While you could travel to Machu Picchu, Rome or Rio de Janeiro to see some of the wonders of the world, you’ll find these seven right in your own backyard. Not only are they much more accessible, but they’re truly amazing features of our gorgeous state.
1. Lake Ouachita
Arkansas’ largest lake is stunning. It offers 970 miles of shoreline and has a water surface of 40,000 acres. The lake is surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest. This is an amazing spot for scuba diving, fishing, bird watching and watersports. Camp on one of more than 100 islands on the lake.
2. Blanchard Springs Caverns
Blanchard Springs Caverns, located in the Ozark National Forest, are awe-inspiring. The Forest Service offers three tours: the Dripstone Trail, the Discovery Trail and the Wild Cave Tour.
3. Crater of Diamonds State Park
Here’s a natural wonder that might provide you with actual riches. The Prairie Creek diatreme is a volcanic vent that exploded about 100 million years ago, creating an 83-acre crater that contains many minerals, including diamonds. You can visit and comb the 37-acre groomed field, where you might find loose diamonds, (which you can keep!)
4. Arkansas Grand Canyon
No, it’s not the same as its namesake in Arizona...but it offers perhaps even more beauty and more diverse activities. The famous Cliff House Inn and Restaurant sits about 2,000 feet above the valley floor below, offering views of the Big Creek Valley for miles. AR 7 is one of the most scenic routes for motorcycle riders.
5. Big Dam Bridge
The Big Dam Bridge spans the Arkansas River and is 4,226 feet long--making it the longest bridge in North America built for pedestrians and bicycles. The bridge sites about 90 feet above the water. In 2007, the bridge won the “Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives” award awarded by the Federal Highway Administration.
6. Hot Springs National Park
Native Americans used these hot springs 8,000 years ago. Today, they draw millions of visitors each year. The springs supply up to 950,000 gallons of water per day, with an average temperature of 143 degrees Fahrenheit. Visit the Fordyce Bathhouse to learn more about the history of this amazing place.
7. Mount Magazine
The summit of Mount Magazine is 2,753 ft. at Signal Summit, making it the tallest mountain in the state. This gorgeous mountain keeps Arkansas residents and visitors busy hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, backpacking and exploring.