The first week in August we took a romantic 5 day rendezvous in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. For us it is a short 4 hr jaunt to get there which is perfect if you want to save a precious vacation day and leave after work. This trip we elected to leave the Jeep behind (I know what your thinking and yes we regretted it) and strap the kayaks to the roof of our Chevy Cruze. We used the HomeAway website to search for vacation rentals and found the perfect little cabin. Our cozy little cabin was located right along the white river and had all the needed amenities. Our goals for the trip were to kayak, hike some trails, see some sites, and eat some delicious food. We definitely accomplished all of those goals.
White River Kayaking
The first morning we decided to start off the day by kayaking the White RIver. The stretch of the White River that ran next to the cabin is about 8 miles upriver from the the Beaver Lake Dam. We were told by a local fisherman that the water was muddy along this stretch due to the decrease in rainfall resulting in the dam not being let out as frequently. The water was muddy in the middle but clear along the banks with a sandy bottom. We paddled a couple miles with the whole river to ourselves drinking breakfast beers and listening to music. The sun was just starting to warm up when we got back to the cabin ready for a shower and some lunch.
Eureka Springs Highlights
Eureka Springs has a lot to offer in the way of outdoor recreation, shopping, historical sites, and delicious eats. Since we only had 5 short days there we decided to see some of the main highlights of the city and spend the rest enjoying the beautiful lakes and rivers.
We spent half a day at Lake Leatherwood. It is a spring fed lake located not far outside of the city of Eureka Springs. It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon hiking, kayaking/canoeing, fishing, or have a picnic with the kids. There are onsite campgrounds with RV hookups and a pretty nice playground for the kids. Located right on the edge of the lake is a small store that rents out canoes and kayaks. The lake website states that they have a swim beach but it has become overgrown with moss and other vegetation. Around the lake is over 25 miles of hiking and biking trails. Beacham and Fuller trail heads are located near the boat ramp and both circle the lake crossing the Leatherwood dam. The mountain biking trails look amazing and were full of what looked to be hardcore mountain bikers with high end bikes and GoPros strapped to their heads.
For more information on Lake Leatherwood visit the website below:
The local fisherman who informed us why the river was so muddy upstream recommended that we check out the stretch of the river right below the dam. When we arrived at the bottom of the dam we understood why. The water was crystal clear, freezing cold (53 degrees), and flowing a little swifter. It was also a lot busier with trout fisherman, riverside campgrounds, and canoe/kayak rental companies dropping off groups of people. We paddled the river for a while looking at the big trout swimming below us and taking in the beautiful scenery.
After kayaking we drove across the dam and decided to hike the Dogwood Trail. The trail is 1.4 miles long loop and is rated moderate on the AllTrails app. The trail was scenic but the markers were pretty hard to identify and in spots it was pretty overgrown. All things considered the view of Beaver Lake below was worth the hike.
Eureka Springs, AR is a pretty awesome city to visit. It has enough outdoor recreation to keep even the hardcore outdoor enthusiasts entertained. Throughout the year the city hosts a lot of different festivals and events to meet almost any interest.
For more information on all that Eureka Springs has to offer check out the city’s website: