Pinnacle Mountain State Park

It's no Mount McKinley, but dang it, it's ours and we love it. The 2,100 acres of preserved woodlands, peaks, flora and fauna along the Big and Little Maumelle Rivers has been a local favorite for decades, hosting a stream of birdwatchers, sun worshippers, and folks simply looking for a little outdoor solace. The star attraction is, of course, Pinnacle Mountain itself. With a summit at just over 750 feet, Pinnacle is a natural playground for hikers, offering eight trails of varying difficulty. The West Summit Trail and the East Summit Trail are favorites. Both are 1 ½ miles, with the former great for a light afternoon workout and the latter a rockier, steeper wind for steelier calves. Mountain bikers are welcome, too, with the .7 mile long Rabbit Ridge Mountain Bike Trail and a 7.4 mile Jackfork Trail opened to the public in October 2010. Even in the ceaselessly gorgeous Natural State, Pinnacle Mountain provides some of the greatest views Arkansas has to offer. When summer scorchers begin to subside and fall turns the hills into an autumnal palette of reds, yellows and orange, there's no better place in Central Arkansas to soak in our state's organic splendor. But heads up, looky-loos: the prettier it gets, the heavier the traffic. We suggest getting there early to secure parking spots and, if you're lucky, a little mountaintop serenity.

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