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There are so many outdoor options in Arkansas. Next to impossible to pick just one. The most dog friendly outdoor places would be the national forests and we have two choices . . . Ozark and Ouachita forests. My favorite place is a bit less dog friendly (must be on 6' leash) and that is the Buffalo National River. My profile pretty much reflects my thinking and it is where my CS couch is located most of the time.
Memorial weekend the Ozark Society will be celebrating its 50th anniversary at Tyler Bend Campground on the Buffalo and that is more than likely where I will be.
As has already been said, there are lots of places in Arkansas. If you want to be able to camp with the dogs I second the national forest idea. My top vote would probably go to Sam's Throne, just South of Mount Judea. It has several primitive campsites and a lot of climbing and some cool trails. No water, but it is only about 35 minutes from the Buffalo, and you could swing by it on the way home or there. If we get some rain the area below Hawksbill crag in the Upper Buffalo Wilderness is full of some really cool ones(just follow the streams down and you will find them, though it can be pretty rough). In the Buffalo riverway itself Hemmed in Hollow and Indian Creek offer some amazing waterfall, and if you go to Hemmed in Hollow you can hit up the icon "Goat Trail"!
Hope this gives you some ideas, if you want any further information let me know!
I would try Lake Leatherwood close to Eureka Springs. Some of the best mountain biking trails are around the lake and obviously the lake itself is good for swimming. Plus you'll be in the beautiful Arkansas Ozarks (same for if you decide on the Buffalo river as well).
I'm a big fan of Devil's Den
for the large hiking loop and caves, but not necessarily a large amount of swimming.
Primitive camp sites and you can camp on the trails if you want as well.
If you haven't already been there, the AR State Parks website
is pretty informative
Buffalo river is beautiful as people have suggested. Spring river in hardy, AR is a party trip. The 11pt river 15 miles up just near the MO border is my preferred float trip. This is bc it is mostly reserved or privately owned by Wildlife management. It's named as such bc there are 11 springs that feed it, it's always cold and floatable. There are caves and historical sites you will pass; like the boulders at Mary's crossing, there's stairs (at least 2 sets) that rise out of the water, many old water mills and if you dock your kayak or canoe you can hike to many of the spring entrances.
Well, its summer in May. Ugh! Arkansas in the summer is not my favorite place to be. I am headed to the Yampa (CO-UT). 72 miles of rafting and camping on the Yampa and Green Rivers. Then back home to humid and hot Arkansas.
All suggestions have been good ones. Eleven Point is nice. I go there at least once a year. Generally in the fall. The Current is another good choice when rain is lacking. Largest concentration of first magnitude springs in the world.
Thanks for all the advice! We ended up camping at Haw Creek Falls, swimming in Long Pool, and hiking around Sam's Throne among many other things. I can't wait to come back and visit Arkansas again (hopefully after you guys get some rain).