Get Outdoors: Fun Things to Do This Winter

No matter what time of year you visit, Northwest Arkansas offers plenty of activities to enjoy in the great outdoors. From mountain biking and hiking to birding and ice skating, take your pick from adventures.

Bundle up, lace up your hiking boots (or strap on some snowshoes), and hit some trails this winter. Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area offers several easy, relatively flat trails that can be navigated on snowshoes, such as the 0.75-mile Ozark Plateau Trail and the 0.5-mile Sinking Stream Trail, which is known for its wildlife such as birds and deer.

Photo Courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

If biking is more your speed, take your pick from trails around Lake Atalanta, from easy lakeside trails to expert climbs up the mountain. Check The Railyard Facebook page to see daily park conditions (hours are weather permitting), and if it is open, get ready for a day of hitting the slope-style bike park, complete with ramps, jumps and more.

For a quintessential winter activity, go ice skating at The Rink at Lawrence Plaza in nearby Bentonville. Open daily from mid-November through mid-January, this outdoor rink offers ice skating rentals so you can glide across the ice and partake in a holiday favorite.

Hoping to spot some winter wildlife? Go on a special Eagle Watch Cruise departing from Rocky Branch Marina at Beaver Lake. This boat cruise is offered from November through February, and along the way, you could spot everything from bald eagles and great blue herons to osprey and king fishers. (Hint: the cloudy winter weather makes for excellent photographs, so be sure to bring your camera to capture images of these majestic birds.)

For history buffs, drive to Garfield, just north of Rogers, to explore the most intact Civil War battlefield in the United States: Pea Ridge National Military Park. This 4,300-acre battlefield commemorates the decisive 1862 Civil War battle that saved Missouri for the Union. Explore the nature trails in the area by foot, mountain bike or horseback. 

Photo Courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism