(BPT) - Spring offers the perfect time of year for outdoor family getaways, and there's no better place than Arkansas to explore, make memories and enjoy nature together.
Famously known as The Natural State for its extraordinary scenic beauty, Arkansas has 52 state parks, three national forests, and five national parks, along with access to breathtaking mountains, rich valleys, dense woodlands, vast plains, clear waters and abundant wildlife.
This natural wonderland also provides landscapes for world-class mountain biking and hiking, extensive cave exploration, challenging whitewater rafting and world-class trout fishing.
Whether you're looking for outdoor adventures to get your heart racing, sights that will take your breath away or fun for the whole family, you'll find it in Arkansas. This year, keep some of these top outdoor attractions in mind:
Blanchard Springs Caverns: This Northern Arkansas attraction is known as one of the most spectacular and carefully developed caves found anywhere. Visitors are led on guided tours through massive caverns filled with ever-changing formations. Guests will explore beautifully lit rooms with handrails and paved trails for walking through the extraordinary sights far below the Earth's surface.
War Eagle Cavern: Located halfway between Eureka Springs and Rogers, Arkansas, this secluded site was used by the Indians hundreds of years before the first European settlers came to the area. This attraction is fun for the entire family, offering a 40-minute guided cave tour, gemstone panning and even a half-mile-long maze.
LOViT Mountain Biking Trail: Starting from one of Arkansas' most popular destinations, Hot Springs, this newly developed trail is certified as one of the International Mountain Biking Association's (IMBA) EPIC mountain biking trails. Expertly designed, it offers a substantial amount of climbing and incredible scenic vistas. The Vista Trail is suitable for all levels of riders.
Lake Ouachita: Surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest, Lake Ouachita is known for its scenic natural beauty and clear waters. Just a short drive from Hot Springs, this 40,000-acre lake is a water sports mecca for swimming, skiing, scuba diving, boating and fishing. Angling for bream, crappie, catfish, stripers and largemouth bass can be enjoyed in open waters or quiet coves along the lake's 975 miles of shoreline.
Little Red River: Arkansas' Little Red River is one of America's premier fly-fishing destinations. Located approximately one hour north of Little Rock, it's where the world-record largest brown trout was caught, weighing in at 40.4 pounds. And, with more than 9,000 miles of streams, this river is the perfect place to canoe, johnboat, raft or kayak. The Little Red River is a must-visit destination for individuals looking to enjoy a refreshing and peaceful afternoon on the water.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park: This park, located west of Little Rockjust minutes from downtown, offers a variety of hiking trails in varying degrees of difficulty. The park's namesake, Pinnacle Mountain, stands more than one thousand feet above the Arkansas River Valley, providing hikers with breathtaking panoramic views. With more than 2,350 acres of land dedicated to environmental education, outdoor activities, recreation and preservation, there is something to do for everyone.
Check out a full listing of the state's other many attractions at Arkansas.com.