Best Family Activities in Newton County

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These kid-friendly activities in Newton County, AR are the perfect way to spend time with the whole family. There’s something for everyone! We’ve got you covered from hiking to horseback riding or hayrides to canoeing, swimming and more. Here is a list of our favorite activities around Ozark Grove for visitors of all ages.

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Explore Swimming Holes

Swimming holes are located at every point of access along the Buffalo National River. These are excellent places to sit with your feet in the water, take a swim or just enjoy a bit of time along the river. Let the kids play in the dirt and throw pebbles into the river while you soak up the views. Bring a mid-day picnic or snacks for everyone to munch on while you wave at canoers.

Horseback Riding and Family Hayrides

Horseback riding can be a great way to experience the beauty of our area. The Buffalo River Trail stretches over 150 miles. The trail crosses the river at multiple points, providing easy access for scenic horseback riding trips on both sides of the river. In the event you have littles along who are too young for horseback riding, there are local horse drawn hayride opportunities for the whole family as well. Get more information about horseback riding.

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Family Friendly Hikes

Don’t forget your hiking boots when you come! You won’t want to miss partaking in at least one hiking adventure while you’re here. The Arkansas State website maintains a list of family-friendly hikes for you to enjoy with kiddos of any age. Don’t miss out on the waterfalls and caves along the way, which are sure to bring wonder and awe to the whole group. See the list of trails recommended for families.


Canoeing is one of the best ways to experience the Ozark waterways. Children as young as three or four can enjoy this activity, depending on their swimming skills and other safety considerations. Speak with a local guide to understand the prerequisites and the best areas to canoe with young children. Canoeing is typically recommended over kayaking for those with younger kids, as canoes are stable. They also offer lots of wiggle room and space for gear for 4-7 year olds. Be sure everyone on board will tolerate wearing a life jacket (personal floatation device or PFD) the entire time you’re on the water. All PFDs should be put on while still on land and not taken off until back on land.

Here are a few resources we recommend for canoeing:

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Hilary Jones Wildlife Museum & Elk Information Center

Elk were reintroduced to our area in 1981, after the native population had been completely wiped out in the 1840s due to habitat loss. Newton County is now known as the Elk Capital of Arkansas! So whether you come to the Hilary Jones Wildlife Museum & Elk Information Center for the freshwater fish aquariums, wildlife paintings, whitetail deer section, ducks or to learn about the successful elk reintroduction program in Newton County, we know you’ll enjoy this activity. There is also a gift shop with lots to explore.

Check it out at Scenic 7 Byway North Jasper, AR 72641. Their phone number is 870-446-6180. Read more about the elk in our area.