Pre- and Post-Conference Trips

Pre- and post-conference opportunities for our 2019 conference will include multi-day trips, full and half day workshops, guided opportunities and do-it-yourself information for activities across the state. More trips and information will continue to be added as it becomes available.

Organized Trips

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DIY Activities

Road Cycling

The League of American Bicyclists has designated six Bicycle Friendly Communities in the state including Little Rock, North Little Rock, Conway, Bentonville, Benton and Washington counties and Fayetteville.

In Northwest Arkansas, the Razorback Regional Greenway is a 36-mile shared-use route stretching from Fayetteville to Bella Vista. It runs through pastoral settings alongside creeks, through downtowns, where you can stop for some grub or a craft beer, by city parks where you can connect to additional trails, and near numerous local attractions.

In Little Rock, the Big Dam Bridge is the longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in North America, built specifically for that use. This impressive structure is named for its massive 4,226-foot span built atop the Murray Lock and Dam. Elevated to 90 feet above the Arkansas River, the Big Dam Bridge connects more than 14 miles of scenic riverside trails located in Little Rock and North Little Rock. It provides cyclist and pedestrian access to the Clinton Presidential Center, the River Market, museums, restaurants and more.

There are many riding options to tackle across the state and bike rentals are available for the Greenway and Little Rock. More information can be found at http://www.Arkansas.com.

Arkansas’s Elk Herd

If you want a breathtaking experience, head to Boxley Valley. Elk have free range and can be seen at several different locations near the Buffalo National River in North Central Arkansas. The most common place to view them is the six miles of Arkansas 43 and Arkansas 21 in Boxley Valley. You can park on the pull-offs on the side of the road and stand along the fence line to see them. The best times to see the elk are dusk and dawn. Autumn is a great time to see them in the fields, particularly October and November. They put on an extra show because it’s rutting season and bull elk have large antlers to show off to their cow elk, other bulls, and you. https://www.nps.gov/buff/learn/nature/elk.htm.

Mammoth Spring

Mammoth Spring epitomizes Arkansas’s slogan, The Natural State. Outfitters and resorts abound to take care of visitors coming to the area for floating and fishing. The scenery is astounding because of outdoor landscapes that include the National Natural Landmark for which the city is named.

Mammoth Spring is one of the world’s largest springs with nine million gallons of water flowing hourly. It forms a 10-acre lake, then runs southward as the Spring River, a famous Ozark trout and float stream. Remnants of a mill and hydroelectric plant are part of Mammoth Spring’s history and Mammoth Spring State Park interprets it all. The park also features an 1886 Frisco train depot and museum. Adding to the things to do here are a playground, picnic area, baseball field, walking trail, Arkansas Welcome Center, and gift shop. Pedal boats and kayaks are also available for rent.

The city is also home to Mammoth Spring National Fish Hatchery. Built in the Ozark foothills, it capitalizes on the availability of cool gravity flow water from Mammoth Spring. The hatchery maintains the only captive spawning population of Gulf Coast striped bass in the world. This small rural town is host to big outdoor fun. https://www.arkansas.com/mammoth-spring

Climb Bentonville

Opened in early 2019, Climb Bentonville is a branch of Climb Nashville, one of the Southeast’s premiere climbing facilities, and is a joint venture with local businessman Dennis Nelms. After 14 years in business, Climb Nashville owners Drew Sloss and Lance Brock have partnered with Nelms to open their newest indoor rock climbing facility and Bentonville’s first climbing facility.

The 20,400 square-foot building is located at Ark. 102 and SW I Street in Bentonville. The new facility boasts more than 16,000 square feet of indoor climbing terrain built by industry leader Walltopia. Lead routes measure about 45 feet vertically; youth routes about 25-35 feet tall. The facility contains more than 9,000 square feet of rope climbing, over 2,500 square feet of bouldering, and over 3,000 square feet of dedicated kid zone. The building’s two-story interior includes a workout room, yoga/fitness class space, restrooms, locker area, retail store and party room for birthday parties and private events.

This is the first climbing gym of this caliber in the state. For more information, visit https://www.climbbentonville.com.

Fayetteville Ale Trail

The Fayetteville Ale Trail added four member breweries to the list of craft beer establishments that make up the self-guided trail across Northwest Arkansas and launched at new website at the end of 2018. That’ brings the total of stops on the trail to 15, including one cidery.

The Fayetteville Ale Trail includes locations in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and Siloam Springs. There is no cost to experience the Ale Trail, other than the beer you buy, and many of the breweries offer a behind-the-scenes tour of how craft beer is made.

Participants visit each location at their own pace and have the option of completing an Ale Trail passport that is stamped by each brewery. Completed passports may be mailed or turned in to Experience Fayetteville at 21 S. Block Ave. for a souvenir. Passports are available at Experience Fayetteville or at participating breweries. To learn more about the Fayetteville Ale Trail, visit http://www.FayettevilleAleTrail.com.

Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail

This 178-mile trail winds along mountaintops and bluffs, past waterfalls and over streams, while passing through some of the most remote and scenic country in the Ozark National Forest and the Buffalo National River. The trail is used for day hikes as well as weekend and extended backpacking trips. The national forest contains campgrounds, picnic areas, cabins, wilderness areas such as East Fork, Hurricane Creek, Leatherwood and Richland Creek and many additional hiking trails. CONTACT: 479-964-7200; http://www.fs.fed.us/osfnf.

Buffalo National River

The country’s first national river (1972), the Buffalo River flows roughly 135 miles and includes nearly 95,000 acres of public land along its corridor. It has been the topic of a full-length book, the subject of a National Geographic feature article, and the cornerstone for the state’s environmental movement. The stream descends nearly 2000 feet through layers of sandstone, limestone and chert. Its many bluffs are the highest in all the Ozark Mountains. Hidden away, ready for discovery, are other geologic marvels — springs, caves, waterfalls, natural bridges, and box-like canyons where trails are abundant. Numerous outfitters service the river, and there are several campgrounds, cabins, motels and other lodging options nearby. While spring and early summer are the prime floating times, the lower section of the Buffalo can be floated year-round. CONTACT: 870-741-5443; http://www.Arkansas.com or http://www.NPS.gov/buff.

Greers Ferry Lake/Little Red River

Nestled in the hardwood forests and foothills between Clinton and Heber Springs, Greers Ferry is the third-largest lake in Arkansas’s Ozark Mountains (31,500 surface acres). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir has served as a national model for environmental cleanliness. Commercial and public use campgrounds, first-class lodging, resorts and championship golf courses are trademarks. The Little Red River emerges icy-cold from Greers Ferry Dam and provides excellent trout fishing waters for miles downstream. An International Game Fish Association (IGFA) and National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame all-tackle world-record German brown trout was caught here in 1992. The big brown weighed in at 40lbs., 4ozs. Resorts and outfitters are available. The lake and river visitor center is located on Ark. 25 at the western end of the dam. CONTACT: 501-362- 9067; http://www.swl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Lakes/GreersFerryLake.aspx.

Lake Chicot

Lake Chicot in Lake Village has the honor of being Arkansas’s largest natural lake as well as the largest oxbow lake in North America. The waters cover over 5,000 acres and form a stunning C-shaped curve running almost 22 miles long and one mile wide.

The lake itself is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Fishing, boating, and bird watching are amazing near the lake. Photographers are sure to notice the amazing sunrises and sunsets over Lake Chicot.

Bluegill fishing is extremely popular in the water, although channel catfish, crappie and largemouth bass are plentiful due to the abundance of cypress in the water. Lake Chicot is part of the Mississippi Flyway, one of the defined routes for migratory birds, the lake also attracts migrating ducks and geese during the fall and winter, as well as ibises, egrets, and storks.

Arkansas’s Great River Road

Along The Natural State’s eastern border flows a mighty river that has transformed the land and the people within its reach. It is the majestic Mississippi River, which starts as a stream in Minnesota, winding throughout America’s heartland to Louisiana, where it relinquishes its powerful waters into the Gulf of Mexico.

Arkansas’s 362-mile section of the Great River Road National Scenic Byway winds its way through the state’s eastern Delta region along the mighty stream. The waterway created a scenic and natural border that has beckoned people to its banks for centuries. Visitors can gaze upon acres of cotton, soybeans or rice as they travel through some of the most fertile land in the country. Along the trek, numerous historical and cultural sites preserve the history of Arkansas and its people and welcome visitors to learn more about this remarkable region. Outdoor adventures range from fishing, boating, birdwatching, hiking and photography.

The Great River Road was established in 1938 when governors from the 10 states bordering the waterway decided to develop a network of rural roads and new highways to create a transcontinental parkway along the Mississippi River, crisscrossing the mighty river, totaling 2,340 miles. The Mississippi River Parkway Commission was formed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to preserve, promote, and enhance the scenic, historic and recreational resources of the Mississippi River; to foster economic growth in the corridor; and to develop the national, scenic and historic Great River Road.

Bayou Bartholomew

Bayou Bartholomew, the longest bayou in the world, begins its journey northwest of Pine Bluff. The bayou flows over 350 miles before joining the Ouachita River in Louisiana. The stream is known for excellent bream and crappie fishing. Many consider it one of the most underrated spots for catching catfish in The Natural State. Over 100 species of fish have been documented in Bayou Bartholomew, making it the second most diverse stream in North America.

Big River Crossing

The Big River Crossing now connects West Memphis, Ark., to downtown Memphis. A major focus of the Big River Crossing is the “big river” itself, which visitors view from the nearly one-mile walkway built alongside the historic Harahan Bridge, one of the river’s former roadways. Opened in 1916, the Harahan Bridge connected West Memphis and Memphis and was used for over 30 years. The structure features two railways and two roadways built off the side of the main bridge structure. The bridge was used for vehicle traffic until 1949, when the nearby Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge (or now known by locals as “The Old Bridge”) was opened.

The Big River Crossing has the distinction of not only being the longest public pedestrian bridge across the “Father of Waters,” it is also the country’s longest active rail/bicycle/pedestrian bridge. The unparalleled views of the mighty Mississippi from the walkway are unlike most that visitors have seen before. Bikes can be provided for participants with advance notice.

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