Hardy, Arkansas is the epitome of a small mountain town. With less than one thousand residents in the town, Hardy measures only 5.4 square miles. The primary draw to Hardy is its proximity to the Mammoth Spring and the Spring River. The natural landmarks combined with its location along U.S. Route 63 give Hardy plenty of guests throughout the year.
From those who come for the water sports and fishing to those who are passing through, Hardy offers a variety of attractions for visitors who come to explore the small town of the Ozarks. Here are the best things to do in Hardy, Arkansas for every type of traveler!
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How to Get to Mountain View, AR
TL;DR You will probably need a car to get to Hardy. You can drive your own or rent one. There are buses that will get you as close as Newport, but then you’ll need to take a taxi for an hour and a half which might not be feasible.
If you are new to this part of the world, you might be shocked at just how hard it is to get around without a car. If you are flying into Arkansas, I have tips for renting a car below. Getting almost anywhere out of Little Rock without wheels is very difficult.
Driving in Arkansas is pretty easy. Roads are well marked and maintained other than in very rural areas. I get skittish driving in the mountains in winter, but that might just be me.
Google Maps and other navigation apps work great in this part of the country, though navigation systems in cars can miss some major landmarks if they haven’t been updated.
Tips for Renting a Car in Arkansas
It’s awfully hard to get around Arkansas without a car. Whenever I don’t drive my own car over from Oklahoma, I will pick up a rental car at whichever airport I fly into when I get to Arkansas.
If you’re also looking to rent a car, I use Discover Cars when I rent cars on my travels. You’ll be able to pick up a car at any airport or in your hometown.
Check availability and get a quote for a rental car for your trip here.
The Best Things to Do in Hardy, AR
In no particular order…
Enjoy the Spring River with River Wilderness Sports
Hardy is located on the Spring River, which is a popular location for water activities like canoeing and kayaking. River Wilderness Sports is a local shop to find raft, canoe, kayak, tube, and cooler rentals to enjoy along the river. The rental prices are based on how long you plan to be on the river. River Wilderness Sports also offers shuttle services to pick you and your party up from your destination along the river when you have finished your float.
Griffin Park is a popular place for visitors to rent for RV or tent camping. With the classic campground staples of bathhouses, in-ground pool, and swimming in the Spring River, it offers an accommodating outdoor adventure. The park is an ideal place to host parties or special events or a simple family getaway.
Griffin Park is located along the South Fork of the Spring River, so it has beaches and easy access to all the activities you could want to enjoy along the water. Griffin Park features great places for canoeing, rafting, floating, and fishing.
Guests can also find a putt-putt golf course, disc golf course, paintball, Lazy Acres Riding Stables, and Zippin Griffin ziplines. There are even annual events such as the Spring River Bike Rally and the Hardy Spokes Chuckwagon Races.
Griffin Park is an ideal location to visit where the whole family can find something fun to do while enjoying the natural beauty around Hardy.
Main Street Hardy
Hardy is a small town, but Main Street is always bustling with traffic and events. Main Street is where you will find the most things to do in Hardy when it comes to finding unique crafts and vintage goods. Here is where you can find shop after shop to visit and explore.
Many local artists feature their works in shops, with anything from handmade wooden sculptures to paintings to pottery, the possibilities of what you can find are endless. The stores along Main Street are the perfect place to find vintage items, too. Shops along Main Street are full of shelves upon shelves of unique items that you will not be able to find in other places.
Many of the original buildings of Hardy are used and maintained by the stores to keep the true heart of Hardy alive. The Ozark Classic Crafts Mall is one the primarily featured stores of Main Street, housed in the original theater of Hardy, and it now features the works of 100 artists.
Corner Booth is a little hole-in-the-wall diner just towards the end of Main Street in Hardy. Its small-town, welcoming atmosphere makes for a great stop for breakfast or lunch. Visitors may not find lavish meals, but they will find homestyle cooking that is perfect for warming your heart and soul.
From country classics to vegetarian options, it is easy to see why people make a stop at the Corner Booth. The staff is always there to greet customers with a smile and friendly service. The Corner Booth is the place to stop when you are exploring all that Hardy has to offer.
Mammoth Springs State Park
Located 20-minutes from Hardy, Mammoth Springs State Park features the national natural landmark of the Mammoth Spring.
The Mammoth Spring is one of the world’s largest springs, with an astounding nine million gallons of water flowing every hour. The 10-acre lake formed by the spring is what feeds south to create the Spring River.
Mammoth Springs State Park offers walking trails, picnic areas, a playground, and a baseball field. One highlight of the park is the 1886 Frisco train depot and museum located in the center of the park, as well as the federal fish hatchery that raises native fish to be fed into the Spring Lake and Spring River.
Mammoth Springs State Park is a short drive from Hardy that provides an opportunity for visitors to view one of the state’s most wondrous natural features and is one of the best things to do near Hardy.
Cherokee Village North and South Golf Course
The Cherokee Village North and South golf courses are two of the prized attractions of Cherokee Village. The South course was built in 1962, and the North course was built in 1963. Both courses are well maintained and highlight the natural beauty of the area.
The South Fork River divides and lines the courses to create wondrous scenery while adding an element of challenge to the course. The golf courses of Cherokee Village have even been considered a hidden gem of the Natural State.
The courses are managed by friendly staff and have all-day play rates. Being within less than 10-minutes of downtown Hardy, making a trip to Cherokee Village for a round or two of golf is manageable and a great way to enjoy the natural beauty.
Tohi Nature Trail
The Tohi Nature Trail is a half-mile paved trail accessible to all skill and ability levels. Open to visitors year-round, the Tohi Nature Trail is most used for easy nature trips and bird watching. The community of Cherokee Village helps to maintain the trail to highlight the native foliage and animals that can be found.
About 10 years ago, a grant was given to Cherokee Village to help improve the trail, along with help from Hardy and Evening Shade. The community takes joy in giving residents and guests the opportunity to enjoy nature without requiring the strenuous activity of hiking.
Star Falls Lookout
Star Falls Lookout is a simple off-the-road stop in Cherokee Village that looks out across the South fork of the Spring River. The lookout features a short walk down to a gazebo along the river. It is an attraction that offers an opportunity to enjoy the simplicity of the area.
The Star Falls Lookout is a scenic location that is perfect for photos. If you do stop here at one of Hardy’s and Cherokee Village’s most Instagrammable places, feel free to use one of these Arkansas Instagram captions!
The Adahi Trail is located within the Cherokee Village Community Garden. The trail follows along the Big Otter Creek down to Lake Thunderbird. The out and back trail features many scenic views of the nature of Cherokee Village.
Adahi Trail is dirt, so it may not be suitable for all. The trail is simple enough, though, and does not require anything more than good walking shoes. There are several rest benches along the trail, too, to provide hikers a chance to sit and enjoy the wildlife and foliage.
Arkansas Travel Resources
What to Pack for Arkansas
A camera so you can take photos of the special moments from your trip. Whether you bring a point-and-shoot like my Sony ZV-1 or rely on your cell phone like my iPhone 12 Pro, make sure you have at least one camera (though I always travel with two)!
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
Before you leave for your trip make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road. I have used World Nomads when I travel since 2016, and I happily recommend them.
Getting coverage is important whenever you’re more than a hundred miles from home in case of an accident, sickness, theft, etc.
Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.
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Kirsten Hazlewood is from Paragould, AR and graduated from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR. She still remains in Paragould with her husband, two stepchildren, and their clowder of cats and raccoons.