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Outside in Arkansas: Emerald Park is a Hidden Gem

Where can you find stunning views of river bluffs and scenic overlooks and in one turn, enjoy the Little Rock skyline? Emerald Park Trail, right in the middle of the Little Rock/North Little Rock metropolitan area, is where. It’s perfect for hikers, cyclists and folks who just like to stretch their legs in the great outdoors and want a quality day trip.

This gem of a park occupies 135 acres along the northern bank of the Arkansas River, tucked neatly behind the main campus of the University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College. The park features cycling and hiking trailheads and a scenic point. It’s also pet-friendly and accessible to people with disabilities.

The Emerald Park Trail, a 5.3-mile out-and-back trail, follows a bluff line along the North Little Rock side of the Arkansas River and offers stunning views of the Arkansas River Valley (including Pinnacle Mountain) and Little Rock. The trail is paved and moderately flat and features parking lots at both ends. For more adventurous visitors, the trail also features several unpaved spurs that provide access to scenic overlooks and the river below. But, be sure to pay attention to the warning signs – there are places along the towering bluffs where it would be quite easy to fall.

So grab your gear and take a quick drive to Emerald Park. The trail is open year-round and is a wonderful place for a quick daytrip adventure.

  • Scenic point
  • Cycling trailhead
  • Hiking trailhead
  • Pet friendly
  • Access for people with disabilities

Arkansans live in a state so rich with outdoor opportunities that we are known as The Natural State. Exercising outside gives you a change of scenery, cleaner air and a free dose of vitamin D, courtesy of the sun. The “Outside in Arkansas” series highlights some of the best places to enjoy one of the best gyms in the world — the great outdoors.

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