Lake Leatherwood Day Celebration Weekend Activities Announced
The Eureka Springs Parks Department welcomes residents and visitors alike to enjoy the weekend long celebration being called Lake Leatherwood Day: A Celebration of the Great Outdoors and the Ozark Mountain Region, Saturday April 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Activities scheduled for the celebration make up a large and varied list of fun family stuff to do, including:
10AM-2PM: FREE Boat Rental (Meet at the Lake Leatherwood boating center)
11AM-1PM: FREE Guided Mountain Bike (Bring your bike. Meet at the Lake Leatherwood boating center)
Noon: FREE Guided Hike (Meet at the Lake Leatherwood boating center.)
- For Mountain Bikers-Eureka Springs is known for its rugged landscape making it a mountain biking haven. The temperature is perfect this time of year for biking. The truth is, experienced mountain bikers and those who are just getting into it will find that Eureka Springs has something to offer for all levels and interests. Adventure Mountain Outfitters is the local cycling authority and offers rentals, repairs and comprehensive information on the sport. There is a reason that Eureka Springs is the home of major events like the Fat Tire Festival!
- For Hikers In-City Trails-Whether you have 30 minutes or all day, hiking in and around Eureka Springs spectacular. Easily accessible trails are located near most Eureka Springs lodging. For some light hiking, try following some of the city historic trails, view map, which are marked by historic plaques, discover the dozens of historic natural springs or explore Eureka Springs prettiest street. For day hiking, consider hiking along Lake Leatherwood trails or visit Blue Spring Heritage Center.
- Black Bass Lake is a natural area located on 200 hidden acres only a quarter of a mile from the heart of downtown Eureka Springs. Black Bass Lake presently has two-and-a-half miles of hiking trails although construction has begun to connect the trails between Black Bass Lake and Lake Leatherwood. In addition to hiking, Black Bass Lake offers a historic and picturesque dam, beautiful scenery, and great fishing on the lake itself. This is a perfect spot to spend a warm afternoon taking in the wonders of nature.
- Lake Leatherwood City Park, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, exhibits many different ways to enjoy the outdoors. The park has more than 20 miles of single-track nature trails, used by both hikers and mountain bikers. Mountain bikers especially love the unique challenges the trails hold with its rocky ledges, steep slopes, creek crossings and varied terrain. The very successful Fat Tire Festival is held annually here at this outdoor playground. Shady picnic areas are provided, and the lake has a WPA-built diving platform, and swimming, camping, birding, and other watchable wildlife abound. There are also such amenities as canoe, paddleboat, and boat rentals. There is a ball field, a bathhouse, a marina, boat launch, a barbecue shelter house, a playground and an area for volleyball. Leatherwood Park is handicap accessible and has the unique recognition as being one of America’s largest city parks.
Other outdoor offerings complimenting the city-owned spaces for the celebration are some of the most exciting outdoor venues unique to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, USA:
- A little south of Eureka Springs, there is the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, which is a safe haven for big cats such as tigers, lions, leopards, and cougars. Additionally, they have bears and other animals that visitors can watch for an extraordinary wildlife adventure. Turpentine Creek also hosts Eureka’s Annual Kite Festival and Native American Pow-Wow Festival.
- Not far from Turpentine Creek, sits Quigley Castle, a unique dwelling built for a woman -by that woman- who wanted to bring nature indoors. The one-of-a-kind structure was hand-constructed with rocks and stones she collected from all over the world.
- Just off Arkansas Highway 12, War Eagle Mill is a scenic place and home to not only the Bean Palace Restaurant but also one of America’s most successful craft shows. This multi-day annual event is held both in the spring and in the fall of each year and is two of the highest attended craft fairs in the country.
- Nearby War Eagle Cavern offers a bat’s eye view of stunning underground scenery, nature paths, gem and fossil panning, and lodging.
- Beaver Lake, west of Eureka, has 500 miles of shoreline alone. It boasts some of the best fishing in the area, with many fishing tournaments held annually. Visitors can kayak, catch a trophy bass, striper, or walleye, and then relax in one of the many parks offering camping, picnicking, and swimming. This crystal-clear lake is the fifth most visited lake in the country that is operated the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
- Eureka Springs’ Marina – Starkey Park offers camping, a marina and boat launch, fishing, water sports, eagle watch, pavilion and is home to The Belle of the Ozarks, a “ship” offering wonderful sightseeing excursions including those that “set sail” to do some seasonal eagle watching.
- The Dam Site Park is one of the most popular parks in the area and is located near Beaver Dam. Many unique lodging facilities are available nearby, as well as sailing, power house tours, fishing, scuba and driving tours.
- At C&J Sports, located near Beaver Dam, guests can make their way through an excellent archery course, or play a game of paintball. Scuba diving is offered and quite popular in the clear waters of Beaver Lake.
- The White River, also west of Eureka Springs, is known for some of the best trout fishing anywhere. There are stores in the area that are well equipped to outfit anyone wishing to have an adventure on the White River, whether it is fishing, canoeing, kayaking, camping, or anything else a visitor can dream up.
- A little farther out U.S. Highway 62 West, Blue Spring Heritage Center is on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been drawing visitors since 1948. Thirty-eight million gallons of clear water pour out daily into the trout filled sparkling blue lagoon below. Blue Spring with its unique bluff shelter was part of the Trail of Tears upon which Cherokee and other Native American tribes traveled to their new, designated home in Oklahoma.
- Near Blue Spring, Inspiration Point rises high above the White River valley, and has a spectacular view that beckons guests to pull off the road and take in the tranquil scenery.
- E. Fay Jones globally award-winning Thorncrown Chapel, also known as the “glass chapel”, is home to thousands of weddings each year and can be seen peeking out through the treetops west of Eureka. Its distinctive architecture proudly displays 425 windows and 6,000 square feet of glass with interior acoustics that must be heard to be believed.
- Traveling east of Eureka Springs, the choices in outdoor activities are abundant. The Kings River is waiting to show guests some beautiful scenery. This river is about 90 miles long, and has many attractive features, such as colorful bluffs, unique flora and fauna, and is a fine place to watch for wildlife. Many eagles have been spotted along the banks of the Kings. The small-mouth bass fishing is excellent, as are the float trips in a canoe or kayak.
- Caving offers abundant venues in the greater Eureka area. For example, Onyx Cave, which was discovered in 1891, is one of the oldest show caves in Arkansas. They offer tours that include beautiful underground formations. Cosmic Caverns, close to Berryville, has many one-of-a-kind natural wonders. It has been named one of the top 10 show caves in the U.S. with its two underground bottomless lakes (lakes in which divers have never 0found the bottom), one of which features cave trout. Rare, blind cave salamanders sometimes show themselves during tours at nearby Cosmic Caverns.
- Still on the east side of town, visitors can experience one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery of The Ozarks via horseback. Red Bud Riding Stables, a family-owned business, has been showing folks around the “hills-n-hollers” on horseback for more than 20 years. The hospitable guides at Red Bud are knowledgeable about plant and animal life, and the trails cover a variety of terrain on the privately owned wildlife preserve.
- Also for enthusiastic equestrians, the Dinner Bell Ranch & Resort is a place where the horseback rides are suitable for all ages and skill levels. The trails offer spectacular panoramic views, as well as possible wildlife sightings. Riders can choose from many different types and lengths of rides, anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Guests can have a real outdoor experience with breakfast, lunch, or dinner rides where a tasty meal is cooked up over a campfire.
- Back to the west, the town of Beaver is one of those charming little spots where visitors love to explore. The history there is rich with old trails and the much-photographed Beaver Town Bridge. This “Little Golden Gate” bridge is a 554-foot single-lane expansion over the White River. The Beaver Recreation Park is located here, with camping, floating, RV Park, boat launch and a quaint little store. Rock Climbing is a popular sport in this area.