By Zoie Clift
June is Great Outdoors Month, and with a name like The Natural State, it’s no surprise that Arkansas is an outdoor haven and perfect place to celebrate. The state’s terrain is showcased via mountain ranges, waterfalls, natural bridges, lakes, rivers and different varieties of flowers and plants.
You can take a deep breath of fresh Ozark or Ouachita mountain air or revel in the breeze crossing one of Arkansas’s great lakes and rivers. The outdoors are a playground and perfect backdrop for your next fishing, boating, camping, hiking and biking adventure. There are also exciting opportunities for birding and wildlife watching, which are found within easy reach of every Arkansas community, including the state’s largest cities.
Starting out the month is National Trails Day, which takes place the first Saturday in June. On this day hikers, bikers, paddlers, horseback riders, trail clubs and more come together to clean up and maintain trails.
Hiking in Arkansas is a great way to experience the beauty of The Natural State. Arkansas is home to several long-distance trails and dozens of shorter hikes that are enjoyable in any season.
The state’s diverse topography offers a range of scenic territory to explore. The variety of landscapes includes mountains, pine and bottomland hardwood forests, and rivers and streams. Arkansas is also home to 52 state parks, three national forests and a wealth of terrain to choose from for your Arkansas adventure, whether you prefer mountain biking, cycling, floating, kayaking or hiking. (Please remember that staying hydrated is crucial in the summer in Arkansas as well as having access to escape the heat if need be.)
With pristine lakes, rivers, and fishing holes across the state, Arkansas is a haven for fishing too. During the “Free Fishing Days” event, which begins at noon on June 7 and goes until midnight June 9, you can fish anywhere in Arkansas without fishing licenses or trout permits, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Pack your swimsuit and come splash the summer away on an Arkansas beach or swimming hole. The state is home to more than 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of streams with many campgrounds and RV parks located on or near the water for fun water activities like fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming and more. The Great American Campout takes place June 22, which spotlights the enjoyment camping with your family and friends can bring.
Great Outdoors Month was established in 1998 to celebrate nature and the outdoors. The national annual event is designated through governor proclamations and highlights the many benefits from the great outdoors. For more details on Great Outdoors Month and the events taking place during this time, visit greatoutdoorsmonth.org. For more information on outdoor offerings in Arkansas, visit arkansas.com/things-to-do/
About Arkansas Tourism
Arkansas Tourism, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, strives to expand the economic impact of travel and tourism in the state and enhance the quality of life for all Arkansans. The division manages 14 Arkansas Welcome Centers and employs more than 60 staff members across The Natural State. For more information, visit www.arkansas.com.