Outdoor Activities in Little Rock, AR
A rollicking music festival in its 35th year, Riverfest has always been a great opportunity for all ages to enjoy Memorial Day weekend on the banks of the Arkansas River. The largest outdoor event in the state, past years have highlighted music by some of the best-known names in show business across six different stages. Recent headliner acts have included musical legends like Charlie Daniels, John Prine, REO Speedwagon, David Nail, Brett Michaels and Tragikly White. Throw in local acts, a Kid Zone, multi-ethnic performances, a variety of food vendors and crafters from across the nation, topped by a fireworks display on the final night, and you have a taste of Riverfest Arkansas style!
The Arkansas River Trail offers some of the most spectacular views in Little Rock and North Little Rock. Anchored by the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge in downtown Little Rock and the Big Dam Bridge to the west, the River Trail offers over 17 miles of fantastic views with 4.5 miles on the Little Rock side and seven miles of trail in North Little Rock. Unique pedestrian and bicycle bridges that connect to the trail make Little Rock the only city in the nation with several pedestrian bridges stretching over a navigable body of water. Overall, the Central Arkansas Trails System is more than 36 miles connecting over 20 parks and other trails and attractions where you can run, walk or cycle. So, whether you're an athlete, wanting to get fit, or just want to walk your dog, the river trail is a center of friendly activity for everyone.
Built in 2006 at a cost of $9 million, the Big Dam Bridge is the second longest pedestrian and cycling bridge in the nation. It is highly prized by area residents as it connects you to area recreational centers such as Murray Park, to fishing areas, dog parks, and to over 14 miles of other trails. It is also an easily distinguishable landmark, rising over 14 stories above the Arkansas River connecting Little Rock and North Little Rock. Each year, thousands of cyclists from around the country descend on Central Arkansas for what has become the largest and most publicized cycling tour in Arkansas. The Big Dam Bridge, famous for its name and its reputation, has attracted cyclists from all over to participate in this event, held each year in late September. This non-competitive cycling tour brings in almost 2,400 riders from 29 states. Riders are treated to new routes each year, offering challenges and variety.
West of Little Rock, Pinnacle Mountain State Park boasts amost 2,000 acres of scenic beauty and a wide diversity of wildlife habitats, just minutes from the city. The 1,011-foot peak, the park's dominant natural feature and namesake, has several faces suitable for technical climbing. A number of routes, ranging in difficulty, have been mapped on the south and east faces of the mountain by local climbing clubs. Helmet use is required. Use of permanent attachments (pitons and other bolting devices) is prohibited, as is rappelling. You can pick up climbing maps and the free, but you must sign a mandatory climbing permit at the state park visitor center.
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Series, the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world, raises considerable funds and knowledge for the fight against breast cancer, celebrates breast cancer survivors and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease. Entering its 19th year in Arkansas, the 2012 race will be held on Saturday, October 22, at 2nd and Broadway in downtown Little Rock. Besides the mile walk/run itself, expect opportunities for discounted dining, and a great, big party! Women, children, husbands and dogs are decked out in all shades of the event's signature pink - pink boas, pink-rimmed sunglasses, pink hats, socks, and more. This annual event is about as close as Little Rock gets to a Mardi Gras atmosphere, (minus the alcohol). With more than 40,000 women registering each year and Little Rock’s race has become one of the largest in the country.