Siloam Springs: Charm and Adventure
Siloam Springs: charm and adventure
In historic Siloam Springs, you’ll find a postcard-worthy small college town with hip coffee shops and a lively arts scene. Soak up the charm and serenity in the walkable downtown district, featuring Victorian buildings and parks along the lovely banks of Sager Creek. This community where “everybody knows everybody,” Mayberry-style, nestles on the northwestern border of Arkansas, only a stone’s throw from Oklahoma. The natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains and Illinois River just outside of town make for a delightful blend of small-town charm with great outdoor adventure.
Siloam Springs grew up in the 1880s around eight springs that flowed into Sager Creek and were thought to have medicinal benefits. Four downtown parks now lie along the banks of the creek, and Twin Springs Park still contains original springs that were present at the town’s founding. The newest of the parks is lushly landscaped Memorial Park, which opened in 2019. Memorial Park features its namesake memorial to armed forces veterans, a promenade for the Farmers Market, a demonstration kitchen and a splash pad. The park’s Chautauqua Amphitheater hosts lively monthly concerts in all styles from bluegrass to hip-hop, as well as live theater performances.
To stay close to town but edge into wilderness fun, you can travel only 3 miles from downtown to City Lake Park, where bikers of all skill levels will find over 6 miles of beginner and intermediate multi-use soft surface trails, mountain-bike-optimized directional flow trails, raised-bed hiking trails, and the region’s largest bicycle skills course and pump track. The trails at the lake are also great for trail runners or hikers, including an ADA approved nature trail on the south side of the lake. Stroll across the water on a bridge through arching trees, or sit on the built-in benches and enjoy the peace. Hide inside the bird blind to peep at the many species of birds that pass through the wilderness setting.
Siloam Springs Kayak Park
If you love adventure, you’ll find even more at this free public waterpark four miles south of Siloam Springs on the scenic Illinois River. Here, you’ll have access to changing rooms, bathrooms and a well-lit parking lot. The kayak park includes about 700 feet of engineered rapids in Class I and II, which makes it a perfect place for floaters to learn how to kayak under controlled conditions. The water also includes two major drops for practice, and unlike most float parks, it’s open all year round! You can also swim and tube at the park, which is family-friendly and alcohol-free with easy riverbank access, a picnic area and accessible walking trails. Lifejackets are recommended for all users.
New national-caliber whitewater park
In exciting recent news, Siloam Springs will partner with the Walton Foundation to help create another whitewater adventure park to open in 2023. This best-in-class park will allow kayakers, surfers, paddle boarders and tubers to experience national-caliber thrills in a 1,200-foot long, 100-foot wide channel off the Illinois River with eight drop features. The new park, called WOKA as an acronym for “water,” “Oklahoma” and “Arkansas,” will be located just across the Oklahoma border in the beautiful Ozark setting that surrounds Siloam Springs.
Delicious dining and fun shops
You’ll have many choices of appealing meal options both downtown and elsewhere. If you’re in the mood for upscale but hearty, 28 Springs is well known for its quality menu and cocktail, wine and beer list. Several hip cafes offer gourmet espresso and bagels as well as fresh sandwiches or full breakfasts. Quality pizza options include a wood-fired pizzeria and many more. Mexican, Columbian, Italian and German restaurants join several Asian establishments for terrific variety.
For those who want to cook up their own inventions, the Farmer’s Market downtown features farm fresh produce, artisan crafts, pasture-raised meats and delicious baked goods.
Downtown shopping also has its eclectic delights. From antiques and boutiques to a pipe and cigar store, bike shop, quilt store, scrapbooking store and painting studio, there’s plenty of fun browsing. When you’re finished, you can enjoy a massage or treat yourself to an ice cream cone at Pure Joy Ice Cream.
Arts and culture
You can take in films, plays, festivals, orchestral concerts and art exhibits all year round thanks to the talent at John Brown University as well as visiting artists and community arts supporters. In late April, the Dogwood Festival brings 200 booths and 30,000 visitors to town to enjoy exhibits, shopping, food and entertainment as well as a fun FunZone.
The Siloam Springs Public Library is a new, 18,500 square-foot facility which offers plenty of checkouts, children's programs, computer classes and meeting spaces. And for those who want to discover more about the fascinating history of the town, the Siloam Springs Museum has many exhibits and photographs documenting the town’s progress from its 19th century origins.
Small town charm, great outdoor adventure
In Siloam Springs, you’ll find a totally unique combination of top-flight outdoor options for fun, as well as plenty of entertainment and dining, all with a friendly small-town welcome. Plan your trip at discoversiloam.com, where you can find more about our many choices for lodging, dining, kayaking, cycling and hiking!