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Best campgrounds and hikes in Arkansas

A freelance writer based in Memphis, TN, Wendy Marie embraces the art of food, entertainment and laughter and is dedicated to sharing her passions with others. If she's not dining at and blogging about a locally owned restaurant, then sh...

The great outdoors

Experience why Arkansas is called the Natural State by visiting some of the best campgrounds the state has to offer. Hike throughout the state and be prepared to see nature at its finest.

The great outdoors

Buffalo Outdoor Center

Nature lovers of every age will love the Buffalo Outdoor Center. There are numerous trails that the entire family, including pets, will enjoy. If you're looking for something a little more advanced, take to the big adventure trails. One of the most popular trails is the Buffalo River Trail, where you'll see historic structures and seasonal flora and fauna. Other activities at the Buffalo Outdoor Center include spending a day — or two or three — canoeing on the Buffalo National River or taking the zip-line tour through the Ozark Mountain forest.

Address: ‪Arkansas Highway 43‬‬‬‬‬, ‪Ponca, AR 72670‬‬‬‬‬

Phone: 870-861-5514

Websitewww.buffaloriver.com

 

Devil's Den State Park

Devil's Den State Park is rife with trails for all adventure levels. Whether you like biking, hiking or backpacking, there is an easy, moderate or difficult level trail ready to challenge you while you soak in the beauty of the surrounding nature. Make sure to see the sandstone and limestone caves as you trek your way through the park. Also available are riding trails and horse camps. If you prefer to spend your day on the water, there are canoes, kayaks and water bikes for rent.

Address: 11333 W. Arkansas Highway 74, West Fork, AR 72774

Phone: 479-761-3325

Websitewww.arkansasstateparks.com/devilsden

 

Lake Chicot State Park

Lake Chicot State Park is located in a pecan grove. There is plenty of opportunity for fishing along this 20-mile long oxbow. This state park is also a prime location for bird watching. After you pitch your tents or get settled into your cabins, take to the trails. See what wildlife, foliage and fauna you can spot as you hike through this scenic state park.

Address: 2542 Highway 257, Lake Village, AR 71653

Phone: 870-265-5480

Websitewww.arkansasstateparks.com/lakechicot

 

Logoly State Park

Logoly State Park is Arkansas' first environmental education state park, meaning in addition to being in nature you can also sit in on ecological and environmental workshops. After listening to some of the lectures, take to the trails, where you can see natural springs, observe a variety of wildlife, and walk along the pond boardwalk. The trails range in distance and difficulty so there's something for everyone. Extend your time in Logoly State Park by setting up a campsite and enjoying nature underneath the nighttime sky.

Address: 20 Columbia Road 45, McNeil, AR

Phone: 870-695-3561

Websitewww.arkansasstateparks.com/logoly/

 

Lake Fort Smith State Park

In the heart of the Ozark Valley you'll find Lake Fort Smith State Park. With camping sites and cabin rentals, this is an ideal location for a camping adventure, but it also provides an excellent opportunity for backpacking as it is part of the 165-mile Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail. Besides backpacking, there are also trails perfect for mountain biking, hiking and wildlife observation. Take a swim in the Olympic-size swimming pool while younger family members cool down in the wading pool and splash pad.

Address: 15458 Shepherd Springs Road, Porter, AR 72946

Phone: 479-369-2469

Website: www.arkansasstateparks.com/lakefortsmith/

 

Petit Jean State Park

Situated atop Petit Jean Mountain is Petit Jean State Park, named after an 18th century French woman who disguised herself as a boy in order to accompany her fiance, an explorer, to the New World. Enjoy hiking through forests, meadows and mountainsides while marveling at canyons and panoramic views. There's also fishing, pedal boating and canoeing. The gorgeous 95-foot waterfall will leave you awestruck. Want to set up camp but don't have your own tent or RV? Petit Jean Sate Park offers rent-a-camps and rent-a-tepees.

Address: 1285 Petit Jean Mountain Road, Morrilton, AR 72110

Phone: 501-727-5441

Website: www.petitjeanstatepark.com

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