Here we are in Arkansas already! It’s a unique tapestry of mountains, plains and delta. So, whether you choose to spend your time enjoying contemporary cityscapes or outdoor recreation you will feel not having enough time for all that's worth seeing.
1. Mount Magazine State Park
Prepare your mountain bike, you’ll need it, because this is on the state's tallest mountain, the 2,753-foot Mount Magazine.
Sweeping vistas of broad river valleys, deep canyons, and distant mountains welcome outdoor enthusiasts to Arkansas's highest point.
For a mountain biking passionate, my recommendation is the Huckleberry Mountain Trail, a challenging 34-mile trek down the mountain and into the adjacent Ozark National Forest. One of the more challenging Arkansas mountain bike trails.
Tip: Camping is allowed on the portions of trail that are located on national forest lands for anyone interesting in multi-day Arkansas mountain biking trips.
Too demanding for your taste? Take a more relaxing trail, because Mount Magazine State Park has several miles of bike lanes around the top of the mountain, for those wanting to get off the Arkansas mountain bike trails.
Riders can go from the lodge, out on the beautiful Cameron Bluff Drive and over to the park visitor center. Prime Arkansas sightseeing, nice rolling hills all along the way and refreshing mountain breezes make this ride a joy for all levels of cyclists.
Bikes are available to rent at the lodge. And be prepared: ware a helmet!
2. Whitaker Point
Never been to Niagara? What about some enchanting smaller waterfalls in the middle of the astonishing natural beauty?
Here we have what is called a 100% pleasure trip of 2.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Deer, Arkansas that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate.
If you will come here in the spring and fall rainy season you can discover a number of waterfalls. The trail's destination is the "Crag" which is truly breathtaking, a rock formation that juts out from the bluff's face that looks like a hawk's beak.
If your dog is used to ride near your, you will need to walk because it’s only allowed with leash.
The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
3. Pinnacle Mountain
Experience the diversity of natural habitat, from high upland peaks to bottomlands along the Big Maumelle River and Little Maumelle River.
You need your mountain bike here!
The state park's dominant natural feature is Pinnacle Mountain, which rises more than a thousand feet above the Arkansas River Valley. You can choose from 0.70-mile Rabbit Ridge Mountain Bike Trail or the 6.5-mile Jackfork Mountain Bike Trail.
Rabbit Ridge Mountain Bike Trail is a true mountain biking experience, but it can be access also by novice riders who want to improve their skills before attempting longer, more technical trails. Bottom line is an easy mountain biking trail of 0.70 mile.
If you are a bit more to a pro, choose Jackfork Mountain Bike Trail, a 6.5 mile intermediate/advanced trail designed for experienced mountain bikers. Here you have to deal with rocks, roots and elevation changes that give riders a true mountain biking experience.
4. Thorncrown Chapel
Photo Credit: huffingtonpost
Past or future? Modern or natural roots? Emotions or pure reason?
This are the mixed feelings you’ll have visiting the futuristic sylvan church a glass enclosed marvel of modern architecture.
The church, nestled in a woodland setting, rises forty-eight feet into the Ozark sky.
A magnificent wooden structure contains 425 windows and over 6,000 square feet of glass. It sits atop over 100 tons of native stone and colored flagstone, making it blend perfectly with its setting. The chapel's simple design and majestic beauty combine to make it what critics have called "one of the finest religious spaces of modern times”.
5. The Railyard Bike Park
Photo Credit: Pinterest
The candy shop of all passionate bikers: a slope style bicycle course!
If you have the biking hobby the first on your list in 2017 should be visiting The Railyard Bike Park in downtown Rogers. It’s the newest off-road offering for Northwest Arkansas, an excellent cycling destination, combining a variety of different runs to accommodate a variety of skill levels.
The park is designed to accommodate riders of all different skill-levels, beginner to expert, and different types of bicycles, striders to full suspension bikes to dirt jumpers to BMX.
If the whether is good you can come here daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. You will find here a pavilion, restrooms, water fountains, bike wash station, observation decks, dog park, and a large parking
6. The Old Mill Park
What you see is what it really is? Not this time!
The large gnarled bridges, the water wheel, railings, floor planks, scattered branches and logs, even the mill’s rope and pulley appear to be made out of petrified wood, stone or steel, but there are all in fact sculpted in cement. This striking structure appears in the opening scene of the classic 1939 film Gone with the Wind and is believed to be the only building remaining from the film.
The park is charming and straight out of a fairy tail, decorated with sculptures of toadstools, tree stumps, and a tree branch-entwined bridge that connects the mill to the rest of the park. You need to make this trip in the beauty of artists’ imagination!
7. Petit Jean State Park
This is one of Arkansas iconic places, natural and historic, located atop Petit Jean Mountain.
If you come here, follow the signs to Petit Jean’s gravesite, a tribute to the legendary young girl after whom the mountain is named.
Continue riding to the elegantly rustic Mather Lodge for lunch.
From the Lodge you can go to Cedar Falls, one of the natural wonders of this park.
Walk your bike down the boardwalk for stunning views of the 95-foot Cedar Falls. Caves, canyons, bluffs, a natural bridge, distinctive rock formations like carpet rocks and turtle rocks, and the Seven Hollows add make this place memorable.
8. Lake Ouachita
A favorite for both mountain bikers and distance runners alike, the trail covers 40 plus miles of shoreline and ridge top tiding.
Start at either end or one of several trailheads in the middle which have climbs to the top of Hickory Nut Mountain and you can watch breathtaking views of Lake Ouachita and the Ouachita Mountains.
The eastern section is dominated by a long ridge ride with more beautiful views. The western end is lower lands with rolling hills between Joplin and Denby.
The nearby towns of Mount Ida to the west and Hot Springs to the east, offer you various campgrounds and resort if you decided to stay overnight.
9. Buffalo National River
Upper Buffalo Mountain Bike Trail is an epic trail offering stunning scenery past steep cliffs, turquoise waterfalls, abundant wildlife and old-growth hardwood forests.
The trails is a 40 miles of singletrack surrounding the highest point in the Ozark Mountains, and is considered to be the gem of a Midwest. Featuring some of the best experiences available, the ride laces through the headwaters of the Buffalo National River on a mixture of narrow, hand-built singletrack and machine-cut flow trails. Depending on your route, you may be required to carry your bike through multiple water crossings.
10. Eureka Springs
Our 10th place is a popular tourist destination for its unique character as a Victorian resort village.
You will be charmed by the historic commercial downtown of the city that has an extensive streetscape of well-preserved Victorian buildings. The steep winding streets around the hills rise and fall with the topography in a five-mile long loop. Some buildings have street-level entrances on more than one floor.
For your outdoor adventure outdoor adventure try out some of the mountain bike trails at Leatherwood Park or let the hills in town challenge you.
Let’s not forget that here is The Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival, a three-day celebration of mountain biking in the historic town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, known as the "Little Switzerland of the Ozarks" for the steep hills and winding roads of this Northwestern Arkansas community.
Don’t end your trip without visiting Castle Rogue's Manor, built on a 100-foot limestone bluff overlooking the town of Beaver, affording a 360-degree view of the surrounding Ozark scenery. You have to make a reservation first if you want a private guided tour.