp at Mount Nebo SP

Arkansas / Mount Nebo State Park Visitors Center

Mount Nebo State Park is just 12 miles southwest of Russellville, AR, home of Arkansas Tech University.

Nick Garcia
61 Saves

Hike to Richland Falls and Twin Falls of Richland Creek

Arkansas / Richland Creek Trail

The hike to Richland Falls and Twin Falls of Richland creek begins at the Richland Creek Campground. From the entrance of the campground take the road to the right heading to the day use area.

Jon King
55 Saves

Hike the Devil's Den Trail

Arkansas / Devil's Den State Park Visitor Center

The Devil's Den Trail, in Devil's Den State Park, is a haven of vivid green along Lee Creek. This is the perfect hike for families, photographers, and those new to the Ozarks.

Sara Sheehy
53 Saves

Hike the Pinnacle Mountain East Summit Trail

Arkansas / Pinnacle Mountain East Summit Trailhead

The East Summit trail is a 1.5 out and back that reaches a final elevation of 1,011ft. The trailhead is in the southeast corner of the East Summit Parking Lot on Pinnacle Valley Road.

Nick Garcia
52 Saves

Explore the Old Mill At T.R. Pugh Memorial ParK

Arkansas / TR Pugh Memorial Park

Street parking is located just outside the main park gates. Park hours our sunrise to sunset. The Old Mill was built in 1933 as a historic replica of mills used in the in the 1880's.

Nick Garcia
51 Saves

Backpack to the Sandstone Castles

Arkansas / Richland Creek Trail

From the Richland Creek campground, Twin Falls is an approximate 3 mile hike followed by another mile (give or take) to the "Castles".

Tyler Fountain
50 Saves

Bike the Railyard

Arkansas / The Railyard Bike Park

Northwest Arkansas is aiming to be the premier mountain biking spot in the US and so far they are doing a great job. Located in Rogers, AR the Railyard is an incredible man-made bike park.

Jess Curren
49 Saves

Hike to Steel Creek Overlook

Arkansas / BRT Trailhead at Steel Creek

This hike begins at the popular Steel Creek Campground area along the Buffalo National River just outside of Ponca, Arkansas.

Parker Dodson
48 Saves

Hike the Seven Hollows Trail at Petit Jean SP

Arkansas / Seven Hollows Trailhead

Start the trail at the marked Seven Hollows Trailhead just off of Petit Jean Mountain Road- there's a small parking lot and signage board.

Kelsey Willis
41 Saves

Hike to Twin Falls in the Richland Creek Wilderness Area

Arkansas / Richland Creek Campground

This hike begins at Richland Creek Campground. There's a trace trail that begins from the lowest walk-in campsites and continues along Richland Creek as you head back towards the waterfall.

Jim Bellings
31 Saves

Hike The Rock Valley & East Quarry Trail, Pinnacle Mountain SP

Arkansas / Rock Valley Trail

The Rock Valley Trail and East Quarry Trail trailheads can be found on the Southeast side of the vistors center parking lot (Make sure the take the small walk up the stairs to the nearby overlook bef.

Nick Garcia
27 Saves

Hike the Falls Branch Trail in Lake Catherine SP

Arkansas / Lake Catherine SP Falls Branch Trailhead

The 3 trailheads to get to the Falls Branch waterfall can all be accessed within Lake Catherine SP.

Nick Garcia
27 Saves

Hike to Paige Falls and Broadwater Hollow Falls

Arkansas / Broadwater Hollow Trail

Although there is no official trailhead, Paige and Broadwater Hollow Falls can be accessed off of NC 2660 in Compton, Arkansas.

Jon King
24 Saves

Bike the Arkansas River Trail Bridges Loop

Arkansas / Arkansas River Trail/Clinton Bridge

 To start this bike ride, we parked in the Clinton Presidential Library parking lot just east of downtown.

Nick Garcia
24 Saves

Hike to V Slot Falls, Bear Creek Canyon

Arkansas / V Slot Falls Trailhead

Find County Road 1802 in Hagarville, Arkansas off of Arkansas Hwy 123. Travel about 2.2 miles down the road and park. Coordinates 35.68642, -93.

Jim Bellings
22 Saves

Bike or Walk Across the Big River Crossing

Arkansas / Big River Crossing

This is one of the best ways to experience the Mighty Mississippi and view the Memphis skyline. It takes about 10 minutes to bike across and maybe 20 minutes to walk across.

Adam Hite
12 Saves