| See & Do | March 18, 2019
Your Launching Pad to the Ozarks
Batesville, Arkansas, is a destination. A historic yet vibrantly progressive community nestled in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Batesville has something to offer every traveler. A beautifully revitalized downtown district with unique shopping, dining, and lodging options, first-class youth sport facilities, and endless outdoor recreation opportunities just to name a few.
However, what makes Batesville an even more attractive destination for visitors is its centralized location to other major attractions in Northeast and North Central Arkansas, combined with the best dining, lodging, and retail options available in the region.
Travelers can use Batesville as a launching pad for day-trips to these amazing attractions:
Ozark Folk Center State Park
For those looking to dive into the music, crafts, and culture of the Ozarks, this one-of-kind park is for you. Located less than an hour Batesville in Mountain View, Arkansas, is the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Watch real artisans at work, creating pottery, knives, quilts, wood carvings, and much more. Dubbed the Folk Music Capital of the World, the Ozark Folk Center also hosts concerts and special events from mid-April through mid-November, which brings artists from around the country to the stage. www.arkansasstateparks.com/parks/ozark-folk-center-state-park
Blanchard Springs Caverns
The Blanchard Springs Caverns is one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring caves in the world. Located just 20 minutes from the Ozark Folk Center State Park, the caverns and surrounding recreation area are managed by the United States Forestry Service.
The cave itself is a perfect example of what water and a lot of time can create. Visitors enter the “living” cave via an elevator shaft and walk along carefully constructed paved trails with handrails for comfortable walking. Countless ever-changing cave formations that are beautifully lit create a tour experience unlike any other.
The recreation area surrounding Blanchard Springs features campgrounds, waterfalls, and hiking trails for guests to enjoy. www.yourplaceinthemountains.com
Greers Ferry Lake
340 miles of shoreline and over 40,000 acres of Greers Ferry Lake sits just 50 minutes from Batesville. The man-made lake was developed in the 1960’s and visitors have flocked to the area ever since to enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, and other water activities. Several marinas service the lake, which provide visitors with the opportunity to rent boats or even hire fishing guides.
The lake is not the only thing worth experiencing in this area. Heber Springs, the largest city near the lake, has a charming downtown district and one of the best hiking destinations in the state, Sugarloaf Mountain. Rising 690 feet, early settlers called it Sugarloaf because it looked like the shape of loaves of unrefined sugar in use at that time. For a real adventure, take the Summit Trail for a path to the top. www.heber-springs.com
Spring River & Mammoth Spring State Park
Travel north for an hour and you will reach Mammoth Spring State Park. Mammoth Spring is one of the world’s largest springs with nine million gallons of water flowing hourly. This forms a 10-acre lake, then runs southward as the Spring River, a popular fishing and float stream. The park contains the remnants of the mill and hydroelectric plant that once operated in the community. There are also several trails and the Arkansas Welcome Center to explore.
Spring River provides one of the most exciting float trips in the state. Numerous outfitters operate along the river, providing guests with easy access to the river and shuttles for float trips. Kayak, canoe or raft your way down the rapids of the beautiful Spring River. www.arkansasstateparks.com/parks/mammoth-spring-state-park
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, which works to improve the quality of life for all community residents by promoting educational opportunities, economic growth, and innovative civic partnerships.