Outdoor Activities for Students in Northwest Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas is one of the best places for outdoor recreation. Whether you’re into the thrills of downhill mountain biking or a leisurely hike through the woods in the company of friends, NWA has it all. Whether you’re new to the area – or new to outdoor activities altogether – here are a few ideas for outdoor activities for students in Northwest Arkansas.


There are plenty of great places to hike in Northwest Arkansas. In fact, you have options for trails close enough to get a hike in between classes.

Devil’s Den is a short drive South on I-49 and has a good variety of hiking trails.

If you have an afternoon free of classes, head out to the Buffalo River area and check out Lost Valley, Hawksbill Crag, or both.


If you’re more into epic multi-day hikes than piddly little day hikes, we’ve got them.

Ozark Highlands Trail boasts over 240 miles of prime hiking trail.

Buffalo River Trail is 36.3 miles through one of the most beautiful areas in Arkansas.

Rock climbing

Arkansas has world-class stone for sport climbing, trad, and bouldering.

Lake Lincoln is close enough for a quick between class climbing session.

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch is great for day trips or a weekend.

Mountain biking

Cross country, downhill, freeride, Northwest Arkansas has a great variety of mountain bike trails.

Mt. Kessler is a short drive southwest of the University of Arkansas and offers a good challenge for mountain bikers.

The Back 40 is 40 miles of solid gold singletrack in Bella Vista.


Maybe you’re thing is chilling with your friends in a beautiful outdoor setting. That’s called camping.

The Buffalo National River has plenty of campgrounds with ample campsites.

Find your own campsite somewhere in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests.


Yeah, it’s a thing. Regardless of how you feel about the term “hammocking,” there’s no denying that lounging in a hammock is crazy comfortable and relaxing.

A number of parks around NWA – such as Wilson Park – have designated hanging areas for hammocks.

Of course, you can take your hammock and post up anywhere you please.


Fayetteville is a very bike-friendly community. Crusing on a bicycle is a wonderful way to get outdoors when you don’t have time to drive out to remote wilderness.

The Razorback Greenway connects the 4 major cities in NWA and offers plenty of mileage to turn your legs into jelly.

Or take to Google Maps and enjoy an unexplored stretch of road.


Hit up UREC Outdoors for trips and information about outdoor activities.

If you’re looking for outdoor gear stores in Northwest Arkansas, come see us at Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters for any outdoor gear or apparel you need! We’ll even let you in on our favorite trails!

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