Top 4 Free Things To Do In Little Rock You’ve Never Heard Of!
Updated: Sep 28, 2022
Is inflation squeezing your budget tighter than usual? Don't worry! There are tons of incredible free things to do in the Little Rock area that will still make some incredible memories for you and your family!
#1) Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Pinnacle Mountain State Park is a must see for everyone coming to the Little Rock Area. There is something for everyone to do.
With Arkansas being called the Natural State, this state is filled with views that will take your breath away.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park was created over 40 years ago, in 1977, and each year the park evolves into a better and better place to bring your family.
Things to do in the Park
There are dozens of walking and hiking trails that will take you to all the corners of the State Park. The trailheads will clearly mark the distance and difficulty of the trail so you will know ahead of time which trails will best suit your family situation.
The most popular hiking trail is going to be the West Summit Trail. This trail is known to be a little more difficult because of the points on the trail that get rather steep. However, the average time, even for an inexperienced hiker, is around 40 minutes to get to the top. Coming down is even faster with the average time taking 30 minutes. If you do plan on doing this hike, please be sure to wear close toed shoes that have good tread on them. There are some points on the trail where the rock has been worn smooth so you will want to have good shoes to have sure footing.
While you cannot swim in the lake that is in the State Park there are still plenty of ways to get your fun on the water.
If you brought your own equipment then you are free to canoe or kayak on the water. However, there is no pressure to feel like you have to lug your own watersports equipment all the way here as they do have things such as paddle boats available to rent on site.
There is not the option to camp inside this State Park, although most people who wish to camp do so at Maumelle Park, which is right down the road from Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
Talk to Park Rangers:
Talking to Park Rangers is a great way to get the inside scoop on what interesting things are happening in the parks right now. They can let you know the best places to have a chance at spotting some of the amazing local wildlife. Or they can recommend what trailhead to take based on what kind of experience you are hoping to have.
Sometimes over the Summer they will even have special educational presentations to share with you! Some examples of these include nature walks, or even Astronomy presentations after the sun has set.
#2) Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
This location has deep historic value, not just to the state but to the entire nation. This is the location of the Little Rock Nine Incident. This is where the 1957 desegregation crisis led to a breakdown in the community that involved the Governor, Orval Faubus, to mobilize the National Guard to block the Little Rock Nine from entering inside the school. Despite the fact that the students were enrolled and should have been permitted to do so.
That caused the chain reaction that forced the Federal government, under President Eisenhower to take action to ensure the safety of the nine brave African American students that would be attending the school.
It is notable that while this was taking place in 1957, in 1954 is when the Supreme Court ruled on the case Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.
This Historic site plays an important role in helping remind people of the importance of moving away from the mistakes of the past and moving towards a future in which everyone is treated as equals.
There are self guided tour options, or, if you are able to plan ahead, you can schedule a guided tour through the site.
#3) Testament: The Little Rock Nine Monument
While the Little Rock Central High School is surrounded by the Historic Site it is also still an active school. This monument is solely to remember the Little Rock Nine. The five girls and four boys that took the incredibly brave steps to move the nation into desegregation in schools on a wide scale.
There are statues of each of the students as well as plaques with different quotes they gave during the time that everything was happening.
These students are something that everyone should know about and remember. So if you are in the area it is absolutely worth stopping by and spending a few minutes in the gardens remembering, or learning about them for the first time.
It might be important to note that the monument is off to the side of the building. Some visitors have noted that they missed the entrance because they expected to see the monument from the front.
#4) Junction Bridge
Junction Bridge is located along the river next to Downtown Little Rock. It is unique in that it is a pedestrian only bridge! It provides some of the absolute best views of downtown Little Rock. In the evening the bridge is lit up with brightly colored lights that bring a whole new life to the bridge on the nightlife scene.
Right nearby there are playgrounds and picnic tables that make this a wonderful place to bring the family and spend some time outdoors to get some energy out.
With the bridge crossing over the Arkansas River Parents will want to be sure to keep their eyes on their children. There are of course handrails but if you have children that are prone to climbing on everything in sight it is certainly something to keep in mind. It might be better to stop by those playgrounds first to let the kids get it out of their system first.