Take lessons before getting in a canoe on the Buffalo River. We were not expecting so many rapids and large rocks to try and avoid when we went canoeing. The group of people we were with (about 60 of us in all) loved it and for some people, it was not their first time to canoe.
I would probably not do this again, but that does not mean I am not recommending this to anyone else. I would think twice before putting any children in a canoe though. These canoes can capsize and even though you wear life jackets, you can still get hurt if you fall or slip on rocks.
Our canoe turned over sideways after it got stuck on a large rock and it filled uo with water in about 2 seconds because it was leaning towards one of the rapids we had just crossed.
We were very disappointed in the 2 hour wait we had before the canoe renters came to get us (in the rain)!
We like to go to Murphreysboro,Arkansas(I may have spelled that wrong) & visit the Diamong State Park. You can go out in this huge tilled up area & search for diamonds. You keep what you find. We have never found anything more than some tiny, shiney slivers of something. We didn't get them anaylized but we say that's our big find. People do find very large diamonds though. One of the diamonds was set in a ring that is on display there & Hillary Clinton borrowed that ring to wear at Bill Clinton's innaugruation. It's very beautiful ring. I wish we could find a stone that big!
I searched the internet thoroughly for guided trails in the Mena area and found none. The closest in any direction was an hour away so we went into Oklahoma for riding. We went to the A to Z Guest Ranch and had a fabulous time. The owners are warm and friendly and make you feel at ease right away. The only problem we had was getting there---I used Google Maps which gave me a route that was probably shortest in miles but ended up being on back logging roads, etc. It would be best to call the Lewis family and ask for directions! You can choose from one hour to a whole day and anywhere in between. We chose a 2 hour ride which was perfect.
We took the scenic route back to camp from there on the Kiamichi Parkway into Arkansas. Very worth the drive!
Although this doesn't even remotely compare to the high cliff jumping you see in Hawaii or elsewhere, it's still a whole bunch of fun. The name of this place is known locally as "The Blue Hole" and you have to ask locals how to get there as it's not on any map. I haven't researched the history of it but it looks like an old quarry that has filled up with water which tells me it's very deep. The blue-green milky color is most likely from lime in the water. You can get to the lake edge by SUV, truck or Jeep but my Impala couldn't make it without bottoming out so we parked at the bottom of the hill leading to the hole. The roads to this area are all dirt and gravel and rutted in some places but the rough ride was certainly worth it! We estimated the highest jump to be around 35' which the teenagers in the group really loved the challenge of. Again, there is a lot of slippery, loose shale in places so one has to watch your footing.
Little Missouri Falls is easily accessible by road as well as by ATV. It's about a 30 mile run from Wolf Pen Gap campground to Little Missouri, but it's worth it. All the dust you collected on the way is easily washed off in the clear, refreshing pools the falls make. There is an easy walking/hiking trail following the river and there are picnic tables and bathrooms at the head of the trail. It's a good idea to wear water shoes as the stones and rocks are somewhat sharp---there's a lot of shale in this area.
Of course, most people come to Wolf Pen Gap Campground to go 4-wheeling on the many miles of trails there (I think up to 60 miles in all) and to have fun zooming around beautiful trails and challenging climbs. Because we'd never done it before, we had to borrow an ATV from a friend and our two teens took turns using it or doubling up with another rider. There are ATV rental places in Mena, but it's expensive---from $110-130/day plus delivery or trailer rental. It's really important to come with the right gear---primarily gloves, helmet and goggles. The trails are often dusty and rocky and this protection is essential.
This is a real pretty statue of Christ. I wouldn't go more than 30 miles out of my way to see it, but if you are in town, it's real awesome to go see. It is free to go see it. Also, nearby is a large piece of the Berlin Wall with religious writing on it.
AR-7 is the officially designated sceinic highway in the State of Arkansas. AR-7 runs 290 miles through the Ouachita National Forest, the Ozarks, and several cities along the way. Some of the most beautiful scenery is located along this route.
Unfortunately, the camera battery went dead on the way back, so no pics for this tip...sorry!
(Time to buy a back-up)!
This was a camp built by the Civillian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the early part of the 1930's. CCC workers put out forest fires, built roads and recreational facilities, planted trees, and performed many other tasks. It was later torn down in the 1940's. Now, all the foundations are the only remnants; along with the chimney of what used to be the mess hall. It's still an interesting place, and well worth a stop.
This is also the Hot Springs National park Visitor's Center.
The only bath house on what is called "Bathhouse Row" that you can actually tour (all other bathhouses are presently being renovated). This is a self-guided tour, so you can take as much time as you like to look at things. You start out at the front desk where you get a map of the bathhouse, and the option to watch a short film on the history. After the film, you walk through the men's area, then the women's area, whilpools, showers, etc.
This is a must see and do. There is so much history here, you will learn to appreciate it.
Admission is free.
Absolutely a must see....literally. You can see EVERYTHING from here. It is 216 Feet high, and with a good eye, you can see over 100 miles away! In the level below the top, there is an air-conditioned mini-museum that tells the history of the tower, as well as the area.
You can get to the tower 2 ways: Drive or hike. We chose to hike it. Although it was a hot hike, the tower was worth the finish. Admission for adults is $8 US. I am unable to recall the price for children and senior citizens, but if need be, you can call the number below to get the information (the web site doesn't have the information posted).
This is a really nice, well-kept walkway that runs through Hot Springs National Park. The Promenade is made up of yellow and red bricks, and runs along the back of what is known as "Bath House Row." All the trails intersect it for the most part, so you will wind up on it eventally. It takes about 30 minutes to walk it from one end to the other.
It's a city and a park, intertwined. The city has alot to offer in recreation (several reservoirs) south of town and the National Park in the heart of the old town.
For more information, see MY Hot Springs National Park page or VT's Hot Springs page for the city. For more on the park, see VT's Hot Springs National Park page.
When you get there don't be too confused when the same name, i.e., Hot Springs National Park is used for both. Officially, the town did take the park's name for itself.
Pivotal events in the Nations history took place in 1959 at Central High School in Little Rock. Today, it's still an active school. But across the street is the visitor center, where you can learn about these events in moving this nation towards equality for all it's citizens. A goal that we're still working on.
For places to stay and more to do, see VT's Little Rock page.
Tucked away in the northern Ozarks, on the edge of the Missouri, Eureka Springs is a town that has kept it's turn of the 'last' century (1900) character. Shops, restaurants and quaint lodging await those willing to venture into the Ozarks.
See VT's Eureka Springs page
For those without a car, this is a good place to stay as it is located right at the heart of the...more
the historic capital hotel is located across the street from the old state capital in the heart of...more
ALSO check out the Hot Springs Bed And Breakfasts and Country Inns List http://www.bnbfinder.com/...more