(BPT) - During hot summers, there’s nothing better than a relaxing day on your local lake or river. But after spending the last year at home, you may be itching for a change of scenery. For fun water activities this summer, consider a trip to Arkansas. There’s a reason they call Arkansas, The Natural State. With a mix of breathtaking lakes, rivers, parks and small towns, there’s plenty to see and do.
Arkansas is an affordable and pleasant place to vacation where visitors will receive a healthy dose of southern hospitality. The state has a strong reputation for keeping its lakes, rivers and streams clean. Arkansans are committed stewards of the environment and care deeply about the sprawling natural beauty that surrounds them.
Make a splash this summer in The Natural State. Here are some of the top water activities you can enjoy:
Arkansas is known for its world-class trout fishing. You can cast a line for rainbow, brown, golden rainbow, cutthroat and tiger trout. The White River and the Little Red River are particular hot spots for fly rods and spinning rods.
Bassmaster, an organization that hosts some of the biggest fishing tournaments in the country, ranked four Arkansas lakes as some of the best places to fish in America:
- Lake Dardanelle
- Millwood Lake
- Lake Ouachita
- Bull Shoals Lake
There are also plenty of guided fishing opportunities for those who want to go straight to the sweet spot for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappies, catfish, bluegill and trout.
Canoeing and kayaking
For more adventure, try canoeing and kayaking on the beautiful Buffalo National River. Located in North Central Arkansas, the Buffalo National River is the first national river in the U.S. and offers visitors a chance to soak in the sights and sounds of the Ozark Mountains. Paddling down the river, you'll see gorgeous trees resting along high bluffs and wildlife such as elk, white-tailed deer and bald eagles.
After a day on the water, you can hike to see beautiful waterfalls and then rest for the next day in one of the many lodges and cabins at Buffalo National River.
If you're looking to soak up the sun but not wear yourself out, boating may be the ideal activity for you. One of the best lakes in Arkansas for boating is Lake Ouachita. Located in Southwest Arkansas, the lake offers 40,000 acres of clean water and isn’t far from Hot Springs National Park. It gives boaters plenty of space and the opportunity to enjoy a scenic ride around Ouachita National Forest. There are many other boating options that can be found in Arkansas.
Jet skiing is also a popular watersport in Arkansas. Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas is a manmade reservoir that rests along the Ozark Mountains. With almost 500 miles of shoreline, there is plenty of space to ride with freedom and solitude. Plus, if you're looking to eat or shop after being on the water, Bentonville and Fayetteville are less than an hour away.
Watersports and boating can be great. But sometimes, it's important to focus on quality time with the whole family. Arkansas is known for having swimmable lakes, so you and your kids can make a splash with no worries. And if you're looking for more than just a lake to swim in, there are several water playgrounds tucked away in the Ozark-St. Francis and Ouachita National Forests.
Relax and reenergize with a trip to Arkansas
Arkansas is the perfect place to kick back and cool off in pristine water. Check out Arkansas.com to learn how you can make the most of your stay in The Natural State.