We are in the middle of winter, but it is Arkansas and we all know that the weather can be a little unpredictable at times.
For those slightly warmer days, get outside and enjoy the great outdoors at these parks in the area:
Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park (490 Toltec Mounds Rd., Scott) If you're a Little Rock resident, you'll have to venture a few miles outside of the city limits for this park, but it's worth it! The unique park features a short trail that winds around the state's tallest preserved Native American mounds. There's also a cool visitor's center with tons of interesting facts about the mounds.
Petit Jean State Park (1069 Petit Jean Mountain Rd., Morrilton) This mountaintop retreat is a must for any nature-lover. The newly remodeled Mather Lodge and restaurant and several hiking trails, as well as a lake for fishing, make it a fun place to spend the day. What's great is that you can even camp or stay onsite at one of the many cabins or rooms in the lodge-- perfect for a weekend getaway.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park (11901 Pinnacle Valley Rd., Little Rock) Hiking is the name of the game here at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Get a rush by hiking up Pinnacle Mountain. When you reach the top, the views of the Little Rock and Maumelle are breathtaking! Also, don't forget about the Arkansas Arboretum, the various picnic areas, easy walking paths for the family and mountain biking trails. It has just about every activity for an adventurous spirit.
Two Rivers Park (County Farm Road, Little Rock) This scenic park is a great escape from the day. A concentrated wooded wetlands area, it provides a unique backdrop when cruising on your bike, going for jog or a leisurely walk. Linked by the somewhat new pedestrian Two Rivers Bridge, the public can also have lunch while overlooking the Arkansas River at one of the many picnic tables along the trail.
Old Mill at T.R. Pugh Memorial Park (3800 Lakeshore Dr., North Little Rock) This park is known for its beauty, so if you plan on having a leisurely afternoon, this is a great place. The Old Mill, an authentic reproduction of an old water-powered grist mill, is the prominent feature the park. It appears in the opening scene of the classic 1939 film Gone with the Wind and is believed to be the only building remaining from the film. The park is decorated with sculptures of toadstools, tree stumps and a tree branch-entwined bridge that connects the mill to the rest of the park. Overlooking one of Lakewood's lakes, it's a gorgeous spot for a nice walk or picnic.
See where else you can enjoy the great outdoors around central Arkansas here.