Young Family with stroller on the Kingfisher Trail at Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

Hit the Trails with the Littles: Stroller-Friendly Adventures in Central Arkansas

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Central Arkansas boasts beautiful natural spaces, but navigating them with a stroller can be tricky. Fear not, adventurous parents! This list explores some of the best stroller-friendly trails in the region, offering scenic strolls and a breath of fresh air for you and your little one.

Central Arkansas’s Paved Gems:

  • Arkansas Arboretum Trail:  This paved loop trail in Pinnacle Mountain State Park, featuring numerous benches, serves as the focal point of the 71-acre Arkansas Arboretum. Informative audio sign panels offer insights into the diverse range of woody plants and trees present in the six natural divisions of Arkansas. (0.6 miles, no bikes allowed)
  • Kingfisher Trail: Another trail in Pinnacle Mountain State Park, this hard-surfaced loop trail winds through the floodplain of the Little Maumelle River. You can see unique plants, wildflowers, animals, and birds here. Large cypress trees along the river filter sunlight into this special bottomland forest. Birdwatchers will enjoy exploring this trail, especially early in the morning. (0.5 miles, no bikes allowed)
  • Julius Breckling Park and Sculpture Garden Loop: This easy loop combines art and nature. Stroll past unique sculptures while enjoying scenic views of the Arkansas River. The garden is located at the west end of Riverfront Park. It has natural terraces and walkways along the Arkansas River, showcasing over 80 dynamic sculpture pieces intersected by walkways and eddies. The park has more than a dozen other large sculptures, and you can find 24 additional works throughout the park. (0.5-1.0 miles, allows bikes but not busy with bikes)
Rolling through the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden.
Rolling through the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden.
  • Two Rivers Park Trail (North Little Rock): This paved trail system offers a relaxing riverside ramble. Located between the Little Maumelle and Arkansas Rivers, these trails meander through forests and open fields, perfect for spotting local wildlife. (>3.0 miles with many shorter options, allows bikes the Arkansas River Trail section is busy with bikes)
  • War Memorial Park Loop: When the golf course closed, the golf cart paths were opened up for walking and hiking. Located in the center of Little Rock, the trails at this park are easily accessible. (1.0-1.5 miles, allows bikes but not used by bikes much)
  • Knopp Park Loop: The trail is a short paved path situated in the Hillcrest Neighborhood of Little Rock. This trail is stunning all year round, especially during the autumn and winter. From the east-facing section of the trail, you can enjoy unobstructed views of the Little Rock skyline, the Arkansas River, and the Big Rock Quarry in North Little Rock. It can get busy, but it generally feels peaceful. (1.0 miles, allows bikes but not used by bikes much)
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Early evening view from Knopp Park in Hillcrest.
Early evening view from Knopp Park in Hillcrest.
  • MacArthur Park Trails: The park boasts a paved 1.6-mile loop trail, perfect for a stroll with your little one. The trail winds through the park’s scenic grounds, allowing you to take in sights like the stocked fishing lake and historic landmarks while enjoying quality time outdoors. (1.0 miles, allows bikes but not used by bikes much)
  • Boyle Park: Paved pathways weave through the park, offering a scenic escape for you and your little explorer. Imagine strolling under a canopy of trees, sunshine dappling through the leaves, while your little one points out birds or butterflies. Breathe in the fresh air and unwind as you navigate the park’s gentle inclines, perfect for a relaxing walk and creating happy memories with your mini adventurer. (>2.0 miles, allows bikes)
  • Emerald Park/Fort Roots: The Highland Park Trail, a beautifully paved pathway, connects to the Emerald Park Trail. Along the Highland Park Trail, hikers can experience some of the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring views available in the entire state. This is an out-and-back trail. (>3.0 miles, allows bikes)
Breathtaking views from the Highland Trail in Emerald Park atop Fort Roots.
Breathtaking views from the Highland Trail in Emerald Park atop Fort Roots.
  • Arkansas River Trail: A bustling hub for runners and cyclists, might seem daunting for a stroller at first glance. However, fret not! Early mornings or evenings offer a quieter experience, perfect for a peaceful stroll with your little one. Stick to the paved sections on the edges of the trail, leaving plenty of space for others. The scenic river views and cool breezes make the Arkansas River Trail a fantastic option for an urban adventure on wheels. Just be mindful of fellow trail users and enjoy the shared space! (>15.0 miles, allows bikes)
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Map of some stroller-friendly trails in central Arkansas.
Map of some stroller-friendly trails in central Arkansas.

Tips for a Smooth Stroll:

Shift Modern Cyclery - Be Ready To Ride.
  • Pick the right trail: Consider the length and difficulty of the trail based on your child’s age and your fitness level.
  • Be prepared for the weather: Pack sunscreen, hats, and water for everyone. Bug spray might be helpful depending on the season. An umbrella is also a good idea to use as a sunshade.
  • Bring entertainment: Pack a few toys or books to keep your child occupied during rest stops.
  • Parking lot safety: Before you leave your vehicle in the parking lot, make sure that all valuables are with you or out of sight and locked up.
  • Maintain awareness: Keep an eye out for other trail users, especially cyclists. Many, but not all of these trails allow bikes, it is recommended to stay to the right, not walk two or more abreast, and leave the music behind, it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings.

With a little planning and the right trail, you can enjoy a fun and enriching outdoor adventure with your little one. So lace up your walking shoes, grab your stroller, and get ready to explore the natural wonders of central Arkansas!

Also, while most of these trails can be accessed via wheelchair, not all are ADA-compliant for gradients, railings, etc. Please use them according to your abilities.

Arkansas Cycling & Fitness.

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