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Arkansas in Pictures: 15 Beautiful Places to Photograph

Written by Brad Lane
Feb 6, 2020

Hot springs, cliff edges, and landscaped spaces are some of the most beautiful places in Arkansas to photograph. From the Ouachita National Forest to the Ozark National Forest, woodsy environments define pictures of the state. With a landscape as mountainous as Arkansas, it should be no surprise that the state in pictures inspires adventure and wanderlust.

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1. Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park

Bubbling with a historic and hydrothermal appeal, Hot Springs National Park surrounds the north end of the city of Hot Springs and is one of the top attractions in Arkansas. The landmark Bathhouse Row is the place to go for a soak and offers photos that look like a different era. The park's visitor center is within the Fordyce Bathhouse at the center of Bathhouse Row. Verdant mountainsides surrounding the state park offer a fun natural landscape to photograph.

Accommodation: Best Resorts in Hot Springs, Arkansas

2. Petit Jean State Park, Morrilton

Cliffside view at Petit Jean State Park
Cliffside view at Petit Jean State Park

The first state park in Arkansas, this scenic public space centers on Petit Jean Mountain. Waterfalls, canyon walls, and great overlooks define many pictures at Petit Jean State Park. Hiking trails meander through the park and pass by log infrastructures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The spot to capture the best photos is at the top of the park and the peak of Petit Jean Mountain.

3. Whitaker Point (Hawksbill Crag), Kingston

Hiker on Whitaker Point, a.k.a Hawksbill Crag
Hiker on Whitaker Point, a.k.a Hawksbill Crag

One of the most photographed landscapes in Arkansas, Whitaker Point provides a breathtaking view atop a craggy rock. This scenic outlook is part of the Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area in the Ozark National Forest. A relatively easy and well-traveled hiking trail leads to Whitaker Point (also known as Hawksbill Crag). The views are outstanding, no matter the season, but the brilliant colors of autumn make for the best photographs.

4. The Old Mill, Little Rock

The Old Mill
The Old Mill

One of the best places to visit in Little Rock, The Old Mill is a picturesque location to spend the day. The Old Mill itself is a scenic recreation of an 1800s grist mill. Some visitors may recognize the structure from the opening scenes of Gone with the Wind. Three acres of landscaped settings surround The Old Mill and add to its photogenic value.

5. Blanchard Springs Caverns, Fifty-Six

Blanchard Springs Caverns
Blanchard Springs Caverns

Fascinating formations fill this underground world in the Ozark National Forest. The only way to see the inside of this living cave is on one of the three guided tours offered by the Forest Service. Photo tours are also available. The above-ground area at Blanchard Springs also warrants pictures, including Blanchard Springs itself.

6. Buffalo National River

Kayaker on the Buffalo National River
Kayaker on the Buffalo National River

One of the longest stretches of wild rivers in the lower 48, the Buffalo National River flows for 135 uninterrupted miles. In northern Arkansas, the beautiful Ozark Mountains backdrop the shoreline of this wild river. Split into three districts, every mile of the Buffalo National River caters to floating, camping, and great photographs.

7. Little Missouri Falls, Ouachita National Forest

Little Missouri Falls
Little Missouri Falls

This cascading waterfall is framed by the lush landscape of the Ouachita National Forest. It's a bit of a drive to reach the trailhead and picnic area of Little Missouri Falls, but it's only a quarter-mile hike to reach the white water. Once here, the moving water offers an excellent opportunity to practice long-exposure photography.

Accommodation: Best Resorts in Arkansas

8. Garven Woodland Gardens, Hot Springs

Tulips at Garvan Woodland Gardens
Tulips at Garvan Woodland Gardens

These beautiful gardens encompass 210 manicured acres on the shoreline of Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs. A few of the most photographed gardens include the Evan Children's Adventure Garden and the Garden of the Pine Wind. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the Anthony Chapel in the Woodland Gardens is a sought-after wedding venue.

9. Mount Magazine State Park, Paris

Mount Magazine State Park
Mount Magazine State Park

In Paris, Arkansas, this popular state park offers quite the view. At 2,753 feet in elevation, Mount Magazine is the highest point in the state. Several hiking trails lead throughout the park, including a route to the top of the mountain's most prominent peak: Signal Hill. The view from the observation point on Signal Hill requires a wide-angle lens to capture.

10. Bowers Hollow Falls, Ozark National Forest

Bowers Hollow Falls
Bowers Hollow Falls

A popular waterfall to photograph in Arkansas, this 56-foot moving feature is in the Ozark National Forest. Photographing the waterfall requires a moderate two-mile hike. The relatively remote location of the falls generally leads to few other people blocking your shot. The spring is when Bowers Hollow Falls has its most substantial flow.

11. Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs

Thorncrown Chapel
Thorncrown Chapel | Clinton Steeds / photo modified

A unique place to visit in Eureka Springs, Thorncrown Chapel offers a spiritual connection to the surrounding Ozark forest. Comprised of a simple design and over 6,000 square feet of windows, Thorncrown Chapel provides a fantastic view no matter the reason for a visit. A popular place for weddings, Thorncrown Chapel offers regular Sunday service throughout the year.

12. Devil's Den State Park, Del Rio

Waterfall at Devil's Den State Park
Waterfall at Devil's Den State Park

Alongside immense Ozark Mountain scenic appeal, historic intrigue laces this popular state park. Several wood and stone structures of the park date back to the 1930s and are the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Set against Lee Creek Valley, many photographs of the state park capture features like waterfalls, rock formations, and the changing leaves of autumn.

13. Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area, Wickes

Fall colors on the Cossatot River
Fall colors on the Cossatot River

The Wild and Scenic Cossatot River is the centerpiece of this state park-natural area. Encompassing over 12 miles of rugged and exposed-rock shoreline, Cossatot River State Park is a popular place for white-water paddle sports. The class-V rapids of Cossatot Falls are a challenging feature of the park. Hiking trails also surround the shore and offer the best photographic opportunities.

14. Roark Bluff

Roark Bluff and the Buffalo River
Roark Bluff and the Buffalo River

On the Upper Buffalo River, this impressive cliff is fun to photograph and explore. Seasonal waterfalls cascade down this rock wall across the river from the Steel Creek Campground. A family-friendly hiking trail travels two miles to the top of the bluffs from the campground. This vantage point of the Buffalo River valley and bluff sides is one of the best in the state.

15. Lake Ouachita State Park

Sunset on Lake Ouachita
Sunset on Lake Ouachita

The largest lake in Arkansas, Lake Ouachita encompasses over 40,000 acres of water. The state park on an eastern arm of the lake is a great place to launch a boat on the water. The state park offers photo opportunities in the surrounding Ouachita National Forest. A campground is also available to make sunset and sunrise shots easier to capture.

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