SPONSORED: Fayetteville’s Top Outdoor Retreats

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When The Natural State beckons you to play outside, you go! Arkansas’ countless natural amenities — mountains, rivers, lakes, trails and more — offer endless opportunities to take in a breath of fresh air and let your senses go wild.

Northwest Arkansas offers the most versatile outdoor playground in The Natural State. Fayetteville’s Ozark Mountain region consists of the perfect terrain for mountain biking on both natural and manmade trails that are suitable for adventurists of any skill level. Cyclists can select trails that offer routes with little-to-no incline or bikeways that turn at 45-degree angles and direct you over a boulder-laden path to get your heart pumping.

The Lake Fayetteville Trail is a single-track beginner trail that weaves along the lakefront for approximately half of the five miles. Pro tip: Make sure to take in the beautiful scenery throughout this route. Conversely, the more advanced mountain biker will enjoy the Mt. Sequoyah Trail for its more challenging gradient, rocks and creek crossings.

Mt. Kessler is probably the most popular trail system that weaves through Fayetteville. The narrow, single-track path takes bikers over rocky terrain and through tight walls of boulders and spectacular rock formations. Numerous alternate trails stem from the ridgeline for additional variations.

The Ozark Mountain region is vibrant throughout the year, but fall, spring and summer offer the added beauty of a wide variety of flora along the trails.

Credit: Experience Fayetteville

For those who savor a smoother ride, the Razorback Regional Greenway is a paved, two-lane, multi-use trail that caters to cyclists, walkers and families with young children, and is also ADA-accessible. For 36 miles, the greenway weaves through parks and by restaurants, shops, historic sites and entertainment districts in several northwest Arkansas communities. With the added convenience of users easily getting on or off the greenway at any point, this trail is one of the amenities that earned Fayetteville the Silver Bicycle Friendly Community Award by the League of American Bicyclists.

In September 2018, Fayetteville will take bike travel a giant step further with the launch of its bike-share program that will put 290 seven-speed bikes and 50 pedal-electric bikes on the streets. Visitors can pay a nominal fee by using the bike-share app on their smartphones or by purchasing a card to unlock the bikes with options to pay per ride or buy a subscription. Bikes are available at various locations around town, including downtown, the University of Arkansas campus and along the city’s expansive trail system.

Nature becomes a work of art at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in Fayetteville. A dozen themed gardens span this 100-acre area; among them are a rock and water garden, rose and perennial garden, shade garden, sensory garden, children’s garden and others.

The gardens also are complemented by an arboretum and a butterfly house that was recognized by Home and Garden Television (HGTV) as a “best kept secret” among botanical gardens nationwide.

Don’t wait for Mother Nature to call you, come experience Fayetteville!

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