Arkansas Outside

Our Readers Name Their Top 6 Arkansas Lakes

There are over 2400 lakes in The Natural State over 5 acres in size. Last month we asked our readers to name their favorite lakes as they head out into the summer heat. Arkansas lakes are known for their beautiful, clean water, many of these lakes are among the clearest in the county. The lakes offer almost every water sport imaginable, boating and fishing, waterskiing, paddling, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
Picture for Our Readers Name Their Top 6 Arkansas Lakes

2022 Arkansas Grand Prix XL Series – Seven Races to Go

“The Arkansas Grand Prix is a year-long series of road and cross-country races administered by the Arkansas chapter of the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). To enter the Arkansas Grand Prix, a runner must first belong to one of the Arkansas RRCA Running Clubs, located throughout the state. The clubs also compete against one another in the Team Competition.
Picture for 2022 Arkansas Grand Prix XL Series – Seven Races to Go

Family Donation Triples Size of Flint Creek Headwaters Preserve

BENTON COUNTY, AR – The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust (NWALT) announced today the recent donation of 67 acres by the family of John Wasson, who was born and raised in Springtown, AR, and spent his youth surrounded by the natural beauty of the headwaters of Flint Creek. Wasson was responsible for the beginnings of what is now Flint Creek Headwaters Preserve in Springtown and his family decided to honor his vision for perpetual protection of the area by donating most of the remaining Wasson property to NWALT, more than tripling the size of the Flint Creek Preserve.

Arkansas Outside, A New Chapter

Although Arkansas Outside started life back in 2007 as a personal blog, it became an official business with the move to the URL in November of 2011, almost 11 years ago. We sold ads to help pay the bills to keep it current. We spent a lot of time keeping up the calendar of events, driving to outdoor events all over the state along with a few out-of-state trips. We wrote stories, managed photos, attended events every weekend, etc. Financially it never really broke even, but that was okay. I had a full-time career at Arkansas State Parks to pay my bills and the two worked well together through the years.

The Buffalo National River Won’t Quite Be The Same

Lauren Ray has been an incredible ambassador for Arkansas over the past six years. She has brought her wonderful talents to bear on the Buffalo National River. She will be missed as she heads off on new adventures with the National Park Service. It is our hope that she, one day, finds her way back to Arkansas. I think you will agree, she will always have a home here. Thanks, Lauren, see you soon.

Cane Hill Boasts Hiking Trails and Historic Buildings

(Article from Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism, Jill Rohrbach, travel writer) If trees could talk, the towering Bur oak in Cane Hill would have some mighty stories to tell. Estimated to be at least 150 years old, the oak likely grew up among the early settlers of Cane...

Floating the Maumelle River and Lake Maumelle

Much of Arkansas is currently under severe/extreme drought conditions. It hasn’t rained much here all summer. Every time we get a few drops Facebook lights up with tongue-in-cheek questions about what is falling from the sky. If you are a kayaker, it’s been a disappointing Summer for floating. Or has it?

People For Bikes Releases City Bicycle Ranking

This week, People For Bikes released their annual City Ratings. In its sixth year, the City Ratings are “…a data-driven program to evaluate, identify and compare the best cities and towns for bicycling. For 2022, more than 1,000 cities were rated in the U.S. and Canada, the largest number in program history.” Of those 1,000 cities, fourteen are in Arkansas. The ratings are broken down by population into small (less than 50,000), medium (50,000 to 300,000), and large cities (over 300,000). All of the cities in Arkansas fall into the medium or small categories.

Metroplan Invites Review and Comments on Proposed Regional Greenways

LITTLE ROCK, AR, — Metroplan invites the public to review and comment on proposed routes for its Regional Greenways Plan. The plan identifies five active transportation routes extending over one hundred seventy (170) miles that radiate from the Arkansas River Trail loop to link all major cities and many smaller cities in the four-county region by multi-use bicycle-pedestrian paths. In February 2020, the Metroplan Board of Directors dedicated half of its Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) funding for the next ten years toward building the greenways system. Depending on annual funding levels from Federal Highway, this will represent an investment of approximately $65 to $75 million dollars in active transportation for area residents. The Regional Greenways Plan will inform these investments.

Section Hiking the Ozark Highlands Trail

This article is the first in a series about section hiking the Ozark Highlands Trail. Keep an eye out for future installments. Considering the obstacles to indoor activities over the past couple of years, our preferred outdoor recreational activities were vital to maintaining contact with friends as well as maintaining our mental well-being. My friend Tina and I share a love of hiking, backpacking, and camping among other interests. With our friend Elizabeth, Tina and I made a 3500-mile, multi-state, multi-day trip in a minivan that required several nights of camping, many of them in primitive sites back in 2017. That trip was the impetus for a plan to section hike the long trails we have here in Arkansas. However, we didn’t move on that plan quickly and life, jobs, and other hobbies got in the way. Enter Covid and in its wake renewed plans to escape into nature with a plan to section hike the Ozark Highlands Trail.

New Expedition Ozark Adventure Race Announced

BENTONVILLE, ARK. (June 16, 2022) – Some of the world’s best adventure racing teams will be in Northwest Arkansas April 3-8, 2023 for a new race on the Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) calendar of World Championship qualifiers, organizers announced Thursday. The Expedition Ozark race will be a new race on the AWRS World Circuit and one of just four held in North America.

Finding Your Way – The Latest in Mapping Apps

“I have an existential map. It has ‘You are here’ written all over it.” Steven Wright. Last month we asked our readers to let us know about their favorite map applications. There are obviously a lot of options out there these days, most of which take advantage of various government efforts to map the world including lidar, satellite location, etc. Most of us have navigation systems in our cars, on our phones, on our watches, and on outdoor workout devices. If you Google “mapping”, you are presented with all kinds of mapping. Mapping the brain, human genome, etc. For our purposes, we are talking about finding our way in the wilds.

Arkansas, Bringing the Heat

A couple of months ago, when the weather was perfect for playing outside, I had the opportunity to chat with Amy Bushatz, on her podcast, Humans Outside. Amy is based out of Alaska and she wanted to know how we play outside in the heat and humidity of an Arkansas Summer. You can listen to the podcast on these platforms:

Outdoor Recreation a Focus in Upcoming State Elections

(This article is not an endorsement of a political candidate.) We found this interesting as election season is getting kicked off. Outdoor recreation is a focal point in State Senate Candidate, Derek Huber will be riding and floating around District 23. This is all reminiscent of Governor Huckabee’s campaign for the 1/8th cent Conservation Tax (later known as Amendment 75) that allowed for permanent funding for Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Department of Heritage, and Keep Arkansas Beautiful. The Governor and Janet Huckabee took a boat tour down the Arkansas River promoting the funding along the way.

Mississippi River State Park Storm Creek Lake Campground is Open

Mississippi River State Park is made up of two units. Near Marianna, AR, to the north is the Bear Creek Lake Unit. This area includes the large visitor center, and beautiful campsites on a peninsula jutting out into the lake. It’s a beautiful spot not too far from Memphis. The other unit, at Storm Creek Lake, near Helena-West Helena, has remained undeveloped other than some older US Forest Service until this year. The newly rebuilt, Storm Creek Lake Campground includes level, full-service campsites plus unique camper cabins.