Trips & Trails

Weekend Getaways in Arkansas

Arkansas has a huge variety of trails….all kinds.  Hiking, biking, walking and river paths  highlight the best of The Natural State’s scenic beauty.  We have other kinds as well…what we call "trip trails." The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism created these trails to highlight the best of Arkansas’s food, music, recreation and history. Selecting from any and all of these to your travel plans adds another dimension to your visit to Arkansas.

Like golf?  Then the Arkansas Golf Trail is just for you. Twelve courses in all corners of Arkansas provide challenging games amidst the gorgeous, open scenery we’re known for: the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains, the Timberlands, Central Arkansas, and the geographic wonder in the Arkansas Delta called Crowley’s Ridge.

Like history?  We have a Civil War Trail that follows soldiers' routes, trails that trace the Butterfield Overland Mail Route, follow along the Old Southwest Trail, and highlight the Trail of Tears. Monuments, markers and historic sites tell the story of the struggle by Native Americans, African Americans, and Japanese Americans for civil rights.

Like to eat and drink like the locals?  Quench your thirst by traveling the Arkansas Wine Trail and visiting breweries. Enjoy cheese dip in the state where it was invented by sampling various versions or travel the BBQ Trail to sample some of the best pork, beef and chicken barbecue anywhere. Top it all off by having a slice of our famous homemade pies which motivated Jane and Michael Stern of Roadfood fame to proclaim in a Gourmet Magazine article that "Arkansas is known as one of America's foremost pie states…”

Need to relax?  Then check out our Spa Trail. Day spas, overnight stays, full body services to a massage and manicure; the selection is amazing.

These trails are by no means all encompassing. If we missed one of your favorites, please contact us to share that information by e-mailing

Read about the trails below and map out your next adventure through The Natural State. Happy Trails!

History & Heritage Trail

Some of the most epic events in American history came right through The Natural State. The Trail of Tears is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The Old Southwest Trail is also known as the National Road and the Old Military Road. It was one of the first permanent roads across Arkansas. Both Confederate and Union army forces trekked through the state en route to battles troops often engaged in skirmishes along the way–you can see battlefields and monuments on the Civil War trail. The Butterfield Overland Mail Stage Line operated from 1857-1861 and carried passengers and mail. This Arkansas History and Heritage Trail is a journey through Trail of Tears history, Civil War sites and other important pieces of Arkansas culture. Read about the trail’s many highlights and make plans to travel it! .

Arkansas Originals

The world's largest Budweiser can. A huge Humpty Dumpty keeping a watchful eye over downtown Eureka Springs. The world's only diamond mine where you can dig for gems and keep what you find. Luxury accommodations in a cave...or tree house. A one-of-a-kind historic carousel. There are just a few of the Arkansas Originals you'll find as you travel The Natural State.  This trail makes for one of the most unusual treks you can take in Arkansas.

Civil Rights Trail

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Unfortunately, these historic words written July 4, 1776 haven’t always been true for some people who have had to toil throughout history to make this country a better place to live.  Monuments to these struggles by African Americans, those interred in Japanese relocation camps, farmers fighting for better business practices, and the Native Americans who made the forced Trail of Tears march, make thought-provoking destinations, several of which can be found in The Natural State.

Arkansas Wine Trail

Arkansas wine is a natural byproduct. Two European families settled in the Arkansas River Valley, attracted by its fertile sandy soil and moderate climate. These pioneers of the American wine industry were Jacob Post, who came to America in 1872, and Johann Wiederkehr, who immigrated to Altus from Switzerland in 1880. Area conditions reminded them so much of the fine wine-making regions of Germany and Switzerland that they each established vineyards, the beginning of viticulture in Arkansas.

Arkansas Blues Trail

During the 1930s, the blues could be found in juke joints in many small towns along the Mississippi River. But the undisputed blues capital at the time was Helena, Arkansas, located along the Mississippi about 80 miles southwest of Memphis. Helena’s downtown streets—Elm, Phillips, Walnut and part of Cherry—were filled with juke joints and cafes where bluesmen played all night long to packed houses. Even the sidewalks were a popular venue for many musicians. The town's radio station, KFFA, helped launch the careers of many of the legendary blues artists when they appeared on King Biscuit Time. The show is still aired today from the Delta Cultural Center and is the longest-running daily radio show in the United States.

Brewery Trail

Refreshing regional beer and microbrews are available on tap and in bottles. Arkansas also boasts a big craft brewery industry that’s still growing.  You'll find them located in Little Rock, Fayetteville, Rogers, Hot Springs and Springdale. We also have a distillery, the first legal one since Prohibition.  Make a point to tour the breweries and brew pubs of Arkansas.

BBQ Trail

Some of the liveliest discussions are held when people debate who has the best barbecue. There are enough secret recipes to make Fort Knox explode if they were stored there.  Arkansas is blessed with a wealth of barbecue restaurants, dives, joints…whatever you want to call them.  On this savory BBQ trail, you can choose from mustard and tomato vinegar sauces, dry rub, and thick or thin tomato based. Ribs, pulled or chopped pork, brisket, beef tenderloin and chicken are on most menus along with the familiar sides. We built this list around some of the most popular BBQ joints, but the BBQ trail is, by no means, a comprehensive list. It's just the tip of the barbecue "iceberg." Come chow down along the trail, enjoying all the different types of local ‘cue you’ll find here. Use the map below to plot your trip — whether you drive east to west or north to south, you’ll find delectable BBQ in all regions of the state.

Spa Trail

Affordable spa vacations that leave you feeling like a million bucks. Relaxing in a tub of hot water, soothing away the "wearies" of the world. Then the trained hands of a masseuse ply away the knots and kinks that come with a modern lifestyle. Sound extravagant? It can be, but you don't have to pay a fortune to experience the relaxation and luxury of an Arkansas spa getaway. Find a great spa location on the Arkansas Spa Trail and prepare to be soothed.

Arkansas Golf Trail

The scenic beauty of Arkansas is a natural complement to the game of golf. From rolling hills to hardwood forests, towering pines to mountain lakes, pristine rivers to fertile farmlands, the state boasts amazing golfing experiences around every turn. The Arkansas Golf Trail features 12 elite public and private courses (two at the Hot Springs Country Club) in 11 unique locations. Spend a few hours at each to get the full Arkansas golf experience.

Pie Trail

 January 23 is the country’s National Pie Day as so designated by the American Pie Council. Here in Arkansas every day is "pie day." Don’t just take our word for it though. Jane and Michael Stern, authors of the Roadfood guides and website, declared in a November 2003 Gourmet Magazine article, that "Arkansas is known as one of America's foremost pie states…”  And in the January 22, 2010 edition of USA Today, creator Ed Levine highlighted his Top 10 pie spots in the nation.  One of his choices? The Family Pie Shop in DeVall's Bluff.  Here are a few locations (in no particular order) where you can honor the All-American dessert in style with some of The Natural State’s best pies.  This is, by no means, a comprehensive list.

Cheese Dip Trail

Did you know Arkansas is believed to be the birthplace of cheese dip? Little Rock lawyer and filmmaker Nick Rogers has done his research and believes it to be. He tracked the background of the spicy concoction to see if it could be “the dish” for which Arkansas could be famous. Rogers discovered the original landmark Mexico Chiquito restaurant, though it was named Little Mexico at the time, opened in Hot Springs in 1935 and introduced cheese dip. This predates Rotel by at least 10 years. Mexico Chiquito is still alive and kicking in Arkansas with both full-service and drive-through locations. Cheese dip is served pretty much in every nook and cranny restaurant of The Natural State.  Here are some suggestions.