Hiking is one of our favorite outdoor exercises, and Arkansas offers a wide range of trails for residents of all fitness levels to enjoy. Whether you prefer a paved path and even ground or enjoy blazing a trail of your own, you can take advantage of all the health benefits hiking offers – including increased muscle tone, stabilized blood pressure and improved bone density. Many hikers discover hitting the trails improves their mood and mental health as well, and find the exercise so pleasant they forget it’s a work out. Find your stride by visiting any of the trails below.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Located in Little Rock, Pinnacle Mountain is easily accessible for central Arkansans. The park has several different trails for a range of fitness levels, from the challenging East Summit to the paved Kingfisher Trail.
North Little Rock’s Emerald Park features a beautiful ridge hike along the Arkansas River, boasting views of the downtown Little Rock skyline and the rolling hills surrounding the river valley. The paved path is flat, but be careful with pets and little ones along the steep cliffs.
Referred to as “the most photographed place in Arkansas,” Hawksbill Crag (or Whitaker Point) features sweeping views of the Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area. Located in rural northwest Arkansas, the journey to the trailhead is time consuming for most Arkansans, but the incredible scenery makes the trip more than worth it.
Petit Jean State Park
Petit Jean is one of Arkansas’s most loved hiking destinations. From waterfalls to grand overlooks, the park offers a range of beautiful trails in an array of lengths. Located off the Morrilton exit, Petit Jean is easy to find and the trails are well-maintained.
Few workouts offer the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a hike. When gearing up for your trek, make sure to use bug spray, put on sunscreen and always bring plenty of water. Also, avoid hiking in extreme heat and always bring a buddy with you on rural, less populated areas. Happy trails to you!