Arkansas trails and walking paths. Easy walking trails and paths in the central Arkansas area for beginners and families.
Our babies are no longer babies! As sad as that is, it now means we get to explore without the extra baggage of kids hiking backpacks and strollers. Even though they are both walking, it still means we need to do easier trails and walking paths.
Since we live in central Arkansas, most of our day trips are within a 2 hour (one way) driving limit. With dogs, little legs and moms short attention span in the car, that’s just what works for us.
So if you’re looking for some easy trails and walking paths in central Arkansas, you’ve come to the right place!
Be sure to check the individual websites for up to date hours of operations.
ARKANSAS TRAILS AND WALKING PATHS
Arkansas River Trail
Arkansas River Trail is a 15.8 mile loop trail that hugs the Arkansas river. This is a paved path and although it is long, it’s mostly flat.
You can pick up this walk from several points including the Big Dam Bridge, the Clinton Library Museum and downtown by the River Market.
Over by the River Market you’ll find Junction Bridge. Although it is not part of the River Walk loop trail, it is a nice pit stop along your journey. Along with the large playground with a huge tube slide and different tunnels to explore.
*This playground is a lot of fun but because of the tunnels leading to different areas, it’s best to stay close to little ones.
Clinton Presidential Park Bridge
The Clinton Presidential Park Bridge is also part of the Arkansas River Trail. But right next to this bridge you’ll find a nice little wooden boardwalk called the William E. Clark Presidential Wetlands. It’s not a very large loop but this boardwalk with the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge along with other paved paths in the area are a nice walk for a beautiful day.
If you follow the path under the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, you’ll find yourself at Heifer Village and Urban Farm.
This urban farm and museum is a lot of fun to take small children and it’s free to the public! Check out Heifer International’s website for up to date hours of operation.
Two Rivers Park
Heading south on I-430, crossing the Arkansas river, you can see a footbridge on the right that leads to Two Rivers Park. This paved path is 6.3 miles round trip and a popular place for walking, jogging and bike riding.
Set your GPS for Two Rivers Park Bridge if you’d like to start with footbridge that you see from the highway. Otherwise your GPS might bring you closer towards Pinnacle State Park to start.
The Old Mill
The Old Mill is located in North Little Rock and is famous for being in the opening credits of the film Gone With The Wind (1939). This little park is only 3 acres but is filled with beautiful flowers, a stone arch footbridge and a waterwheel!
Although this isn’t a large place to walk, it is a beautiful place to take a stroll and enjoy the scenery.
Burns park is a huge trail system located in North Little Rock. It can be a bit confusing if you’re not familiar with the area. Check out a full trail map of Burns Park here.
Pinnacle Mountain Arboretum
This small paved path is located in Pinnacle State Park. It’s only a 0.6 mile loop but it’s perfect for little feet. As you head out of the park you’ll also find a large playground to the left where you can stop and let the kids run off any extra energy.
Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park
The Toltec Mounds Archeological Start Park is located south of Little Rock in the town of Scott. Now a state park, this site was a ceremonial ground for prehistoric Native Americans. Here you’ll find a visitor center and small museum explaining the history behind these ancient mounds.
Outside there are two trails. The Knapp Trail which is 0.8 miles, and The Plum Bayou Trail which is a 1.6 mile loop. Both of these trails are in mostly full sun, so be prepared when planning your trip.
Cadron Settlement Park
Located at 6200 Hwy. 319 W Conway, AR, this little park offers picnic areas, boat launch, hiking and BMX trails. Driving up to the top of this park you’re met with a beautiful view of the Arkansas river.
Tucker Creek Walking Trail
This paved path is approximately 6.2 miles round trip and a popular place to walk, jog and bike ride in the Conway area.
It runs right alongside Tucker creek and has a few places to sit and relax along with a playground and kids BMX track over by Tyler Street.
Not only does this quiet Arkansas trail run though the backyards of a few neighborhoods, it also goes by a Chick-Fil-A! On the path next to Chick-Fil-A they have a bike rack to lock up your bike, grab a meal to go, and have a nice picnic on the grass next to the tulips.
There are several points you can pick up this walking trail, so head over to Conway Parks for the full details.
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Hendrix Creek Preserve
The Hendrix Creek Preserve is located towards the back of The Village at Hendrix in Conway. This small village is like nothing I’ve ever seen! Heading towards the preserve you drive down a row of the cutest unique houses.
This village also has it’s own village square with a center green surrounded by a few restaurants. Head towards the back of Hendrix Village and you’ll find the creek preserve tucked away.
This small walk has a few boardwalks and tiny boat play set for the kids. It does come with some street noise as the highway is not far off, but it’s a fun little spot to check out.
Petit Jean State Park
Petit Jean State Park is located about 45 minutes west of Conway, AR. Once you get off the highway you have beautiful scenic roads that take you by pastures and farmland.
When you get closer to the park you’ll find Petit Jean overlook. This overlook has old stone foundations and a small boardwalk. From here you’ll find the most stunning views of the Arkansas river.
Back at Petit Jean State Park you’ll find a country store and coffee house before you make you’re way to the visitor center. Be sure to stop by and ask the guides questions about any hikes.
Cedar Falls Overlook
Cedar Falls overlook is located a mile or so after Petit Jean visitor center. It has a large parking lot and with long boardwalk to the overlook, it’s wheelchair accessible.
Kerr Station Park
If you live in the Cabot area, Kerr Station Park is a nice short walk. It has a community pond, dog park, playground and frisbee golf. The paved path circles the community pond and has a nice little bridge. According to the parks and rec. sign, 3 laps around the path equals 1.16 miles.
Little Rock AFB
If you have access to Little Rock AFB then you should check out their golf course! Although it no longer operates as a golf course, it makes for a great walking path and they have added frisbee golf.
These wide paved paths go around 3 different ponds and picnic areas, making for a great easy day to rides bikes and have a picnic.
Just over the dam at Heber Springs you’ll find Collins Creek Trail. This 1.2 mile trail starts off by taking you by a stunning cascading waterfall. After a few stairs this trail eventually levels out and instead of walking along the creek, it brings you over towards the dam water.
This path is not paved and heavily wooded. The shade is a welcome relief during the summer, but don’t forget the bug spray.
Josh Park Memorial Trail
If you’ve ever been swimming at Dam Site Marina, then you might have a vague idea of where this trail is. As you turn left off of rt. 5 to get to the marina, there is a large parking lot, and that is where you’ll find the start of this trail.
This wooded tail is 1.3 miles with access roads cutting between. Although this trail is not paved, it is nicely maintained.
Hot Springs Grand Promenade
The Grand Promenade is a beautiful brick path located just behind bath house row in Hot Springs. This project started in the early 1930’s and was completed in 1957.
This trail may only be a half mile long, but with its attention to detail and well maintained landscaping, The Grand Promenade is a gorgeous must see.
Garvan Woodland Gardens
A botanical garden also located in Hot Springs, this amazing 210 acre garden is our number one family spot to enjoy every season!
During the spring tulips surround you around every turn and in every color! Large Koi fish swim lazily in the pond on the lower path and if you’re lucky you can see George, the male peacock, strut his feathers.
In the children’s area you’ll find a three story tree house with wooden walkways leading you to a cave and stream with the large boulders to explore.
This place does not sleep in the winter. Right around Thanksgiving they set up a giant light display that spans 18 acres! With different themes around every corner, this is a family must see.
Outside the main entrance you’ll find Anthony Chapel nestled among the trees. When not in use for weddings or other special events, you can walk in and see this glass sanctuary for yourself. (At this time Anthony Chapel is closed due to Covid-19.)
Check out Garvan Woodland Garden’s website for up to date hours of operation and Covid-19 guidelines.
Garvan Woodland Gardens is our number one family spot to visit every month. With something new to explore every season, family friendly trails and little off shoots along the sides, every visit is new and exciting.
Since this is a botanical garden there is an entrance fee, but if you love it you can get a membership pass before you leave for the day.
With our tiny feet and huge personalities, exploring central Arkansas has been a great adventure. Eventually we’ll receive orders to a new duty station. But until then you’ll find us discovering what’s in our own backyard in the natural state of Arkansas.
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