Eureka Springs Tells People To “Get OUT (side)!”

Within a twenty mile radius of Downtown, the greater Eureka Springs’ area offers convenient accessibility to a wealth of outdoor activities such as Beaver Lake, Table Rock Lake, Kings River, White River, Thorncrown Chapel, Blue Springs Heritage Center, Black Bass Lake, Lake Leatherwood, the Hogscald and Big Clifty areas, plus Holiday Island. For even more activities within this area, there are numerous providers: Ozark Mountain Ziplines, scenic horseback riding stables, Starkey Park Marina, Beaver Dam Site Park, the 12,000-acre Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, Madison County Game Refuge, War Eagle Mill, War Eagle Cavern, Onyx Cave, Cosmic Caverns, Roaring River State Park and Trout Hatchery, the Mark Twain National Forest with miles of ATV trails, Buffalo National River, Dogwood Canyon, Beaver Town, and the Pea Ridge National Military Park.  All are examples of the excellent outdoor adventures waiting to be experienced, and all of these places are just a short drive away when anyone chooses “America’s Victorian Village” as their extraordinary escape vacation hub.

Although many of these outdoor wonders are accessible and enjoyable the year-round, many are at their peak during the months of spring, especially late April and early May. This is when The Ozarks’ hillsides are all abloom and fully green with temperatures comfortably mild.  Here is a little bit more about some of these attractive spring attractions:

  • Eureka Springs is known for its rugged landscape making it a mountain biking haven. 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. The reason is clear why Eureka Springs is the home of major events like the Fat Tire Festival.
  • Whether you have 30 minutes or all day, hiking in and around Eureka Springs is spectacular. Easily accessible trails are located near most Eureka Springs lodging. For some light hiking, try following some of the city historic trails marked by historic plaques; discover the dozens of historic natural springs flowing full from springtime rain; or explore Eureka Springs prettiest street, Spring Street “boulevard”. For day hiking, consider hiking along Lake Leatherwood trails or visit Blue Spring Heritage Center.
  • Record crowds will again fly high over The Ozarks as they experience the exhilarating thrill of a zip line canopy tour right in the heart of the beautiful, pristine Ozark Mountains of Eureka Springs. Screams of delight and thunder of excited laughter from patrons of Ozark Mountain Ziplines will pierce the woodland silence as they soar through the air from up to 300 feet high with cable lengths up to 2,000 feet long over vast gorgeous, beautiful Ozark hardwood trees and limestone cliffs.
  • Black Bass Lake is a natural area located on 200 hidden acres and 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.
  • A little south of Eureka Springs, there is the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, 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.
  • 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.  The mill sits alongside War Eagle Creek, which drives their burrstone wheel, and home for fishing and for feeding the ducks.
  • 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.
  • 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. From this are guests may enjoy sailing, power house tours, fishing, scuba diving, 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 found 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.

Jack Moyer, general manager of the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa with its surrounding 15 acres of forested hillsides and manicured gardens and the 1905 Basin Park Hotel that sits in the midst of a web of urban trails, stated, “We are adamant supporters of Eureka Springs’ great outdoors. In fact, we tell our guests and visitors to ‘Just get out!’. We of course mean it as our invitation for them to ‘Get outdoors!’ while they are visiting us, encouraging them to enjoy all of the wonderful outdoor sights and activities our glorious region offers, especially in late April and early May.”

For more information, one should go to EurekaSpringsOnline.com.

Self Guided Adventures in Eureka Springs

Self Guided Adventures

Eureka Springs Trails

Eureka Springs Trails

When you are in Eureka Springs, you are never far from nature. Outdoor adventures are waiting for you…just outside your door. Here are a few easy hikes to get you started. Try an early morning hike…it is a great way to get to know Eureka Springs but Ozark Mountain weather makes hiking anytime during the day enjoyable.

Eureka “Springs” & Downtown Trails

Eureka Springs has numerous natural springs that are protected for public enjoyment. Each one is unique and holds a name that provides clues to their historic use. Today, many of the springs are surrounded by pocket parks. Take a walk around town. Below is a suggested path to discover a few of the best known springs. It can be a strenuous climb so wear good walking shoes. Many visitors collect photos of the springs during different seasons (the pocket parks are just as beautiful at Christmas as in the Spring!) so don’t forget your camera.Basin Spring in Basin Spring Park

Suggested Springs to Visit:

1. Sweet Spring-discover Sweet Spring then walk up the stairs above the spring near the corner of Pine Street and follow the trail which takes you along the bluff overlooking Harding Spring.

2. Harding Spring-at the corner of Howell Street and Spring Street.

3. Crescent Spring– found near the Carnegie Public Library on Spring Street. Grotto Spring is also on this road heading toward the Writer’s Colony.

4. Little Eureka Spring-turn near the Grand Central Hotel and follow Flint then turn Right on Steel Street. You will pass Onyx Cave (on Steel Street) and Cave Spring (on Douglas Street).

5. Gadd Spring-inside the store at 104 North Main Street.

6. Magnetic Spring-on Magnetic Road between Main Street and Passion Play Road.

7. Leatherwood Creek-runs the length of Main Street.

8. Calif Spring-next to the Historical Museum on Main Street.

9. Basin Spring Bath House Bridge-just across from Basin Spring Park spans over Main Street. Near here is the Basin Spring (in Basin Spring Park and Basin Spring Bluff Shelter-above the band shelter in Basin Spring Park and Rock House Cave. Learn more about the movement to “Free the Basin” or  Read more about Basin Spring history and the park that surrounds it.

Lake Leatherwood Trailslake leatherwood eureka springs

Lake Leatherwood is a 1600-acre municipal park with an 85 acre spring fed lake. There are 3 major trails at Lake Leatherwood, located just a few miles West of downtown Eureka Springs off of U.S. Highway 62. Leatherwood is on the National Register of Historic Places. The dam, one of the largest hand hewn native limestone dams in the country forms the lake and is just one of the features on this site of the Works Progress Administration project from the early 1940’s. Many other historic features are still visible here.The woodlands surrounding the lake support many species of wildlife including a diverse population of waterfowl and other birds like heron, geese, bald eagles, and wild turkey. Lake Leatherwood is a great place for hiking but also for biking, fishing, swimming, and picnicking. Get Your Lake Leatherwood Trail Map. Get Directions to Lake Leatherwood. Discover more photos of Lake Leatherwood Trails.

Trail #1- Miner’s Trail

This is the newest trail at Lake Leatherwood. Moderately sloped, the trail takes you to Miner’s Rock, a stratified stone with a hole large enough you will want to crawl up into it. You will pass some sinkholes on the North side of the trail. Miner’s Trail is easy and is 1.3 miles long.

Trail #2- Beacham Trail

Follow the edge of the water and see great views of Leatherwood Lake on this trail, named after former Arkansas Parks and Recreation Commissioner Steve Beacham. After crossing over the dam, the trail curves back across the flat rock where rock for the dam was taken and hewn. If you watch closely, you will catch a glimpse of some of the equipment used by the WPA workers to build the dam. This trail crosses over Leatherwood Dam. Certain times of the year, water runs over the dam. Beacham trail travels completely around the lake, is easy and 3.8 miles long.

Trail #3- Fuller Trail

Parallel to Beacham Trail is Fuller trail which follows the road to the marina traveling closer to the lake. This trail is named for old time Eureka Springs banker, Claude Fuller.

Black Bass Lake & TrailsBlack Bass Lake Eureka Springs

Black Bass Lake was created as a fire protection and drinking water reservoir from the abundant, pure springs in the upper reaches of Old Spring Gulch, including Sycamore, Standing Rock, and Arsenic Springs. The earthen and cut stone dam dates to 1894 and is one of the oldest still standing in the Ozarks. The city now receives water from Beaver Lake via the Carroll Boone Water District, but water is still pumped to a 100′ tall water tower on Hwy 62, as it has been for over a century. Get Your Black Bass Lake Trail Map. Get Detailed Directions to Black Bass Lake. Discover more photos of Black Bass Lake & Trails. Directions: Follow U.S. Highway 62 west right past the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks. Turn left on Oil Springs Road and follow the road down to the dam and parking area.

Trail #1- Standing Rock Trail Standing Rock Black Bass Lake Eureka Springs

Standing Rock Trail is built upon a former pump house road bed, this trail begins just past the dam spillway and before the non-motorized boat ramp. It passes by Standing Rock and leads to a small picnic area and the two wooden bridges crossing both the wet weather creek, and the headwaters of West Leatherwood Creek. The trail is mostly level, wide, and a multi-use trail.

Trail #2- Bluff Trail

Bluff Trail spurs off from and runs above Sycamore Spring Trail. This rugged trail hugs the St. Joe limestone outcropping that rims the valley. The trail is steep at beginning and end, but mostly level, though narrow and rocky. This trail, featuring great views of the lake and valley, is favored by local mountain bike riders.

Trail #3- Sycamore Spring Trail

Sycamore Spring Trail begins on the opposite side of the dam and runs along the shoreline of the lake, crossing Sycamore Spring and heads to the wooden bridge crossing the head waters of West Leatherwood Creek. Abundant wildflowers line this trail in spring and summer. The trail is narrow, level for the most part, and follows an old fishing path.

Harmon ParkHarmon Park Bark Park

Harmon Park, just downhill from the historic Crescent Hotel, has 6.45 acres and contains a playground, skatepark, restrooms, and recently constructed Bark Park for large and small dogs.

Eureka Springs’ Official Source for Online Attraction Reservations and Hot Deals for Lodging.

Self Guided Adventures

Self Guided Adventures

Eureka Springs Trails

Eureka Springs Trails

When you are in Eureka Springs, you are never far from nature. Outdoor adventures are waiting for you…just outside your door. Here are a few easy hikes to get you started. Try an early morning hike…it is a great way to get to know Eureka Springs but Ozark Mountain weather makes hiking anytime during the day enjoyable.

Eureka “Springs” & Downtown Trails

Eureka Springs has numerous natural springs that are protected for public enjoyment. Each one is unique and holds a name that provides clues to their historic use. Today, many of the springs are surrounded by pocket parks. Take a walk around town. Below is a suggested path to discover a few of the best known springs. It can be a strenuous climb so wear good walking shoes. Many visitors collect photos of the springs during different seasons (the pocket parks are just as beautiful at Christmas as in the Spring!) so don’t forget your camera.Basin Spring in Basin Spring Park

Suggested Springs to Visit:

1. Sweet Spring-discover Sweet Spring then walk up the stairs above the spring near the corner of Pine Street and follow the trail which takes you along the bluff overlooking Harding Spring.
2. Harding Spring-at the corner of Howell Street and Spring Street.
3. Crescent Spring– found near the Carnegie Public Library on Spring Street. Grotto Spring is also on this road heading toward the Writer’s Colony.
4. Little Eureka Spring-turn near the Grand Central Hotel and follow Flint then turn Right on Steel Street. You will pass Onyx Cave (on Steel Street) and Cave Spring (on Douglas Street).
5. Gadd Spring-inside the store at 104 North Main Street.
6. Magnetic Spring-on Magnetic Road between Main Street and Passion Play Road.
7. Leatherwood Creek-runs the length of Main Street.
8. Calif Spring-next to the Historical Museum on Main Street.
9. Basin Spring Bath House Bridge-just across from Basin Spring Park spans over Main Street. Near here is the Basin Spring (in Basin Spring Park and Basin Spring Bluff Shelter-above the band shelter in Basin Spring Park and Rock House Cave. Learn more about the movement to “Free the Basin” or  Read more about Basin Spring history and the park that surrounds it.

Lake Leatherwood Trailslake leatherwood eureka springs

Lake Leatherwood is a 1600-acre municipal park with an 85 acre spring fed lake. There are 3 major trails at Lake Leatherwood, located just a few miles West of downtown Eureka Springs off of U.S. Highway 62. Leatherwood is on the National Register of Historic Places. The dam, one of the largest hand hewn native limestone dams in the country forms the lake and is just one of the features on this site of the Works Progress Administration project from the early 1940’s. Many other historic features are still visible here.The woodlands surrounding the lake support many species of wildlife including a diverse population of waterfowl and other birds like heron, geese, bald eagles, and wild turkey. Lake Leatherwood is a great place for hiking but also for biking, fishing, swimming, and picnicking. Get Your Lake Leatherwood Trail Map. Get Directions to Lake Leatherwood. Discover more photos of Lake Leatherwood Trails.

Trail #1- Miner’s Trail

This is the newest trail at Lake Leatherwood. Moderately sloped, the trail takes you to Miner’s Rock, a stratified stone with a hole large enough you will want to crawl up into it. You will pass some sinkholes on the North side of the trail. Miner’s Trail is easy and is 1.3 miles long.

Trail #2- Beacham Trail

Follow the edge of the water and see great views of Leatherwood Lake on this trail, named after former Arkansas Parks and Recreation Commissioner Steve Beacham. After crossing over the dam, the trail curves back across the flat rock where rock for the dam was taken and hewn. If you watch closely, you will catch a glimpse of some of the equipment used by the WPA workers to build the dam. This trail crosses over Leatherwood Dam. Certain times of the year, water runs over the dam. Beacham trail travels completely around the lake, is easy and 3.8 miles long.

Trail #3- Fuller Trail

Parallel to Beacham Trail is Fuller trail which follows the road to the marina traveling closer to the lake. This trail is named for old time Eureka Springs banker, Claude Fuller.

Black Bass Lake & TrailsBlack Bass Lake Eureka Springs

Black Bass Lake was created as a fire protection and drinking water reservoir from the abundant, pure springs in the upper reaches of Old Spring Gulch, including Sycamore, Standing Rock, and Arsenic Springs. The earthen and cut stone dam dates to 1894 and is one of the oldest still standing in the Ozarks. The city now receives water from Beaver Lake via the Carroll Boone Water District, but water is still pumped to a 100′ tall water tower on Hwy 62, as it has been for over a century. Get Your Black Bass Lake Trail Map. Get Detailed Directions to Black Bass Lake. Discover more photos of Black Bass Lake & Trails.

Directions: Follow U.S. Highway 62 west right past the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks. Turn left on Oil Springs Road and follow the road down to the dam and parking area.

Trail #1- Standing Rock Trail Standing Rock Black Bass Lake Eureka Springs

Standing Rock Trail is built upon a former pump house road bed, this trail begins just past the dam spillway and before the non-motorized boat ramp. It passes by Standing Rock and leads to a small picnic area and the two wooden bridges crossing both the wet weather creek, and the headwaters of West Leatherwood Creek. The trail is mostly level, wide, and a multi-use trail.

Trail #2- Bluff Trail

Bluff Trail spurs off from and runs above Sycamore Spring Trail. This rugged trail hugs the St. Joe limestone outcropping that rims the valley. The trail is steep at beginning and end, but mostly level, though narrow and rocky. This trail, featuring great views of the lake and valley, is favored by local mountain bike riders.

Trail #3- Sycamore Spring Trail

Sycamore Spring Trail begins on the opposite side of the dam and runs along the shoreline of the lake, crossing Sycamore Spring and heads to the wooden bridge crossing the head waters of West Leatherwood Creek. Abundant wildflowers line this trail in spring and summer. The trail is narrow, level for the most part, and follows an old fishing path.

Harmon ParkHarmon Park Bark Park

Harmon Park, just downhill from the historic Crescent Hotel, has 6.45 acres and contains a playground, skatepark, restrooms, and recently constructed Bark Park for large and small dogs.

Eureka Springs’ Official Source for Online Attraction Reservations and Hot Deals for Lodging.

Lake Leatherwood Day!

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:lake leatherwood day

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.

Eureka Springs Tells People “To Get OUT(side)!”

Eureka Springs Tells People “To GET OUT(side)!”

Within a twenty mile radius of Downtown, The greater Eureka Springs’ area offers convenient accessibility to a wealth of outdoor activities such as Beaver Lake, Table Rock Lake, Kings River, White River, Thorncrown Chapel, Blue Springs Heritage Center, Black Bass Lake, Lake Leatherwood, the Hogscald and Big Clifty areas, plus Holiday Island.  For even more activities within this area, there are numerous providers: scenic horseback riding stables, Starkey Park Marina, Beaver Dam Site Park, the 12,000-acre Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, Madison County Game Refuge, War Eagle Mill, War Eagle Cavern, Onyx Cave, Cosmic Caverns, Roaring River State Park and Trout Hatchery, the Mark Twain National Forest with miles of ATV trails, Buffalo National River, Dogwood Canyon, Beaver Town, and the Pea Ridge National Military Park.  All are examples of the excellent outdoor adventures waiting to be experienced, and all of these places are just a short drive away when anyone chooses “America’s Victorian Village” as their vacation hub.eureka springs outdoor adventure week

Although many of these outdoor wonders are most accessible and enjoyable the year-round, many are at their peak during the months of spring.  That is why the Eureka Springs Parks Commission and its friends from EurekaSpringsOnline have partnered together to call all outdoor enthusiasts to Eureka Springs on the last week of April and specifically Saturday, April 25 for Lake Leatherwood Day: A Celebration of the Great Outdoors and the Ozark Mountain Region. (see more details below)

Jack Moyer, general manager of the Crescent and Basin Park stated, “We are adamant supporters of Eureka Springs’ great outdoors.  So, when we tell our guests and visitors to ‘Get out!’ we of course mean ‘Get outdoors!’ while they are visiting us here, encouraging them to enjoy all of the wonderful sights and activities with which our glorious surroundings are blessed.”

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Outdoor Adventure Week

April 24th-28th

Enjoy a week full of outdoor fun in Eureka Springs!
Stay at the Crescent all week or just 1 night and SAVE 25% on any room of your choice, including breakfast for two. Then participate in the following outdoor activities at discount provided by the Crescent Hotel:

Friday, April 24th: Hike to Kings River Overlook (free) View Map.lake leatherwood eureka springs
Saturday, April 25th: Lake Leatherwood Day!  View Map.

-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.)

Sunday, April 26th: Mountain Biking with Adventure Mountain Outfitters from the Crescent Hotel to Lake Leatherwood Park. For intermediate to advance riders. 1-2 hours. (Cost: $50 per person includes bike rental and guide)
Monday, April 27th: Horseback Riding with Dinner Bell Ranch (Cost $30, reduced from $35)
Tuesday, April 28th: Float Trip on the Kings River. 8 1/2 mile float trip with Kings River Outfitters. Includes shuttle, canoe for two, and necessities. (Cost:$60 for two, reduced from $75.)

View the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa Outdoor Adventure Week Deal, Click Here.

View the 1905 Basin Park Hotel Outdoor Adventure Week Deal, Click Here.

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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:lake leatherwood day

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.

 

Winter Spa Escape

In Winter, Couples Choose Eureka Springs’ “Spa-scape”

(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) — Couples often slip off on a getaway to discover new things about a destination.  The primary nuance that couples seem to discover -or rediscover- in Eureka Springs, a 19th century village situated among the folds of the Arkansas Ozarks, during the winter is an indoor activity of extreme indulgence.  For when the cold winds blow, most couples escape to this extraordinary destination primarily for one three-letter word, spa.

Savvy winter travelers find that a “spa-scape” to Eureka Springs, one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations, during these months offer very attractively priced packages.  Packages that not only include lodging but the ultimate pampering services such as hot stone massages; duet massages; facials; and full body wraps that warm the body, mind and spirit.  Many add salon treatments to the regimen in order that their New Year’s “new look” resolution can become a reality.

There are more than a dozen professionally-operated Spa Facilities in Eureka Springs offering such unique services as aromatherapy, body scrubs, facials, manicures, pedicures, self-heating mud treatments, plus the most popular Swedish and deep-tissue massages.

Two new attractions that were added last winter for a Eureka Springs’ spa-scape” are the new Arkansas Art Trail and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art located 45 minutes west of Eureka Springs.  Crystal Bridges, founded by Alice Walton, is said to be the world’s finest collection of American art.

“With the advent of Crystal Bridges there grew an overwhelming interest in art in the northwest corner of our state,” said Bill Ott director of communications for two of Eureka Springs’ historic hotels, the 1886 Crescent and the 1905 Basin Park.  “The Arkansas Art Trail links created art, as displayed at Crystal Bridges; art being created, as in the dozens of living galleries in Eureka Springs; and breathtaking natural sights and vistas that provide the inspiration of great art throughout The Ozarks and along such area rivers as Buffalo National River Park.

The modern architectural design of Crystal Bridges is contrasted by those nineteenth century limestone structures that line the streets of Downtown Eureka Springs.  Downtown’s easy to moderate trails transport visitors from commercial to urban with its Victorian homes to pristine with all The Ozarks has to offer in just a very few steps.

Those interested in the natural and historic travel, to the west less than an hour for visits to Hobbs State Park Conservation Area with its Pigeon Roost Trail; War Eagle Mill, a working water-driven gristmill; and two “must see” sesquicentennial Civil War sites, Pea Ridge National Military Park and Prairie Grove State Park.

Just to the southwest is one of the most predictable places in Arkansas to see elk, Boxley Valley.  And during the cool time of the year, they can be seen grazing just about all day in fields adjacent to the state highway that has plenty of places to safely pull over and “set a spell”.  The adjacent Upper District of the Buffalo River National Park is a great place to look up and see majestic bald eagles this time of year.  Tours are also available on Beaver Lake to watch the Eagles.

Eclectic shopping, one of Eureka Springs’ hallmark activities, is still viable during the winter with many shops offering great post-holiday bargains.  Restaurants of note also open their doors to wintertime guests for a relaxing gourmet sojourn.  Nightspots offer live music, adult beverages and great opportunities for dancing like “the stars”.  Historical museums and unique attractions like Turpentine Creek, a refuge for lions, tigers and other big cats, welcome visitors for a more relaxed viewing.

For those opting for a fly-drive adventure, two airports serve Eureka Springs.  Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) is 50 miles to the west while the new Branson Airport (BKG) is that same distance to the northeast.  The major rental car companies serve both.

“Many already know that Eureka Springs is alive and well during the winter months and visit annually,” concluded Ott, “yet we still have a few spa appointments still open just in case anyone new would like to come and join us for a supremely relaxing ‘spa-scape’.  It’s a great way for the two of you to start the new year.”

For more information, one should go to eurekaspringsonline.com.

In the middle of winter also is a flurry of special activities and events to keep visitors entertained and enchanted:

EUREKA GRAS “A Mardi Gras Extravaganza” — Now in its seventh year, the 2013 version of this community-wide festival crescendos February 7th-12th with such activities as Hookers and Jokers Ball, Coronation Royalty BalljMardi Gras Daytime Parade, Krazo (Ozark spelled backwards) Costume Contest, Beaux Arts Masquerade Ball, and New Orleans-style Jazz Brunch.  And in those moments between scheduled events, fun ensues with impromptu celebrations breaking out all over town during this “laissez les bon temps rouler” celebration week.

VALENTINE’S WEEK — One day is not enough time for celebrating love in the “Wedding Capital of The South”.  From February 14-16, hotels, chapels, restaurants and the courthouse are abuzz with couples who want to get married, are married, or those who are just in love.  Eureka Springs has no waiting period for those who want to get married on the spur of the moment.  All that is needed is a marriage license obtained during the day at Carroll County Western District Courthouse; just add a minister.

CHOCOLATE LOVERS’ FESTIVAL — As part of Eureka Springs’ salute to those who love their sweetie comes an event for those who love sweets of the chocolate variety.  This festival, held this year in the Eureka Springs Convention Center on February 9, is in its ninth year and is designed to satisfy even the strongest sweet-tooth.