Category Archives: Siloam Springs

An Outdoor Paradise: NWA’s State Parks, Lakes and Rivers

In the summertime, Northwest Arkansas’ state and national parks, lakes and rivers provide the ultimate escape to some of the most spectacular mountains, hiking, biking, camping, fishing, water sports and scenery around.


Devil’s Den State Park

Devil’s Den State Park – Washington County

This iconic park for camping, hiking, backpacking, and equestrian and mountain bike trails consists of 2,500 unspoiled acres adjoining the Ozark National Forest. A swimming pool, nature programs and cabins add to its rustic appeal. More info at

Hobbs State Park – Benton, Madison and Carroll Counties

With 12,056 acres and limited development, this massive park truly explores the diverse Ozarks landscape. It offers 35 miles of hiking trails, including multi-use and ADA routes; a 17,500-square-foot visitor center with interactive exhibits; a wildlife viewing area and educational programs. More info at


Withrow Springs State Park – Madison County

Hiking trails offer charming views and access to War Eagle Creek, where fishing for catfish, bream and bass is a favorite pastime for park visitors. Park activities include camping, swimming, baseball, softball, tennis and picnicking. Canoeing is another prized pastime, and shuttle service for canoe rentals is available. The park has a visitor center and gift shop. More info at

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park – Washington County

This expansive park was the site of the last major Civil War battle in Northwest Arkansas. Fought on December 7, 1862, the Confederate defeat here paved the way for control of the region by the Union Army. The park features a museum, visitors center, the one-mile Battlefield Trail and a five-mile driving tour. Battle reenactments take place biennially in December of even numbered years. More info at

Pea Ridge National Military Park – Benton County

Protecting the site of the American Civil War Battle of Pea Ridge (March 7-8, 1862), this national military park is one of the best-preserved Civil War battlefields. Spanning 4,300 acres, it includes a visitors center and museum, a driving tour, approximately 2.5 miles of the Trail of Tears, restored battlefields, and more. And with the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service this year, it is the perfect reason to visit today! More info at

Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake – Benton, Carroll and Washington Counties

A glistening treasure for boaters, water sports enthusiasts, anglers, hikers, campers and birdwatchers, Beaver Lake is NWA’s largest lake with key access points in or near Rogers, Eureka Springs and Springdale. There are 28,000 acres of clear water surrounded by beautiful forests, bluffs and meadows. Campgrounds, resorts, marinas, restaurants and outfitters are plentiful in this prize of a lake. More info at

Lake Wedington – Washington County

Surrounded by lavish hardwood forest and the 424-acre Lake Wedington Recreation Area, this 102-acre lake is regularly stocked with fish. The area is buzzing with anglers, canoeists, campers, hikers, mountain bikers, and wildlife watchers. Amenities include a swim beach, air-conditioned cabins, playgrounds, volleyball courts, trails, a boat ramp and horseshoes. More info at

Photo by Marc F. Henning Fishermen on Loch Lomond in Bella Vista, Ark.

Loch Lomond in Bella Vista

Bella Vista Lakes ­– Benton County

The northernmost city in Northwest Arkansas, Bella Vista offers seven stunning lakes for fishing and water sports. Use of the lakes and facilities is available to all Bella Vista Village property owners and their guests. More info at

White River – Carroll, Madison and Washington Counties

Flowing through mountainous regions of the Ozarks, the White River is home to a string of pools and shoals with overhanging trees, tight turns, and gravel bottoms among bluffs, forests and peaceful pastures. Below Beaver Dam, near Eureka Springs, the White is a prime cold-water trout fishery with numerous guides and outfitters to serve tourists. More info at

Kings River – Carroll and Madison Counties

A top pick for canoeists and kayakers, the Kings River provides about 50 miles of easy floating water. Rare flora and fauna are found on its rocky banks and bluffs, and deep pools provide first-rate fishing for smallmouth bass, channel catfish, rock bass and other fish. More info at


Siloam Springs Kayak Park

Illinois River – Benton and Washington Counties

This spring-fed, scenic-designated river starts in the northwest corner of Arkansas near the town of Hogeye and streams into northeast Oklahoma. Near Siloam Springs, enrichments that are part of the Siloam Springs Kayak Park have made the Illinois a lovely Class II play spot for kayakers year-round. Canoe and kayak outfitters, campsites, hiking and horseback riding trails and cabin rentals are available. More info at and

Holiday Island Marina & Campground – Carroll County

Nestled amidst glorious trees and brilliant rock formations, the Holiday Island campground overlooks the impressive Table Rock Lake straddling the Arkansas/Missouri border. It hosts 31 campsites with full water, sewer and electric hookups offering both 30 and 50 amp services, restrooms, showers, a pavilion and horseshoe pits. It is within minutes of the marina, golf course and the many other amenities of Holiday Island. More info at


NWA Springtime Festivals in Bloom!

Spring is right around the corner, and so are these lively festivals! Here are some of the region’s top springtime celebrations happening across Northwest Arkansas in March, April and May…

Turpentine Creek Kite Festival  |  March 26

Kite Festival

Turpentine Creek Kite Festival

Join the fun and fly your own kite, or sit back and watch as they dance across the sky during the 26th Annual Kite Festival at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs. This year’s “Art with an Altitude” kite festival on March 26 includes contests, vendors and activities for the whole family. Experts will be on hand to help kids (and parents!) make their own kites, and share flying techniques. The festival is a fundraiser to help Turpentine Creek care for the tigers, lions, cougars and other wildlife that live at the refuge. For more info, visit

Springfest  |  April 16

This iconic festival started in 1983 by merchants on Dickson Street as a way to celebrate the history, culture and flavor of Fayetteville, and quickly became a late-April staple. This year’s festivities on April 16 will include local arts and crafts, a pancake breakfast, lots of live music, bed races, street food, a 5K run, and a dog parade. For more info, visit



Dogwood Festival  |  April 22-24

Held on the last weekend in April, this award-winning festival draws tens of thousands of people to the two major parks in downtown Siloam Springs. Exhibitors from all over the U.S. fill hundreds of booths with handmade, custom and resale items. Food vendors and regional entertainers are on hand, and the KidZone keeps the little ones happy and entertained. This year’s festival on April 22-24 includes the Dogwood 5K run and Bed Races on Broadway. For more info, visit

Fayetteville Foam Fest  |  May 7

The Fayetteville Town Center and outdoor plaza becomes a beer garden for this locals’ favorite on May 7. Benefiting Feed Fayetteville, this event for those 21 and older features local, regional, national and international brews, live music on an outdoor stage, and food trucks serving their tastiest eats. This year, bring your bike and ride in the first Fayetteville Foam Fest Fun Ride and Brewery Tour. For more info, visit

Block Street Block Party  |  May 22

Waiters races, beer gardens, live music stages, food trucks and funky characters help rock Block Street at this unique festival in downtown Fayetteville, this year on May 22. Plus, you get to visit all the great shops, bars, restaurants and other locally owned and independent businesses along Block Street leading up to the historic Downtown Square. For more info, visit

Block Street Block Party

Block Street Block Party






Spring Roundup: Fun Things to Do and See in Northwest Arkansas

Whether you’re hanging with the kids while school is out for Spring Break, or looking for weekend fun during the entire spring season, here’s a list of some best-bet options:

Soar through the air on a high-flying zipline or skydive adventure: Ozark Mountain Ziplines, Skydive Skyranch


Hike the grounds at Crystal Bridges past waterfalls, art sculptures and more along the 3.5 miles of trails winding through the museum’s wooded grounds: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Pedal the Razorback Regional Greenway along its 37 miles of multi-use trails, alongside lakes, parks, downtowns and more: NWA Trails

Hit the dirt at the region’s off-road mountain-bike trails and parks: The Railyard, Mt. Kessler GreenwaysSlaughter Pen Trails

Navigate the waters of the scenic Illinois River in Siloam Springs, engineered for skilled kayakers as well as beginners with a length of rapids approximately 700 feet and Class II and III difficulty: Siloam Springs Kayak Park


Fancy a golf game at award-winning courses in Bella Vista and Holiday Island: Bella Vista Village, Holiday Island

Relive moments in time at a regional history museum: Shiloh Museum, Arkansas Air & Military MuseumThe Walmart Museum, Rogers Historical MuseumMuseum of Native American History, Clinton House Museum

Explore the underground wonders of the Ozarks during a wild cave tour: Cosmic Cavern, War Eagle Cavern

Taste your way through a local craft brew tour: Fayetteville Ale Trail

Walk on the wild side at a wildlife animal park: Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge Wild Wilderness Drive Through Safari

Sway your head at a headlining concert at the Walmart AMP – upcoming shows include Jason Aldean, Ellie Goulding, Journey and The Doobie Brothers, Kenny Chesney, Sammy Hagar, Miranda Lambert and more: Arkansas Music Pavilion

Opening night at the Walmart AMP Pavilion with Blake Shelton on Saturday June 7, 2014 in Rogers, Arkansas

Work your taste buds on Holiday Island at the state Chili Championship: Arkansas State Chili Cookoff

Explore the Ozarks landscape, wildlife and exhibits at Northwest Arkansas’ four state parks: Devil’s DenPrairie Grove BattlefieldHobbsWithrow Springs

Paddle a canoe along the nearby Buffalo National River, or the White, Kings or Mulberry Rivers: BuffaloWhiteKingsMulberry

Indulge in local art, culture and entertainment downtown at Fayetteville’s First Thursday and Bentonville’s First Friday celebrations: First Thursday Fayetteville, First Friday Bentonville


Check out the blooms at a colorful display garden: Botanical Garden of the OzarksBlue Spring Heritage Center, Compton Gardens

Get creative with spring art lessons, camps and workshops: Crystal Bridges Museum of American ArtCommunity Creative Center, Arts Center of the Ozarks

Stoke your sense of curiosity and discovery at the Scott Family Amazeum through hands-on activities and interactive exhibits: Scott Family Amazeum


Browse the season’s best at NWA’s award-winning local farmers markets: Fayetteville, RogersSiloam SpringsEureka SpringsBentonville, Springdale, Huntsville/Madison County  




Ice Skating, Train Excursions, Reindeer Games: There’s Fun for Everyone This Season!

From Christmas festivals and ice-skating under the stars to the A&M Railroad holiday train and a Night of a Thousand Santas – festivities across Northwest Arkansas are sure to put you in the brightest of spirits!

The Rink at Lawrence Plaza – Join in on the holiday fun at the Lawrence Plaza Ice Rink (the area’s only outdoor ice rink), open Friday through Sunday until Jan. 16, located just off the Bentonville Square.

Dine at one of the trendy restaurants downtown, enjoy the specular downtown holiday lights display, then lock arms with your honey or kiddos and skate the night away under the stars. Or, grab your friends and drop in on hockey night for a friendly face-off with other hockey fans in Northwest Arkansas.

Lawrence Plaza

The Ice Rink at Lawrence Plaza

Don’t know how to skate? Lawrence Plaza has you covered with lessons for all ages. The rink is also available for private parties if you’re looking for a fun place to host your next holiday bash!

The whole family will want to watch their favorite Christmas movies during Frosty’s Flicks. Skate around the rink while holiday classics like “The Grinch,” “Frozen” and “The Santa Claus” play on the big screen. Kids, be sure to drop off your letter in Santa’s Mailbox by Dec. 17 and get a reply by Christmas! For more info, visit

The Eureka Springs Christmas Festival – Let the magic of Eureka Springs pull you into its enchanted holiday spell! This year’s Christmas Festival features family fun, lighted tours, historic hotel celebrations, Santa strolls and more! Highlights include:

Crescent Xmas

Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs

  • The 15th Annual Christmas at the 1886 Crescent Hotel – Thru Dec. 11 – One of the Ozarks’ most popular winter holiday traditions! Arrive at the doorstep of this delightfully decorated mountaintop hotel and be swept away by the spirit of Christmas.
  • Night of a Thousand Santas – Dec. 11 – Meet at Basin Spring Park to get your Santa gear (or wear your own!) and stroll along with Santas of all stripes and participate in reindeer games at local pubs! Play along with the “Bad Santa” Instagram game along the way for a chance to win prizes!
  • Light the Hills: An Illuminated Evening in Downtown Eureka Springs – Dec. 12 – Bring the entire family on this magical guided tour with luminaries lining the path downtown from Sweet Spring to Grotto Spring. Yuletide stories and stops on local Victorian porches for hot cocoa and goodies will delight young and old alike.

Arkansas & Missouri Railroad Holiday Express – All aboard for this holiday train-ride excursion! On select dates through Dec. 23, train riders can depart from the Emma Street Train Depot in Springdale and ride to local destinations and back aboard a restored 1940s era train. Enjoy candy canes, hot chocolate and cookies, and more. On Dec. 19, the Pajama Train excursion from Springdale to Fayetteville lets kids stay in their PJ’s, meet Santa and bring in the holiday spirit!

RogersSantaCaboose31st Annual Rogers Downtown Tree Lighting & Christmas Parade – Dec. 4 – Enjoy a Nutcracker performance by Ballet Westside at 6 p.m., followed by the lighting of the Christmas Tree at 6:30 p.m., and the festive Christmas Parade that will wind through the Downtown Rogers District beginning at 7 p.m. – this year’s theme is “Twas the Lights before Christmas.” Also, boys and girls are invited to visit Santa on the Caboose on Saturday, Dec. 5, 12 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Frisco Caboose in Downtown Rogers, where you can take family photos and deliver holiday wishes to Santa on a real locomotive!

Light Up Siloam Springs – Dec. 5 – Historic downtown Siloam Springs will be aglow with glimmering lights at the annual Light Up Siloam Springs Celebration and Christmas Parade! At dusk, the Mayor of Siloam Springs will wave a magical candy cane to light up downtown, followed by Santa’s much-anticipated appearance as holiday floats make their way down Broadway Street!

christmas parade (1)

Light Up Siloam Springs

For more information, including details on these and other holiday happenings throughout the four-county region, visit

Homegrown Festival Is Oct. 3 in Siloam Springs

Siloam_Springs_Main_Street_logoShowcasing locally handmade goods, curated vintage items, food trucks, and live music, the Homegrown Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3 in downtown Siloam Springs.

Vendors will offer an array of original, one-of-a-kind, and limited-run items including illustration, printmaking, music, jewelry and accessories, handmade goods, salvaged and repurposed goods, and hand-picked vintage. The Homegrown Festival will take place on South Broadway Street and East Main Streets between 201 S. Broadway and 310 E. Main.

The fun doesn’t actually end at 5 p.m. because following the Homegrown Festival is another event, the Hometown Throw Down starting at 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot between Hoffman’s Chiropractic Clinic and TC Screen Printing. The Throw Down includes a country-style dance with live music, s’mores and a movie in the park.

For more information, visit or

by Jill Rohrbach

Fall Outdoor Fun

Photo courtesy ADPT

Cooler temps, fewer bugs, and changing scenery make fall a perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors. Here are just a few ideas from a long list of options for hiking, biking, riding, driving, or paddling in Northwest Arkansas.

Hiking Trails

One of the region’s newest public trailheads, Mount Kessler Greenways offers hiking, biking, and running trails in south Fayetteville. The trailhead is located off Cato Springs Road. Take exit 60 off I-49 and go south on Cato Springs Road about one-half mile and turn right on Judge Cummings Road (WC 200); the parking will be on your right.

There are also a number of area state parks featuring an impressive array of trails to take you deeper into the great outdoors. They include Devil’s Den State Park, Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area and Withrow Springs State Park. For more information, visit

Bike Paths

The Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway is a 36-mile-long, shared-use trail that extends from the Bella Vista Trail in Bentonville to the Frisco Trail in Fayetteville. The paved trail contains impressive bridges, follows along several creeks, runs through farmland and wooded areas, and connects to other trails, lakes, and parks. While the greenway offers plenty of scenic beauty, it also links dozens of popular community destinations, including six downtown areas, the University of Arkansas, arts and entertainment venues, restaurants, historic sites, playgrounds, and residential communities.

The region has about 200 miles of mountain bike trails, too, complete with skinnies, a jump park, log rides and other awesome features. In fact, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) this year recognized the region’s off-road trail systems in Fayetteville and Rogers as some of the finest in the nation! Learn more at

Ride a Motorcycle Route

Eureka Springs is a premier motorcycling destination in mid-America. With plenty of biker-friendly venues, it’s a great hub for riders. This 26-mile loop ride out of Eureka Springs offers great views of the water since it crosses Beaver Bridge and the Dam at Beaver Lake. It takes a little less than one hour to ride the route, which consists of Ark. 62 and Ark. 187.

The Rogers and Fayetteville areas also offer their share of ride-worthy routes. Discover more at

Drive a Scenic Byway

Boston Mountains Scenic Loop consists of two state scenic byways — U.S. 71 and Interstate 49 (formerly I-540) — that provide two very different experiences through the Boston Mountains, the highest portion of the Ozarks. U.S. 71 (42 miles) is a more intimate route with plenty of curves, while I-49 (38 miles) provides stunning panoramic views and expansive bridges.

Float a River

One of the region’s newest outdoor attraction destinations, the Siloam Springs Kayak Park is positioned along the scenic Illinois River and is open year-round. Grab your life jacket, kayak, or canoe and take a run down the engineered rapids ranked Class II and III difficulty.

Of course, there are many other rivers and streams — and lakes, too, for that matter — to float throughout the greater Northwest Arkansas region: from Beaver Lake to the White, Kings and Mulberry Rivers, the Buffalo National River, and more.

by Jill Rohrbach

Fall in Love with Northwest Arkansas’ Fabulous Farmers Markets

Photo courtesy Fayetteville A&P

Enjoy and Celebrate the Seasonal Bounty at NWA’s Farmers Markets!

Fall is a great time to visit Northwest Arkansas’ farmers markets! Autumn harvests abound as many of the region’s farmers markets draw to a close in October and November. The air is crisp and the offerings are pleasing to the palate, eyes and ears. Seasonal fruits and vegetables including pumpkins, squash, apples and greens are plenty. In addition to delicious locally grown fall produce, you’ll find unique artisan made crafts, live music and more!

Fayetteville Farmers Market / Historic Downtown Square /

Open through Nov. 29, the award-winning Fayetteville Farmers Market offers the finest in locally produced vegetables, flowers, plants, baked goods and juried arts and crafts from the four-county area. While Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. is still the “big” market with street performers and local musicians, the market is also open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. A second location is now open on Sundays at the Jefferson Center Playground, 612 S. College Ave.

Springdale Farmers Market / The Jones Center at Emma Ave. and Hwy. 265 /

Open through Oct. 31, the Springdale Farmers Market is on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. All of the products you’ll find are grown or made by farmers and craft vendors in the four-county area. There’s an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, raw honey, nuts, farm fresh eggs and more.

Rogers Farmers Market / Historic Downtown at N. First and E. Walnut Streets /

Open through October on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., fall at the Rogers Farmers Market brings an abundance of winter squash, purple hull peas, yams, and then the season closes with the annual pumpkin festival.


Photo courtesy Visit Rogers

Bentonville Farmers Market / Historic Downtown Square /

Now in its 37th year, the Bentonville Farmers Market is a producer-only market offering a wide variety of high quality local foods, produce, meats, art and crafts. This market is open on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Wednesdays from 2:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Also woven into the market experience are special activities and events, including chef demonstrations. Wednesday markets are held at the new Bentonville Community Center.

Siloam Springs Farmers Market / Downtown City Park /

This market is open Tuesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., April through Oct. 24. You can even pre-order local goods each week through, and pick up your order on Saturday.


Photo courtesy City of Siloam Springs

Eureka Springs Farmers Market / Pine Mountain Village on Hwy. 62 /

The first solar powered market in Arkansas, this open-air market is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. from April through October and from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. from November through March. It’s the go-to source for organic, naturally grown food in Carroll County.

Madison County – Huntsville Farmers Market / Historic Downtown Square /

Held each Tuesday and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., you’ll find fresh produce and unique crafts sold by area farmers.

Dog Day of Summer in Siloam Springs

It’s a dog’s life in Siloam Springs on Saturday, Aug. 1 during the 7th annual Dog Day of Summer event at the Farmers Market in City Park, located downtown.Siloam_Springs_Dog_Day_2015

Get there early with your dog for the dog contest registration at 9:30 a.m. The cost is $10 per dog and the first 50 dogs get an awesome doggie swag bag. The Dog Promenade through downtown Siloam Springs begins at 10 a.m. and the Dog Contest officially gets underway at 10:30 a.m.

Contests include: Cutest Puppy, Cutest Adult Dog, Best Trick, Best Costume, Best Dog/Owner Lookalike, and Treat-Eating Contest. All dogs are required to be on a 6-foot or shorter leash and an adult 18 years or older must be in control of the dog at all times.

At 11 a.m. is a free hot dog lunch. Additionally, there will be other dog-themed vendors, snacks, games, raffles, music and more.

Bringing you this pawsitively good time is Main Street Siloam Springs, Simmons Foods and the Big Dog Sponsor Arvest Bank.

by Jill Rohrbach

Kirk Demarais To Paint Mural in Downtown Siloam Springs

Kirk Demarias at the future mural site.

Local artist and designer Kirk Demarais has been selected by Main Street Siloam Springs to complete a mural on the south-facing outdoor wall of 204 S. Broadway St. in historic downtown Siloam Springs.

The mural selection committee unanimously chose Demarais’ proposal because his concept is reflective of the theme “Celebration of Siloam Springs.” He describes the mural concept as his “love letter to his hometown” and the style as “contemporary and optimistic, while at the same time rich with historic ambience.” The committee also said his proposed budget, timeline, and implementation strategy were thorough and realistic.

The mural will be revealed on May 9 at the first downtown public art event Beyond the Frame: Experiencing Art in Downtown Siloam Springs. This series of summer events will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the second Saturday of each summer month (immediately preceding Second Saturday Music in Twin Springs Park). Each Beyond the Frame will feature a reveal of a new piece of public art, an outdoor art market in Twin Springs Park and surrounding areas, and an art walk starting on South Broadway Street. The dates for these events are: May 9, June 13, July 11, and Aug. 8.

Siloam Springs Whitewater Recreation Park

Siloam Springs Whitewater Recreation Park Grand Opening!

Siloam Springs - Whitewater Recreation Park - Grand opening Saturday, June 28, 10:00a.m. – 2:00p.m. 19253 Fisher Ford Road, Siloam Springs, AR Park Amenities Include: Two engineered rapids• Family swimming area with riverside seating• Fully accessible paved walking trails• Climbing boulder• Rain garden• Picnic area• Changing area• Accessible riverbank• Port-o-lets• Paved parking lot Lifejackets are strongly recommended to all users whether tubing, kayaking or canoeing. The rapids are class II to III. Swimming through the rapids in not recommended as currents are very strong.This park is FREE to the public and is open seven days a week. Park is closed from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise.The Siloam Springs Whitewater Recreation Park is a family-friendly alcohol free park. Alcohol and weapons on the property will not be tolerated. This area is patrolled by the Siloam Springs Police Department.