Little Rock has more than 60 city parks. Many of them offer expansive trail systems and all of them are easily reached from all major hotels. Parks of particular note to hikers include Boyle, Allsopp, Knoop, and Rock Creek Park.
Sometimes, the best views of Little Rock are actually from North Little Rock! That's definitely the case with the Emerald Park trail and its clifftop view of downtown Little Rock. The trail up to this vantage point is steep, but it’s also possible to drive to the top (we won’t judge!). You’ll see the Arkansas River and the city’s skyline from atop an old granite quarry.
Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area
Located just west of Pinnacle Mountain State Park, the trails at Rattlesnake Ridge are part of the Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area. This designated area protects rare plant and animal species while offering a rugged, low-impact recreational experience. The ridge is ¾ mile wide and rises 920 feet above sea level at its summit. You can learn more about the Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area and the species it was created to protect by visiting the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission’s website.
Please note that the gate to the natural area closes and locks at dusk, reopening the next morning. If you are locked behind the gate after dark, please call 501.371.9322. And keep your eyes peeled for mountain bikers on some trails.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park
As one of the tallest points in Central Arkansas, Pinnacle Mountain is hard to miss. Visitors can summit the mountain from either the east or west sides. The west side is considered the easier of the two and is accessible from the same parking lot as the Kingfisher Trail. The East Summit Trail presents a significantly more challenging route with several boulder fields to cross that require some scrambling. Regardless of the course you take, you'll be rewarded with iconic views of the Arkansas River, Lake Maumelle, and downtown Little Rock.
Ouachita National Forest
Little Rock is the perfect basecamp for those looking to explore the Ouachita National Forest. The forest encompasses more than 1.7 million acres and includes six federally designated wilderness areas. The area is full of hiking trails that lead to hidden wonders across the forest and is ideal for everything from a short day of exploring to a multi-day trek on the Ouachita Trail.