When getting the kids outside, sometimes it’s hard to pick out where you should go. So here are 5 of our favorite trails in the Northwest Arkansas area. We have a list of other trails we haven’t tried yet & we are ready to hike them. But so far, these are the ones we keep revisiting over & over again. Be sure to share you favorites in the comments & we will go exploring!
I had been to the park with the kids a few times, but never knew there was a trail system behind the pavilion. But after I saw a friend post some pictures on Instagram of her family there I took the kids that very day. It has some fun bridges, a small but cute waterfall, & it’s right in the middle of Bentonville, AR. If you’re short on time, but wanting an outdoor experience this is a must visit.
This was the very first trail I took the kids on by myself & I fell in love with it. It’s an easy, 1.4 mile hike. The first half a mile follows a ridge line, it loops by a small cave which is great for exploring, & then you can stop at the lake to play. The kids love to see the changes of the lake throughout the different seasons. We have been when there is hardly any water & they can collect shells or “treasures” & other times the water has been up high. It’s a great trail for teaching the kids how nature is constantly changing. We go back to this one frequently!
This is an 8.5 mile hike & while I would love to drag the kids on a hike this long, they don’t really make it more than 3-5 miles right now. But, you can hike about 1.4 miles in to the Pigeon Roost overlook. You cross a couple of bridges & the kids always enjoy bridge crossings. It’s a quiet hike & not shared with mountain bikes. My older two kids haven’t been yet, but they have been begging to go since they saw pictures of their brother & me there.
This is one of our most favorite trails & one that most people in Northwest Arkansas are familiar with the most. I remember being a little kid & my parents taking all of us hiking here. It was so awesome! Back then the caves were open (they’ve been closed due to the mysterious bat illness). This trail offers a lot of exploring in it’s 1.5 miles, even with the caves closed! There are still a lot of rock formations you can hike in & out of (be careful, they are deep falls!), there is a small waterfall & you have to cross a really fun bridge, & eventually you end with walking along the creek bed. The only negative I have when hiking at Devil’s Den is I don’t have cell service. Since I’m usually with 3 kiddos alone, I make sure that plenty of people know where I’m going & my estimated time of departure.
This is a 2.7 mile trail at Devil’s Den State Park. There is a 300 elevation gain & you are able to get to the top of the very yellow overlook to see the woods & creek below. There are some fantastic rock formations at the bottom of the trail for the kids to explore plus the overlook is a great spot for playing. It’s a highly trafficked trail, so be prepared for crowds on weekends.
Bashore Ridge is a 4.5 mile loop at Hobbs State Park. It’s a fairly easy loop, but watch out, you are sharing this trail with mountain bikers & horse back riders. Hikers, cyclists & riders are all accustomed to seeing each other out there & everyone is very respectful of sharing the road. Also, be aware of finding the trail that will let you wander down to the lake’s overlook where you can take a rest, skip some rocks & enjoy some water scenery. The key is to be on the lookout for the horse tie up area & the trail down to the lake is right there. My kids favorite trail marker is the old car just off the trail at the beginning, always fun to see!
What are some of your favorite trails to explore in Northwest Arkansas?