With winter days come hot chocolate, knit sweaters and cozy moments spent bundled up inside with a good book. While that’s great and all, a certain few of us end up longing for the sense of fulfillment and admiration that can sometimes only be met with an adventure in the great outdoors. And lucky for people like us, there is still plenty to enjoy about getting your adventure on outside, even in the cold. In fact, Econo Lodge is a quick nine minute drive from the beautiful Lake Dardanelle State Park, and the park has everything your cold adventuring heart could need. From jaw-dropping sunsets to winter wildlife and more, Lake Dardanelle is the perfect escape from your typical winter routine.
Start out with some wildlife watching! With trees stripped free of leaves, views at Lake Dardanelle State Park continue for miles on end, making winter the perfect time to see wildlife in its natural habitat. An added bonus: some wildlife is more likely to frequent Arkansas during the winter, which means thanks to the cold, you just might witness the flight of a bald eagle or the vibrant colors of a purple finch in hiding.
Aquariums at the Visitor’s Center
Next, stop inside the Lake Dardanelle Visitor’s Center for a fun-filled escape from the wintery cold. The visitor’s center is famous for its five aquariums that house fish native to the lake and the nearby Arkansas river. You can also witness bees hard at work as they fly in and out of the building via a see-through tube. And of course, don’t miss out on the many additional interactive exhibits that the center has to offer.
Hike to a Sunset Overlooking the Lake
End your day’s adventure back outside where it all began with a hike to Sunrise Point at Mount Nebo State Park. This hike is full of stunning views of all 34,000 acres of Lake Dardanelle, complete with a perfect spot to watch the sun fall beyond the horizon in a shower of colors. Believe it or not, winter is actually the best time throughout the year to get a great hike in thanks to the lack of ticks and other pesky creatures that tend to thrive during warm and muggy weather. Better yet, this hiking trail is free of charge, so there’s no need to break the bank in order to have fun.
There are so many ways to enjoy the beauty of Lake Dardanelle and all that nature has to offer, even during the sometimes frigid cold of winter, despite what many of us tend to think. With venturesome hikes for the more courageous souls and indoor exhibits for those of us who maybe prefer to observe nature from the comfort of a warm visitor’s center, Lake Dardanelle has something for everyone. But of course, always come prepared with plenty of layers and perhaps a warm thermos full of a hot drink to keep things cozy on your next adventure.