Central Arkansas is full of beautiful scenery and fun things to do. Lucky for us, there’s a gorgeous, adventure-packed State Park right in our backyard! Pinnacle Mountain State Park is a day-use park with miles and miles of trails to hike, bike, and explore! In this featured article, we’ll list off all the activities you can do on your next trip to Pinnacle Mountain.
HIKE THE WEST SUMMIT TRAIL
Perhaps the most popular activity for Pinnacle Mountain State Park visitors is hiking the West Summit Trail. This trail is the less extreme of the two mountain summit trails, and it leads all the way to the top of the mountain. Enjoy the views at the top and the scenery along the way - not to mention, get a little exercise!
HIKE THE EAST SUMMIT TRAIL
On the other side of Pinnacle Mountain is the East Summit trail. This summit’s terrain is a little more challenging to hike than the West Summit, but for experienced hikers and climbers, it’s a blast! This trail leads all the way to the top of the mountain, just like the West Summit - you could even take the West Summit trail back down to the bottom and hike the base trail (a trail that loops around the base of the mountain connecting the East and West summit trails) back around to your vehicle!
WALK THE KINGFISHER TRAIL
The Kingfisher trail is a fun, short, paved trail that cuts through some of the State Parks woods. Parts of it run next to the Little Maumelle river, making for gorgeous scenery! This trail is perfect for a short walk, run, or even to walk your pets!
VISIT THE ARKANSAS ARBORETUM
The Arboretum trail is free of barriers and leads visitors through a 71-acre area of land that displays the amazing flora and fauna native to the Natural State! See some of the beautiful plants that grow here in Arkansas, and keep an eye out for wildlife.
CHECK OUT THE VISITOR CENTER AREA
Currently, the visitor center is a small building located just down Pinnacle Valley Rd. from the East Summit trailhead. You can access resources and learn all kinds of things about the State Park! For example, Pinnacle Mountain State Park is a certified Trail of Tears National Historic Site. According to arkansasstateparks.com, “the mountain witnessed the hardships faced by the removal of parties of the Cherokees, as well as Choctaws, Creeks, Seminoles, and Chickasaws.” Stay tuned for more detailed updates, but Arkansas Money & Politics published an article discussing the plans for a brand new, state of the art Visitor Center back in October of 2021! We’re looking forward to seeing what’s next for Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
HIKE THE ROCKY VALLEY TRAIL AND TAKE IN THE SIGHTS AT THE OVERLOOK
Near the visitor’s center is the Rocky Valley Trail. This loop is just over a mile long, and it explores some more of the park’s woodlands and circles an awesome natural blue hole. Next to the trailhead is the Overlook - at the top of the stairs, you can see for miles!
EXPLORE 14 MILES OF MOUNTAIN BIKING TRAILS
Looking for the latest and greatest mountain biking in the State? The Monument mountain biking trails at Pinnacle Mountain State Park are where it’s at! With roughly 14 miles of new trails, you can explore for hours on end - ride everything from green circle, to blue square, to black diamond. Read more on the Arkansas State Park website.
KAYAK THE LITTLE MAUMELLE ON THE RIVER WATER TRAIL
Looking to dip your toes (or at least an oar) in the water? Pinnacle Mountain State Park has an access point to the Little Maumelle River! When water levels are normal, this portion of the river can be paddled up and downstream. Enjoy a slow-paced paddle while taking in the sites of cypress trees, American lotus, and the State Park’s forests. Even take a guided trip through Rock Town River Outfitters or the State Park itself. For more info, check out the Arkansas Game and Fish Commision.
HOP ON THE OUACHITA TRAIL
The United States is made up of dozens and dozens of beautiful, national trails - a network of hiking trails called the USA National Recreation Trails. The Ouachita Trail is one of these, and it runs right through Arkasnas, specifically right through Pinnacle Mountain State Park. The Ouachita Trail spans 223 miles throughout Arkansas and Oklahoma, and one of its three trailheads is right next to the Pinnacle Mountain State Park visitor center! Hop on the trail and explore as much as you’d like.
ENJOY A PLAYGROUND, PICNIC TABLES, AN OPEN FIELD, PAVILIONS, AND RESTROOMS
Pinnacle Mountain State Park also has many other amenities and attractions. There’s a wonderful playground for the kiddos, pavilions with grills for get-togethers, plenty of picnic tables and benches, and a wide open field that is perfect for games and activities of all kinds. There are also newly built restrooms for your convenience! Sometimes, there are even food trucks. Throughout the year, the park hosts different events–one of which is the Annual Mountain Rendezvous; where different Native American groups come together to perform and sell handmade goods and foods!
CAMPING NEAR PINNACLE MOUNTAIN
While you can’t camp on Pinnacle Mountain State Park grounds, there are places nearby to book a campground. For example, you can pitch camp anywhere you’d like on the Ouachita Trail. You could also book a campsite at Maumelle Park, just a few miles down the road. There is SO much to do at Pinnacle Mountain State Park that you certainly couldn’t do it all in one day! Next time you’re in town, definitely make a stop at this beautiful spot and do a little adventuring. Be sure to let us know what you think!