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In Arkansas, the changing of the leaves is a rite of passage to winter. While many don’t especially look forward to the cold air of winter after the last leaf has dropped, the beauty of the changing leaves in Arkansas is truly something to behold and something to look forward to. Fiery reds, oranges, yellows, and greens…. Simply gorgeous!
Finding the best places to view the leaves depends largely on the area where you live. For me, that area would be Northwest Arkansas, and boy, there are some beautiful places to explore. The following are a few places in NWARK to take a little drive, maybe take a hike, just get outdoors and enjoy the scenery that autumn has to offer….
Beaver Lake – Beaver Lake is gorgeous in the fall. The backdrop of gorgeous autumn leaves against the blue of the rippling water just can’t be beat. Take a drive around the lake, rent a boat, or maybe just grab a fishing pole and a camping chair, and take it all in from a relaxing spot on the lake.
“Little Golden Gate” of Arkansas – In the town of Beaver (not far from Eureka Springs, another must visit location), you’ll find an old suspension bridge in quite the beautiful setting. Snap a photo and take a ride across the bridge.
Buffalo National River Area – Bluffs on the river with beautiful trees all around, need I say more? Fall might be a great time of year to plan a camping trip, rent a canoe, and make a weekend out of it.
Bentonville Square and Central Avenue – If you’ve never driven around the Bentonville Square and down Central Avenue, you are missing out. Get out and take a walk around the square with bright fall colors all around. Then mosey on down Central Ave, taking in views of tall trees and colorful leaves mixed in with beautiful, old homes in a picturesque setting.
JB Hunt Park in Springdale – With 125 acres to explore, the whole family will enjoy this gorgeous setting. And it’s the perfect place to head with a bicycle, enjoying a leisurely bike ride through the park.
Lake Atalanta in Rogers – Again, this is a great place to go for a bike ride, or simply just take a walk or drive around the lake. You might even rent a paddle boat while there, enjoying a little old-fashioned fun.
Hobbs State Park – With trails out the wazoo, you can’t go wrong visiting this beautiful state park. It’s the perfect place to explore, whether you’re a hiker, mountain biker, or even an equestrian trail rider.
Yellow Rock Trail at Devil’s Den State Park – One of my favorite parks in Northwest Arkansas, you’ll find an assortment of trails to explore. Yellow Rock Trail climbs 300 feet in elevation. When you reach Yellow Rock, you may find yourself gasping at the amazing view. Just rest and take it all in. Of course, Devil’s Den also makes a great getaway spot, whether you want to pitch a tent or stay in a cabin.
Photo courtesy of Heidi Clark of The Busy Nothings
Pig Trail Scenic Byway – Travel through the Boston Mountains along this 19 mile scenic route.
Wilson Park in Fayetteville – Both the first and oldest park in the city of Fayetteville, there’s something for everyone. Kids will especially enjoy exploring the castle, while Mom and Dad enjoy the picturesque setting.
Trails at Crystal Bridges – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is surrounded by walking trails in a beautifully wooded setting.
War Eagle Mill and Bridge– Take a drive to War Eagle Mill. The road to the mill alone is worth the drive, with forest all around. Once you arrive at the Mill, you’ll enjoy views of the Mill against the backdrop of gorgeous fall colors and the flow of the War Eagle River.
Boston Mountains Scenic Loop – Yet another scenic route you can take, via the old stagecoach route, U.S. 71, or via I-49. Both byways offer magnificent views of Arkansas mountains and forests.
White Rock Mountain Recreation Area – Hike the White Rock Rim Loop, a 2 mile trail around the edge of the White Rock Mountain bluff line.
Wherever you choose to enjoy the beauty of the changing leaves, remember to breathe deeply, be present, and soak in every last drop of color that fall has to offer. Autumn only comes ‘round once a year…. Enjoy it while it lasts!
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