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4 Classic Day Hikes near Little Rock, AR

Explore one of these 4 classic day hikes near Little Rock, the capital city of Arkansas.

Hiking Easy, Moderate, Difficult

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As the capital of Arkansas, Little Rock marks a vital highway interchange for those heading from east to west, or vice versa. Crossing the Arkansas River by bridge, many travelers simply pass through town, not expecting much when it comes to hiking opportunities near a major city. Well, that’s absolutely not the case in Little Rock, and if you cross paths with a local, chances are they’ll recommend one of these four hikes near town. From a family-friendly neighborhood park to summiting the second highest peak in the county, here are some of the top picks for hiking near town.

If you’re staying in town, visiting a friend, or perhaps just looking for a relaxing walk before or after work, then head over to Allsopp Park. The north loop, seen here, is just over a mile and a half and a great way to get everyone in the family in the woods. Several access points lead into nearby neighborhoods, and the park includes a playground, numerous sporting fields, tennis courts, group pavilions, picnic tables, and plenty more. Some of these amenities are wheelchair accessible, and restrooms and drinking water are available for all.

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of town and earn some of the best views in the area, then make your way to Pinnacle Mountain State Park, a 20-minute drive from downtown. Two of the best hikes to enjoy are the Base Trail and the West Summit Trail. For those up to the challenge, the West Summit Trail is the most popular way to reach the top of Pinnacle Mountain since the eastern approach requires a bit of scrambling and is considered more difficult. While challenging, the second-highest point in the county offers spectacular views of Lake Maumelle to the northwest. If you’re in search of something easier, then consider the Base Trail, which circles the mountain rather than summiting it.

Just a few moments away at an obscure point between neighborhoods, the Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area boasts a thorough network of trails popular among mountain bikers, hikers, and trail runners alike. The Upper Rattlesnake Ridge Traverse may be one of the most challenging feats you can conquer, but the views from the rocky ridgeline are fantastic. Created by the Arkansas Nature Conservancy, the area is home to unique plants and wildlife and doubles as an important resource for maintaining clean drinking water in Lake Maumelle, central Arkansas’s primary drinking water supply. Consequently, the trails may close due to wet conditions, so adhere to any signs you may find when you arrive at the trailhead.

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