The Arkansas State Parks fete vibrant visitors and loping locals alike with a dizzying array of landscapes, natural and cultural resources, and myriad learning opportunities at parks scattered throughout the state. Familial units with children 18 and under can flex their pass muscles multiple times throughout the year at a wide range of museums, gleaning valuable state knowledge while conversing with park guides or well-read white-tailed deer.
If Arkansas's famed Little Red River seems like it was made for fishing, that's because in many ways it was. The river winds out from beneath the giant dam at Greers Ferry Lake. In 1966, some astute individuals introduced trout into the river, before quickly vanishing into a puff of tartar sauce. Today, Little Red River brims with rainbows, browns, and other trout, and Tailwater Fishing Co. helps anglers of all skill levels catch them all. Expert guides lead trips on the river, supplying all the necessary equipment and expertise.
At Cabot Miniature Golf, balls tumble down undulating greens past landscapes adorned with well-maintained shrubs and animal statues. Games unfold in all kinds of weather on the illuminated 18-hole course, where giant windmills and miniature ponds obstruct each ball’s path to a hole-in-one. On the adjoining driving range, orbs soar above more than 200 yards of real turf until 10 p.m. as a sand trap tries to swallow balls rolling across the practice putting green in an effort to feed the sand monster living inside of it.
After rounds of golf, a small playground entices kids to play, and two covered, colorfully lit pavilions shelter guests enjoying post-game snacks. Cabot Miniature Golf also includes mini storage units, which are guarded by extra-heavy bar-tube fencing and a coded entry system. This facility can also store large objects such as cars, RVs, and boats.
Prevail Fitness keeps its doors open 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that exercise fanatics can burn calories and midnight oil alike with a large free-weight area, FreeMotion and Cybex Eagle circuit equipment, and more than 30 pieces of cardio equipment. Social sweaters, meanwhile, can mingle during one of the 30 aerobics classes scheduled each week, including yoga, Zumba, and cardio dance. During two one-hour personal-training sessions, a certified trainer strengthens core muscles with a carefully calibrated workout regimen while doling out detailed advice, such as how many bench presses it takes to become invulnerable to javelins. Free childcare ensures that parents can get their sweat on without the hassle of storing infants inside their mouths.
The 18-hole golf course at Greystone Country Club rollicks through the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, skirting past rocky outcroppings and pristine waterfalls. Architect Kevin Tucker molded the course to take advantage of these natural features, and then expanded upon them with additions such as the resplendent zoysia fairways and mini verde greens. The result is an outdoorsy challenge that forces players of all skill levels to demonstrate proficiency with every club in the bag, from the putter to the putt-conceding magic wand. After shaking hands on the 18th green, groups can then retire to the club's bar and grille, The Nines, where french fries can help tally overall scores.
Course at a Glance