If you’re an Arkansan looking to connect with nature, I probably don’t need to tell you you’re already in the right state. In fact, it’s kind of hard to avoid nature here in the Natural State. Some places, however, do more to take you away from it all than others. Below you’re going to find eleven places where you can feel totally immersed in natural wonder, right here in the Natural State.
11. Inspiration Point Overlook
You don’t have to hike to Inspiration Point. You can drive on Highway 62 outside of Eureka Springs and simply pull over. The place is called Inspiration Point for a reason, and if you’re looking to connect with nature, all you have to do is stare out at all that land.
Inspiration Point is located at 16498 Hwy 62 West near Eureka Springs.
10. Kings River Falls Natural Area
Waterfalls are gorgeous, aren’t they? But they do tend to reduce to trickles during dry seasons, which means there can be wrong times to visit them. Kings River, however, is a force of nature, and so is Kings River Falls. You can’t find a more majestic place to spend your time, and though the falls do diminish during dry spells, they do not disappear entirely.
You can find Kings River Falls Natural Area at 1543 Madison 3500 near Witter.
9. Flatside Wilderness
If you’re looking for a wilderness where you can explore the peaks of several mountains, the Flatside Wilderness is the one for you. The wilderness is only about twenty miles from Little Rock, so you don’t have to drive very far out of the city to truly feel a million miles away from it all.
The Flatside Wilderness is located on Forest Road 94 near Perryville.
8. White River National Wildlife Refuge
The White River has a kind of mystical quality about it, and the lower White River, with its slow waters and huge Cypress trees, is especially impressive. The White River National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over 160,000 acres of land on the lower White River, and it’s as pretty as a picture.
You can find White River National Wildlife Refuge at 57 S CC Camp Road near St Charles.
7. Caney Creek Wilderness
The Caney Creek Wilderness is another place where you can enjoy the wonders of the Ouachita forests. The wilderness is 14, 460 acres of gorgeous forest, babbling streams, and several hiking trails. No matter which trail you take or which part of the forest or stream you choose to explore, you’re going to feel truly off the grid when you visit Caney Creek.
You can get to the Caney Creek Wilderness on Forest Service Road 38 near Mena.
6. Lake Chicot
Lake Chicot has some notable distinctions as well. The natural oxbow lake in southeastern Arkansas is the largest lake of its kind in North America. It’s also home to some fantastic fishing. It doesn’t take a lot to make you feel like you’re at one with nature on Lake Chicot, simply find a secluded spot and cast into the deep water.
Lake Chicot is located at 2542 State Highway 257 near Lake Village
5. Bayou Bartholomew
The longest bayou in the world begins in Arkansas. On top of holding that distinction, Bayou Bartholomew is also one of the most diverse streams in North America. It is home to over 100 aquatic species, and you feel like you’ve stepped into a different world when you visit.
Bayou Bartholomew starts near Pine Bluff.
4. South Arkansas Arboretum
The botanical gardens of the South Arkansas Arboretum show local plants in all their glory. From towering magnolias to flowering bushes, you can wander the thirteen acres of the South Arkansas Arboretum in awe of the gorgeously maintained garden.
The South Arkansas Arboretum is located at 1506 Mt Holly Road in El Dorado.
3. Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge
The most remote place in Arkansas is Felsenthal Wildlife Refuge. Nearly 65,000 acres of solitude await you there, along with extensive forest and the Ouachita and Saline Rivers. In the fall and spring the bottomlands of the refuge transform into an extensive wetland habitat, but there’s no wrong time to seek a little serenity at Felsenthal.
You can find Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge at 5531 Highway 82 West in Crossett.
2. Shores Lake
Located in the shadow of White Rock Mountain, Shores Lake is a hidden gem. Whether you want to swim, fish, or simply sit on the shore for a spell, Shores Lake delivers beauty and peace. There are also plenty of facilities, including picnic sites.
You can find Shores Lake on AR 215 North near Mulberry.
1. The Ozark National Forest
There are few places in the whole world more wild and beautiful that the Ozarks, and the 1.2 million acres of the Ozark National Forest, which are mostly located in Arkansas, are a great place to step away from the hustle and bustle. There’s nothing like being totally surrounded by trees.
The Ozark National Forest is extensive. You can
find directions here.