Arkansas sports vast stretches of natural beauty capped off by the Ozarks region and encourages group trips that involve outdoor adventures of all kinds.
Many states are associated with specific activities, whether it’s wine tours, skiing, fine beaches or big-city nightlife. Arkansas combines so many things that it can be hard to characterize. But if you’re planning a trip with a group of people who have disparate tastes when it comes to outdoor activities, Arkansas is your ideal destination.
In Arkansas, with its great climate, Southern charm and wide menu of adventurous activities, every day brings a new experience and a new challenge to your group, whether they want pulse-pounding action, mind-blowing explorations or the thrill of competition. In short, if you need to take a group to a place where they can blow out the carbon a little and do some exploring, Arkansas is ideal.
There’s more to do in Arkansas than you might imagine. Here’s just a sampling of the adventures awaiting you in The Natural State.
The bike trails in Arkansas range from scenic tours for the casual biker to IMBA Epic trails, totaling more than a hundred miles of certified biking trails linking state parks and following the course of beautiful waterways. Trail options include Delta Heritage Trail State Park, Razorback Regional Greenway (which includes nearly 40 miles of trails linking together several downtowns and other attractions) and Arkansas River Trail, which takes your bike across the Big Dam Bridge.
Is there anything more thrilling than riding an ATV or ORV through unspoiled wilderness, churning up dust and experiencing the freedom of riding wherever your heart directs you. With more than 1,100 miles of trails (a mix of ATV-only trails and mixed-use trails) and parks for ATVs and ORVs, Arkansas offers nearly infinite ATV fun for visitors.
If your group loves their two-wheel vehicles and dreams of an extended bike trip through great scenery, Arkansas is your natural destination. There are nearly two dozen official motorcycle routes throughout the state, giving your group the chance to see every region, and the state offers planning guides for those who want to know where they’re headed.
Arkansas offers plenty of water-based adventure possibilities, including:
- Canoeing/kayaking/rafting: From lazy drifts to rush-inducing whitewater experiences, Arkansas sports more than 9,000 miles of streams suited to every possible waterborne adventure.
- Fishing: Arkansas has world-class trout fishing and other opportunities for a trip that can be as relaxing or as thrilling as you want.
- Water-skiing, boating and other water sports are popular on Arkansas’ many recreational lakes, including Beaver Lake, Bull Shoals, Norfork Lake and Greers Ferry Lake.
Arkansas sports more than 2,000 living caves that can be explored through guided tours ranging from easy strolls through beautiful, ever-changing mineral formations to challenging guided tours suited only for the physically fit and adventure-minded. Highlights include Blanchard Springs Caverns, Bull Shoals Caverns (ideal for shorter tours) and Cosmic Caverns, which features a large underground lake and a guided tour that takes you over a spectacular underground bridge.
Rodeos & Racing
If some in your group prefer an adventure involving a little wagering and a lot of exciting action viewed from the comfort of the stands or a clubhouse, Arkansas offers plenty:
- Southland Park Gaming and Racing is one of the largest greyhound racetracks in the world
- Oaklawn Park Horse Racing & Gaming offers world-class horse-racing and betting in a comfortable and first-class facility.
If your group includes some rodeo enthusiasts, be sure to check out the schedule of annual rodeo events, including the Rodeo of the Ozarks, the Old Fort Days Rodeo and the rodeo events that accompany the annual Arkansas State Fair.
So now you know: When it comes to outdoor activities and spectator sports, Arkansas has plenty to offer and makes planning a group trip for the adventurous pretty easy. From bike trails to ATV fun, from spelunking in caves to gliding down streams or crashing through whitewater, Arkansas offers thrills for all.
Been to Arkansas for an outdoor adventure on the water, on the trails, or at a race or rodeo (or maybe even in a cave or two)? Let us know in the comments and offer up your best tips for where to go, what to do and how to maximize the thrills!