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Arkansas's Top Adventures Await You

Southern natural beauty at its finest- discover Arkansas’s plethora of hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, waterfall chasing, and crystal mining opportunities.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

If you haven’t checked Arkansas off the list of US states you’ve visited, it may be time to change that. Head down south and experience all the top-notch outdoor adventuring and exploring Arkansas has to offer. A hub for feel-good cuisine, hiking, fishing, boating, and biking - there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy. If you haven't yet considered Arkansas as your next adventure hub, let these community-approved adventures sway your interest. 

Your chance to access the backcountry beauty of Arkansas

To really indulge in all of The Natural State's raw beauty, enter the Arkansas Tourism contest for a chance to be personally flown from one remote location to the next to participate in otherwise challenging to access outdoor adventures.

The details: Arkansas Tourism is giving away one (1) three-night, four-day stay and aerial tour in Arkansas to one lucky winner and a guest of their choice. Winners will be flown to remote areas around the state to participate in Arkansas’s top outdoor activities. You can check out the official contest rules here.

Enter to Win Here.

Check out this list of must-try activities to inspire your trip to Arkansas. 

Dine at Lost Forty Brewing

Photo: Lost Forty Brewing

Arkansas is home to a variety of regional cuisines, but it's especially known for its barbecue and traditional country cooking. There’s no doubt you’ll be ready for a hearty meal washed down with a cold beer after all the active exploring you’re bound to do! To satisfy your foodie cravings, stop by this rustic warehouse named after a 40-acre plot of timberland for some casual dining with friends and renowned craft beers in Little Rock. Your mouth will water at the sight of the meat plates with sides of pickles, mustards, and housemade bratwurst. This will do the trick to refuel you for your next hiking or biking adventure in the area. Cheers to that! 

Fly Fish Below Shoals Dam on the White River

Photo: Parker Dodson

Though unknown to many, Arkansas is actually home to some of the best fly fishing opportunities in all of the US. The White River, in particular, is one of the best spots for catching trout on a fly rod. Gear up, tie your flies, and cast into the cool waters for a chance to reel in some brown, rainbow, and brook trout time after time with the right technique. Fishermen travel from near and far for a day on these abundant waters.

Lodge at the Hot Springs Treehouses

Photo: Hot Springs Treehouses

Looking for a place to stay while visiting the nearby Hot Springs National Park or the Northwoods Bike Trail? Look no further! Spend the day exploring nearby adventures in the Ouachita Mountains region and then retreat into a lush canopy of trees while staying in a treehouse! It's an experience that doesn’t come around all too often. Luxury accommodations, a unique vantage point, and marvelous views of the surrounding environment make this the perfect place to kick back and find some inner peace among the leaves.

Explore Crater of Diamonds State Park

Photo: Arkansas State Parks

Finders, keepers! Try your luck at spotting a diamond in the rough at this mining site- the only one in the world open to the public. Eons ago, the high temperatures and pressures below the Earth’s surface crystallized carbon into diamonds, which were then brought to the surface by the formation of a volcanic vent. The 83-acre crater became a spot known for housing diamonds in the soil as a man nicknamed “Diamond John” found the first diamonds centuries after the volcanic event. Now, anyone can be the next Diamond John! All you really need are your hands and a keen eye to scan the ground for a dazzling prize.

Spend the Afternoon at Arkansas Air and Military Museum

Photo: Arkansas Air and Military Museum

When traveling to new places, it’s always nice to take home a bit of the region’s history. This museum located at a former US aviator training post during WWII showcases Arkansas and American history through exciting displays of original artifacts and aviation memorabilia. You’ll learn about the golden age of aviation to the jet age to the Vietnam era. This museum also features a hangar full of historic aircraft, plus several planes in the open air for you to get up close to! While taking in the displays, you’ll likely become flooded with a greater appreciation for aircraft and the astounding ability to soar high in the sky. Begin dreaming of jetting off to the nearby White Rock Rim Trail and Tea Kettle Falls.

Hike to the Glory Hole Waterfall

Photo: Kevin Abernathy

Set out on this short hike to see this one-of-a-kind waterfall in the Ozarks. A rushing stream flows into a gaping hole in the rocks, creating a cascading waterfall like you’ve never seen before. You’ll marvel at the bottom while looking up to see the falling water drop down from what seems like a secret portal in the roof of a rocky ceiling. Be extremely careful on this hike as the water can make the rocks slippery.

Hike Pinnacle Mountain State Park

Photo: Nick Garcia

Get ready to take in breathtaking views of Lake Maumelle, the Arkansas River Valley, and the Ouachita Mountains at the top of Pinnacle Mountain located in Little Rock, AR. The hike is a 1.5 mile trail that is moderately rated and gets a bit more challenging closer to the top, but is well worth the hustle. There’s nothing better than triumphantly standing atop a summit, rewarded by the expanse of treetops as far as the eye can see and feeling like one of the birds.

Bike the Slaughter Pen Trail

Photo: OZ Trails

Calling all bike enthusiasts! This extensive network of trails in Bentonville offers a number of fun and challenging courses to ride on. It’s a one-of-a-kind urban mountain biking experience that follows along both the Razorback Regional Greenway as well as the Crystal Bridge Museum of American Art, where bikers can admire public art while moving past. This trail system is great for bikers of all levels from beginner to expert. There’s something fun for all adrenaline junkies! Check out the Railyard in the neighboring city of Rogers for additional mountain biking excitement. 

Get Inspired at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Photo: Crystal Bridges Museum

Located right by the Slaughter Pen Bike Trail is this architecturally striking art museum. Spend some time on the trails and then bike right up to the museum to check out exhibits that display American masterpieces, sculptures, and lesser-known treasures. The impressive range of artwork means there’s much to see and feel inspired by! Part of the appeal is how this museum seamlessly blends art with architecture and nature, exuding especially creative energy.

Cover Photo: Nick Garcia

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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