Top Arkansas Towns for Outdoor Enthusiasts

There are many reasons to live in Arkansas, but the top factor that draws people to the state might be its abundant nature. Arkansas is home to just over 3 million people but lacks the major metropolises of some other states. It is filled with incredible forests and wilderness areas, with unique landscapes and scenic views. With everything from caves and lakes to small mountains and open meadows, the gorgeous settings in The Natural State are hard to beat.

While scenic natural landscapes are everywhere in Arkansas, some cities and towns have pristine access to the state’s top locations. Let’s look at the places in Arkansas that are best for outdoor enthusiasts.

Bella Vista

Bella Vista is a small city situated along Arkansas’s border with Missouri. It is home to 30,000 residents, but tourism is one of the town’s biggest industries. Bella Vista is a premier destination for outdoor recreation, with a range of activities for visitors and residents to enjoy.

Bella Vista is known for its mountain biking opportunities, with some of the country’s most popular and exciting trails. The city hosts a public trail system that stretches 40 miles and winds through forests and creeks. The town also has seven golf courses, seven lakes, and several areas perfect for camping.

Little Rock

Little Rock is the biggest city in Arkansas, with a population more than double the size any other city in the state. Home to roughly 200,000, this major metropolis is the state’s capital. But even in a big city with tall buildings, countless great shops and restaurants, and numerous museums and galleries, the Arkansas nature still stands out.

Little Rock is along the Arkansas River, with numerous parks and trails along the waterfront. The Central Arkansas Nature Center is an excellent riverfront park spotlighting Arkansas’s outdoor appeal. Just west of Little Rock, Pinnacle Mountain State Park offers incredible city views.


Springdale is Arkansas’s fourth-biggest city, a dynamic community that has a population of 80,000. It is a scenic city situated on the Springfield Plateau in the Ozark Mountains. Springdale has an interesting history as an 1800s industrial town, with several museums commemorating its unique past. But the driving appeal of life in Springdale is its outdoor environment.

Beaver Lake is a popular spot for Springdale residents, a fantastic place for boating and water sports. Several other lakes near the city are excellent for canoeing and kayaking. Devil’s Den State Park is an exciting spot to explore, with hiking trails and dark caverns. There are numerous great areas around Springdale perfect for overnight camping.

Hot Springs

Hot Springs is a city in the Ouachita Mountains, one of Arkansas’s most popular tourist areas. Home to a permanent population of nearly 40,000, Hot Springs is a charming community with endless appeal. Many move to this town because of the affordable cost of living and beautiful views, and nature is a big part of what makes Hot Springs stand out.

The best-known part of Hot Springs is the geothermal waters this town is named for. Hot Springs National Park is a large park filled with hot waters created by geothermal activity. This is a popular place to hike and unwind in the water, with numerous spas nearby. Lake Catherine State Park is a large outdoor area with excellent trails, fishing, and boating. It is a city that embodies the appeal of Arkansas’s outdoor environment.

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