Heber Springs: Your Gateway to Adventure

JFK Overlook in Heber Springs
JFK Overlook in Heber Springs

Roll through the lush, green forest of the Ozark foothills and make your way to the lakeside town of Heber Springs. On your journey to the quaint downtown lined with historic buildings, local restaurants and shops, you'll pass by picturesque farmlands, dramatic lake houses perched above Greers Ferry Lake, Sugarloaf Mountain and the famous Little Red River. It is a truly unique part of Arkansas where both stunning mountain scenery and pristine waterways come together to create a little slice of paradise for all that get to visit or are lucky enough to call this place home.

Strolling Through Town

Heber Springs is not just for the outdoor enthusiasts. It is also for people that love a good cup of coffee, delicious food, shopping and the feel of being in a bigger city without the hassle of navigating one.

Start your journey through the historic downtown district at the stately Cleburne County Courthouse, built over a hundred years ago in 1915. This part of town is home to several shopping, dining and entertainment options. Walk along Main Street and enjoy antique shops that also house cozy tea rooms in the back. Shop at clothing boutiques that will keep your wardrobe always looking fresh. Catch a blockbuster movie at the nostalgic Gem Theater. Enjoy art in the form of many murals that are scattered throughout downtown. Grab a cup of coffee from an actual airstream camper. Eat the best seafood and southern cooking your tastebuds can handle at restaurants that stretch from downtown to the banks of the Little Red River for a truly pleasant and delicious dining experience. You can also attend annual events throughout town from Springfest to the well-known Fireworks Extravaganza and the world-renowned Championship Cardboard Boat Races.

Cleburn County Courthouse

Greers Ferry Lake

Among the state's five largest lakes at 44,000 acres, and one of the cleanest in the nation, this pristine lake is the culmination of fun, relaxation and natural beauty. Hugging the north and west side of Heber Springs, you can walk out to the lake from your home, one of the many local resorts, several marinas or parks and enjoy a lake surrounded by the beautiful rolling hills of the Ozark Mountains.

Make a splash on the lake in a kayak, sailboat, paddle board or speed boat. And when you're out there, get your heart pumping while flying across the water in an innertube or while water skiing and wake boarding. But if slowing down is more your style, you can enjoy a relaxing day along the shore fishing or head to one of the many recreation areas like the Dam Site Recreation Area. Here you will find a bustling marina on a warm summer day, families having fun at the campground and plenty of kids jumping from the rocks and cliffs into the clear, blue lake. Another popular destination is Sandy Beach. This massive sand beach is not something you would expect to find so far away from the ocean, but is the perfect spot to enjoy a swim, picnic, play sand volleyball or lay out in the sun.

And for an epic view of the lake, drive over to the Greers Ferry Dam where the John F. Kennedy Memorial Overlook provides exceptional views and is the starting point of the famous Little Red River. 

Sandy Beach

Fishing on the Little Red River

Emerging from beneath the massive Greers Ferry Dam is the Little Red River. Anglers come from all over the country to fish along 30 miles of river for brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout. There was even a 40-pound, four-ounce world record brown caught on the river back in 1992, a record that stood until 2009.

Along the upper sections of the river are full-service marinas and resorts as well as public and private launch areas. From any of these access points you'll be able to experience the calming effect of the river. The banks are surrounded by draping trees, moss-covered rocks and electric green grass that makes you feel like you're floating through a veiled paradise. It is the perfect destination to become the next trout world record holder.

JFK Memorial Overlook

Hiking into Paradise

No need to drive hours to find a spectacular waterfall or an epic view when there are plenty of outdoor destinations right in Heber Springs. Climb the staple landmark of Heber Springs, Sugarloaf Mountain. Take the Tonawanda Base Trail for a moderate stroll or make the climb to the top of Summit Trail where you will be rewarded with views that extend for miles in every direction. 

Just ten minutes away from Sugarloaf is the popular 1.2-mile Collins Creek Trail that leads you to a beautiful multi-tiered waterfall perfect for photoshoots or relaxing in your hammock along the cascading waters. Then just across the dam is the 1.8-mile Mossy Bluff Buckeye Trail that takes you through the forest, past a flowing creek to an overlook of the dam and the Little Red River. But probably the most sought-after hike in Heber Springs is the Bridal Veil Falls Trail that leads you to two waterfalls! Check out one of the falls from the observation deck or hike down to the bottom where you can stand behind the waterfalls and go wading in the water.

Cornelius Falls

Stay Awhile

Retreat to Lindsey's Resort along the Little Red River where the only sounds you'll hear are birds chirping and fishing lines being cast into the river. For a place to stay next to Greers Family Lake, try the Heber Springs Resort located in a stately manor on seven acres or the Red Apple Inn & Country Club that provides upscale rooms and fine dining options. And for those wanting to stay more in nature, there is also the John F. Kennedy Park Campground located right along the Little Red River and just downstream from the dam. It is also across the street from the Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery where you can take a self-guided tour of the outdoor fish rearing area.

For more information, go to visithebersprings.com.