Fayetteville’s temperate climate makes enjoying the outdoors possible year-round, but with warmer weather right around the corner, both residents and guests of Fayetteville are starting to get antsy for those weekend adventures into the outdoors. Whether that means biking on the Razorback Regional Greenway, planning a picnic in a green space or hitting the trails for a memorable hike, there's something fun for everyone in Fayetteville's great outdoors.
Luckily for hiking enthusiasts, Fayetteville and the surrounding area of Northwest Arkansas offer a multitude of hiking trails, ranging in length and level of difficulty. Here are a few of our favorites to get you started!
Lake Fayetteville Trail
Located on the north end of town, Lake Fayetteville Trail is the one of the most popular city trails. It loops the lake with a combination of paved and natural surface shared by walkers, runners and bikers. Along with a disc-golf course at the park, there is a variety of flora and fauna in natural settings along the trail, as well as beautiful views of the lake, so be sure to take your camera.
The paved multi-use trail is 5.5 miles long, and the soft surface natural trail is 6.9 miles long. The trail offers benches, playgrounds and picnic areas, restrooms, informational kiosks and lighting. Be sure to stop at the rest areas on the beautiful, award winning bridge spanning the lake spillway.
Popular nearby attractions include the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, as well as a stop on the Fayetteville Ale Trail, Apple Blossom Brewing Company. The Ale Trail is a self-guided tour that gives visitors a glimpse into the unique craft brewery (and cidery!) culture of Northwest Arkansas.
Kessler Mountain Trails
There are 11 miles of multi-use, connected soft-surface trails at Kessler Mountain, which is located just west the city limits off Cato Springs Road (Razorback Road). With trail names like “Spellbound”, “Egg Beater,” “Western Myth,” “Serpentine” and “Crazy Mary,” it’s not hard to imagine why Kessler Mountain is such a popular destination for both mountain biking and hiking.
As the newest addition to Fayetteville’s trail system, hikers can enjoy the view of Fayetteville and Prairie Grove’s skylines as they climb to the mountain’s peak. Being only minutes from the University of Arkansas campus and the Downtown & Dickson Street Entertainment District makes Kessler Mountain a perfect, quick getaway before a Razorbacks game or a night on the town.
With more than 10 interconnected, marked off trails, Kessler Mountain can be experienced in a multitude of ways, offering guests a variety of hikes.
Yellow Rock Trail at Devil’s Den State Park
Hiking, backpacking and mountain-bike trails take outdoor enthusiasts to wild backcountry areas of Devil’s Den State Park and the surrounding Ozark National Forest. For hikers, the Yellow Rock Trail is a favorite for its overlook over the Lee Creek valley, as well as boulders, bluffs, crevices and beautiful rock formations.
Truth be told, any of the park’s hiking trails are picturesque, including the relatively moderate 3-mile Yellow Rock Trail that climbs a few hundred feet to a rocky overlook. Longer trails include the Old Road Trail (4.5 miles), Gorley King Trail (7 miles), Vista Point Trail (9 miles) and Butterfield Hiking Trail (15 miles).
From Fayetteville, take I-49 south and exit at either West Fork or Winslow. The West Fork exit has a little longer drive into the park, and the Winslow exit features more switchbacks coming into the park. Either way allows for a beautiful drive and gets you there quick — and, you can always take the other way out! (Some people enjoy driving out of Fayetteville on U.S. 71 and crossing I-49 at West Fork. A popular attraction along the way is the Arkansas Air & Military Museum.)