Pinnacle Mountain State Park#2 in Best Things To Do in Little Rock
Price & Hours
Pinnacle Mountain State Park's peak rises more than 1,000 feet and the park itself encompasses 2,351 acres. The park boasts more than 40 miles of trails for all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking trails range from easy walks, such as the paved Kingfisher Trail, to more challenging hikes, such as the East Summit Trail, which takes you to the top of Pinnacle Mountain. Longer trails that stretch for 3 or more miles are also available. There are two mountain biking trails: one for beginner riders and one for advanced riders. If you'd rather float your way through the park, check out the Little Maumelle Water Trail. (Note: You can only experience this river trip on a guided tour in the spring or fall.)
In addition to strenuous outdoor fun, visitors can take it easy at the on-site picnic area that features restrooms, a playground and a vending machine. It is also the start of a few trailheads as well as the site of the park's boat launch. Travelers can also check out the visitor center that has permanent exhibits about the park's wildlife and ecology, as well as restrooms, a gift shop and a wildlife viewing area. An arboretum and garden are also on-site for visitor enjoyment.
Hikers agreed that the view from the top of Pinnacle Mountain is worth the effort to get there: they note many of the hikes to the top are somewhat challenging and require scrambling over rocks. Many also noted that their children were able to do some of the hikes, but suggest that children younger than 6 may need extra help. Reviewers also applauded the visitor center for its informative exhibits.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park is open year-round from 6:30 a.m. to an hour after sunset daily. The visitor center is open year-round from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The park is free to visit and parking is available on-site. Pedal boats, canoes and kayaks are available to rent on-site. Fees vary depending on the boat, but you can expect to pay around $10 per hour. You'll find the park 16 miles northwest of Little Rock. For more information, visit the park's website.
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#1 Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
In 1957, nine Black students enrolled at Little Rock Central High School. The school had been all-white since its construction in 1927. Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Pattillo, Gloria Ray, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas and Carlotta Wells were the first Black students at the school following the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional. The day the students went to school, they were met with a racist mob of white students as well as about 270 soldiers who barred the entrance to the high school. It took almost two weeks before the Little Rock Nine were able to access the building. Though they were able to enter the school, they faced physical and verbal abuse throughout their high school careers. The Little Rock Nine's historic and brave acts helped to spur the civil rights movement and brought national attention to the U.S.'s racist practices.
Today, Little Rock Central High School is a National Historic Site and is still a working high school. The associated visitor center sits kitty-corner to the school and features exhibits about the desegregation crisis as well as a book store. There is also a Commemorative Garden. Tours of the exterior and interior of Little Rock Central High School are also available, but must be reserved in advance through the National Park Service.
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