Hot Springs Outdoor Activities: Plan a New Adventure in Arkansas

Located in central Arkansas, the city of Hot Springs has become a go-to spot for outdoor recreation. Surrounding mountains, thermal springs and plenty of wilderness provide the perfect playground for travelers. To get started, here are the top Hot Springs outdoor activities and things to do.

Hot Springs Outdoor Activities: All Ages Love This Mountain Town

hot springs hiking arkansas

Hike Trails in Hot Springs

Due to its scenic location in the mountains, Hot Springs offers dozens of hiking trails ranging in difficulty and length. Hot Springs National Park is a great place to start with 26 miles of trails. Top options include Gulpha Gorge, West Mountain Trail, The Grand Promenade and West Mountain Trail.

Cedar Glades, a smaller park in Hot Springs, has 10 miles of hiking trails. For paved options, head to the Entergy Park Trail System and Hot Spring Creek Greenway Trail. Both have easy and moderate trails, feature natural settings and offer access to other attractions. Other hiking options can be found at Lake Catherine State Park and Quachita National Forest.

Zipline and Climb

Suitable for most ages and groups, ziplining has become a fun way to add adventure to any Hot Springs vacation. AdventureWorks has three options, so climbers can design the best activities for their trip.

The canopy tour offers miles of ziplining through the trees from tower to ground. Aerial Adventure has swinging bridges, cargo nets and hanging vines. For a different experience, the company hosts special ziplining events such as moonlight, haunted forest and polar bear challenges.

hot springs outdoor activities family

Enjoy the View

All ages will love Hot Springs Mountain Tower. This attraction allows guests to easily reach 216 feet to the observation deck where they have panoramic views of the area. From the deck, guests will see Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs Mountain and Diamond Lakes. After taking lots of photos, stop by the gift shop and browse souvenirs.

Play Together

At Hot Springs Family Park, visitors can enjoy indoor ziplining and indoor climbing on a giant beanstalk. The park also has outdoor go-karts and bumper cars.

Magic Springs Theme and Water Park has roller coasters, kiddie rides, family coasters, wave pools, slides, lazy rivers and splash zones.

Those interested in mini-golf have several themed courses. Pirates, volcanoes and T-rex all make appearances while families putt their way through the course.

For a magical stroll, explore Garvan Woodland Gardens. This attraction features 210 acres of gardens and a special children’s area that has a tree house and interactive activities.

hot springs outdoor activities kids

Pet Wild Animals

Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo provides a place for visitors to get close to wild animals. During a visit, guests may hold baby gators, feed and pet goats, and watch live shows. Other animals that live at the zoo include primates, Arkansas mountain lions, wolves and peacocks.

Boating, Fishing and Water Sports

Water recreation is among the most popular Hot Springs outdoor activities. Area lakes welcome anglers and boaters to explore the water. For example, Lake Catherine welcomes visitors to fish for bass, catfish and rainbow trout. For water sports, head to Lake Hamilton where guests can ride jet skis and water ski. Lake Ouachita is the state’s largest lake and provides a place for boating, fishing and sailing.

Watch Sports

Those interested in sports will find Hot Spring accommodating and exciting. Bank OZK Arena is an indoor venue that hosts sports such as local basketball tournaments and motorcycle rallies. Oaklawn Racing Casino and Resort hosts live horse racing.

Majestic Park, a recent addition to the local sports scene, has fields ready for youth baseball and softball tournaments. In addition, the area has championship golf courses such as Hot Springs Country Club, Diamondhead Golf Club and Lakeside Golf Club.

Soak in the Hot Springs

Currently there are no outdoor facilities where guests can soak in the area’s hot springs. However, two bathhouses on Bathhouse Row offer places to soak in the thermal water and receive services. Buckstaff Bathhouse has continuously operated since 1912, and provides a place to soak in water from hot springs. Quapaw Bathhouse has private baths, thermal pools and a steam cave.

Learn more about vacationing in Hot Springs and central Arkansas. This area also has live entertainment, shopping and festivals.

If visiting in the fall, nearby Little Rock Zoo hosts one of the top festivals for families.