Most people go to the North Central Arkansas town of Heber Springs Arkansas to spend time on Greer’s Ferry Lake or to trout fish on the Little Red River.
Heber Springs is a small town with a population of about 7,200 that is geared toward the tourists who flock to the area to boat, ski, fish, kayak, and hike.
It is a great place to visit!
Here is a list some of the interesting and fun things to do in and around the cute, little town of Heber Springs!
Things to do in Heber Springs Arkansas
Enjoy the Water activities on the pristine Greer’s Ferry Lake
This lake is the main reason that people come to Heber Springs. Greer’s Ferry is a simply stunning body of water. Did you know that this 40,000 acre lake is ranked as one of the top 10 cleanest lakes in the US?
It is clear and pristine, surrounded by trees and rock bluffs and dotted with islands. This is one of our favorites lakes in Arkansas and it is perfect for boating, water skiing, paddle boarding, scuba diving, fishing, or just sun bathing on a float!
The southern summer heat brings both Arkansans and tourists from other states to cool off on the lake. But spring and fall are also beautiful times to visit Greer’s Ferry.
The marinas closest to the town of Heber Springs are the Dam Site Marina, the Heber Springs Marina, and Eden Isle Marina. Any of these is a perfect place from which to start a day of fun on Greer’s Ferry Lake.
We also have a list of some of the other beautiful lakes in Arkansas if you want to check that out.
Go Fishing on the Little Red River
The section of the Little Red River below the dam at Heber Springs is a 30 mile stretch of some of the best rainbow trout fishing in the United States. You will find marinas, resorts, and guide services to aid you in your search for trout.
Lindsey’s Resort is one of the old-timers along the river. It has been around for more than 50 years and has both rustic cabins, camping, and a restaurant.
Chase some Waterfalls
Bridal Veil Falls and Cornelius Falls are located very near each other just outside of town. You will park in the same parking area place for both.
You don’t even have to actually hike to see Bridal Veil Falls. Just take the short walk from the parking lot to the overlook where you can view the falls from above. If you want a closer view and don’t mind some steep terrain you can also take a trail down the to the base of the waterfall.
From the parking area you will see a small sign guiding you to Cornelius Falls. This short trail will allow you to see a partially obstructed view of these falls from above and through the trees.
To get a much better view of Cornelius Falls you will want to walk to the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls and then head downstream. When you get to another creek turn left and Cornelius will be just a short way upstream.
Do Some Hiking Near Heber Springs
- Collins Creek Trail is one of our favorite short hikes. It is just over a mile round trip, beginning at Collins Creek cascade and leading to the John F Kennedy Campground on the Little Red River. This is a perfect place on a summer day to enjoy the cold water and shady trail.
- There are several different trails at Sugarloaf Mountain. There is a short paved trail, called Hidden Pond Trail that is wheelchair accessible. The Tonawanda trail circles the mountain. Then there is the difficult summit trail. You will first follow the main trail to the base of the rock mountain. From there you will have to climb up the steep rock cracks to reach the top. The views at the top are glorious if you are fit and unafraid of heights but it is definitely not for the faint of heart and not for children!
- The Mossy Bluff Buckeye Trail is about 1.8 miles round trip. It starts from the Carl Garner Visitor Center. There are massive boulders and nice bluff views as well as a wet weather creek. The trail ends at an overlook where you can get an impressive view of the river and the dam.
Throw Frisbee at the Mossy Bluff Disc Golf Course
The Mossy Bluff Disc Golf Course is also just near the William Carl Garner Visitor Center.
Check out the William “Carl” Garner Visitor Center in Heber Springs, Arkansas
William “Carl” Garner Visitor Center is located at the western end of Greers Ferry Lake Dam.
This is a large stone and wood structure. Inside you will find a nice information center as well as some public restrooms. There is also a theater where you can watch a short film about the history of the region before and after the construction of the dam.
You can also learn more about President Kennedy’s dedication of the dam project on Oct. 3, 1963. This was one of the last public appearances for Kennedy before his assassination.
Everything at the center is free and open to the public.
NOTE: It is closed in the winter months so do check the opening hours before you visit.
Visit the Greer’s Ferry National Fish Hatchery
Just below the dam you will find the Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery. It is part of the National Fish Hatchery System which is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. According to their website their mission is to:
“conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.”
It is fun to visit and to see the processes that they use to maintain the fish population in the river. They are typically open to the public from 10-3 but be sure and check the hours before you go.
Stop by the President John F. Kennedy Memorial Park and Overlook
While in the area of both the visitors center and the fish hatchery be sure and make a quick stop at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park and Overlook for views of the dam, the lake, and the river far below.
Camp in Heber Springs on the Little Red River
The John F Kennedy Recreation Area and Campground is named in honor of President John F Kennedy who came to Arkansas to dedicate the dam shortly before his death.
The campground is located just below the dam, beside the fish hatchery on the bank of the Little Red River. There are 68 campsites here with electricity. A few have water hookups. You will also find bathhouses with flush toilets and showers.
This is a CoE campground which gets wonderful reviews.
Golf on one of the Local Courses near Heber Springs, Arkansas
Swing a club at one of the local golf courses near Heber Springs. There are several golf courses in the area. The Red Apple Inn Country Club has a beautiful golf course. Hole number 2 here has been voted “the most scenic hole in Arkansas.”
Shop at the Ozark Country Market
The Ozark Country Market is an adorable store on the hill that overlooks the lake and the town of Heber Springs. It is one of my favorite places in Heber Springs, Arkansas.
The market sells all kinds of locally made products including organic produce, homemade jams, handcrafted woodwork, pottery, Amish made products, pickles, salsas, honey, and so much more.
It really is a must stop when you are in the area.
View the Trumpeter Swans on Magness Lake
A large group of Trumpeter Swans spend every winter on a few small lakes on the outskirts of Heber Springs. This flock (actually called a bevy, herd, game, or flight) winters further south than any other US swans.
A trip to visit this bevy of Trumpeter Swans is a perfect Arkansas winter activity.
Delight in the Scents at the Aromatique Gift Shop
The potpourri and scent company, Aromatique, got their start in the town of Heber Springs, Arkansas.
Forty years ago the creator, Patti Upton, gathered a bunch of bark and nuts, pinecones and other native botanicals. Then she mixed those with seasonal spices and oils to create a Christmas scented potpourri called, “The Smell of Christmas.”
It was an immediate and huge success and the business is still going strong today.
Their items are mostly sold wholesale to a variety of gift shops. However, in Heber Springs you can stop by Panache which happens to be their own Aromatique store. Here you can experience all of the fragrances both old and new.
Peruse the art at the Ellen Hobgood Gallery
The Ellen Hobgood Gallery is in downtown Heber Springs. The gallery features artwork from more than 40 local and regional artists including paintings, photography, pottery and more. Any art lover will enjoy a stop at this delightful gallery.
Relax on Sandy Beach
If you are visiting Heber Springs during a heatwave and don’t have a boat to get out on the lake you should definitely stop by Sandy Beach!
Located on Greer’s Ferry Lake this nice spot has a large public beach area for relaxation and swimming. And, yes, it is sandy. There are also trees for shade, a volley ball court for sand volleyball, and a pavilion that can be rented for parties.
It is a great place to cool off on a hot summer day. It is also the location for the annual World Championship Cardboard Boat Races which are held in July.
Visit the Ruland Junction Toy Train Museum
If you have a train lover in your group then you really must stop by the Ruland Toy Train Museum. This began as a family hobby with a father passing his love of model trains to his two sons. Now everyone can enjoy seeing this wonderful collection of toy and model trains.
They also have memorabilia such as menus and time tables from old trains as well as lots of old photographs. It is really a fun and unique place to see.
Sip From the Springs in Spring Park
There are actually springs in the town of Heber Springs. In fact, when the town was founded there were natural spring water wells that were believed to have healing properties.
Today you can visit the springs in Spring Park which is located near the downtown area on E. Main Street. The 7 springs are now under 4 small pavilions and have the names White Sulphur, Red Sulphur, Black Sulphur, Arsenic, Iron, Magnesia, and Eye Water which indicate what type of medicine they might contain.
The park also has a playground, an outdoor amphitheater, a skateboard park, picnic areas, and a pavilion.
Step Back in Time at Muses Country Store
On the outskirts of Heber Springs is the most adorable old-fashioned country store. The owner, Scott Muse, began to bring this place back to life in 2017.
Now, Muses Country Store, is both a store and a bit of living history. A visit here will make you feel like you are stepping back in time.
Eat Out in Heber Springs
Here are some of our favorite restaurants in town!
- Pizza Pie-zazz is one of the most highly rated restaurants in Heber Springs. It is known not just for pizza, but also for delicious wings, calzones, and subs. It is the perfect place to go after a day on the lake.
- As the name implies Angie’s Hideaway does sit a bit back off the road. You might even drive right past it the first time…or maybe that’s just us…but don’t miss out on eating here! This restaurant offers good burgers as well as delicious southern style dishes such as chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken and lots of homemade desserts. Loved the delicious sweet tea served in a huge ball jar!
- Jitterbug Coffeehouse is a must stop when you are in the area. This is the cutest place located downtown in a great old stone building. The interior is super cozy and eclectic and the coffee is locally roasted. There are also sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and ice cream. What more could you want?
- Peggy Sue’s Place is the place to go if you are craving some good home-style cooking. Breakfast is served all day and there are lunch specials that change daily.
Enjoy a Romantic Getaway at the Red Apple Inn
Whether it is a date night dinner or a weekend getaway the Red Apple Inn is the place to go. This is a boutique hotel and golf resort that is often voted one of the most romantic places to stay in Arkansas.
From rooms with fireplaces, suites, and houses you have a choice of beautiful accommodations. Or you can elect to dine in the full service restaurant with beautiful views of the lake.
I hope that you have enjoyed learning more about the town of Heber Springs, Arkansas. It is the perfect “jumping off” point for lake and river activities and so much more.
Thanks for stopping by!