Located in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of north-central Arkansas, Harrison is a small city with a big heart. While it may not be as well-known as some of its neighboring destinations, Harrison offers a wealth of natural beauty, historical charm, and cultural experiences for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, Harrison has something to offer everyone. In this blog post, we will explore the hidden gems and must-visit attractions that make Harrison a unique and memorable destination.
- Explore the Mystic Caverns:
Begin your adventure in Harrison by visiting the Mystic Caverns, a mesmerizing underground world waiting to be discovered. Embark on a guided tour through the caverns, marveling at the stunning rock formations, sparkling crystals, and ancient fossils. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Crystal Dome, a natural cathedral adorned with delicate formations that glitter in the light.
- Hike the Buffalo National River:
For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, a visit to the Buffalo National River is a must. As America’s first national river, it offers pristine beauty and unparalleled opportunities for hiking, canoeing, fishing, and wildlife spotting. Explore the numerous trails that wind through the surrounding wilderness, including the iconic Hemmed-in-Hollow Falls, the tallest waterfall between the Appalachians and the Rockies.
- Discover the Ozark Arts Council:
Immerse yourself in Harrison’s vibrant arts scene at the Ozark Arts Council. Attend a live performance at the historic Lyric Theater, where you can enjoy a diverse range of music, theater, and dance productions. Be sure to check their calendar for upcoming events, including the annual Ozark Mountain Music Festival, which showcases local and regional talent.
- Step back in time at the Boone County Heritage Museum:
Delve into the rich history of Harrison and the surrounding area at the Boone County Heritage Museum. Housed in a beautifully restored 1911 post office building, the museum features fascinating exhibits that depict the region’s pioneer heritage, Civil War history, and the impact of the railroad. Take a walk through time as you explore artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that bring the past to life.
- Indulge in local flavors at the Farmer’s Market:
For a taste of the local culture and cuisine, visit the Harrison Farmer’s Market. Open seasonally, this vibrant market offers a delightful array of fresh produce, artisanal crafts, and homemade goodies. Engage with local vendors, sample regional delicacies, and take home a piece of Harrison’s culinary heritage.
- Attend the Arkansas Hot Air Balloon Festival:
If you happen to visit Harrison in early summer, don’t miss the annual Arkansas Hot Air Balloon Festival. Watch as the sky fills with vibrant colors and majestic hot air balloons, taking flight over the picturesque Ozark landscape. Enjoy live music, food vendors, and family-friendly activities that make this event a true highlight of the year.
- Unwind at Lake Harrison:
For a serene and relaxing experience, head to Lake Harrison. Whether you want to fish, boat, swim, or simply soak in the peaceful ambiance, the lake offers an idyllic setting. Pack a picnic, bask in the sunshine, or go for a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, taking in the beauty of the surrounding hills.
- Visit the Durand Center:
Discover the artistic side of Harrison at the Durand Center, a contemporary art gallery showcasing the works of local and regional artists. Admire a diverse range of paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces that highlight the creativity and talent of the Ozark community.
- Take a Scenic Drive:
Embark on a scenic drive through the picturesque countryside surrounding Harrison. The region is renowned for its beautiful rolling hills, winding roads, and breathtaking vistas. Don’t miss the stunning fall foliage if you visit during autumn, as the hills burst into a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors.
- Explore the Buffalo National River State Park:
Extend your adventure at the Buffalo National River by visiting the nearby state park. Enjoy camping, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking along the park’s extensive trail system. Take a refreshing dip in the river, go fishing for smallmouth bass, or simply relax and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.
- Attend a Rodeo at the Boone County Fairgrounds:
Experience the excitement and energy of a traditional rodeo at the Boone County Fairgrounds. Watch skilled cowboys and cowgirls showcase their talents in thrilling events such as bull riding, barrel racing, and roping. The rodeo is a true celebration of western culture and a must-see for those seeking a taste of the Wild West.
- Visit Mystic Mountain Adventure Park:
For adrenaline junkies and outdoor enthusiasts, Mystic Mountain Adventure Park offers an array of thrilling activities. Take a ride on their zipline canopy tour, featuring breathtaking views of the surrounding forests. Challenge yourself on their high ropes course or enjoy a scenic chairlift ride to the mountain’s summit.
- Explore Mystic Caverns Wildlife Park:
Adjacent to the Mystic Caverns, the Wildlife Park provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of native animals. Take a leisurely stroll along the park’s trails and observe species such as bison, elk, deer, and peacocks in their natural habitat. It’s a unique experience that nature lovers will cherish.
- Play a Round of Golf:
Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the Harrison Country Club, a picturesque course that offers beautiful fairways and challenging holes. Enjoy a leisurely game surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Ozarks, and take advantage of the club’s amenities, including a pro shop and a clubhouse restaurant.
- Attend a Local Festival:
Harrison hosts several festivals throughout the year, each showcasing different aspects of the community’s culture and heritage. From the Crawdad Days Festival, celebrating the region’s crawfish tradition, to the Ozark Arts & Crafts Show, featuring local artisans, there’s always something exciting happening in Harrison. Check the event calendar and plan your visit accordingly to partake in these vibrant celebrations.
Harrison, Arkansas, may be a hidden gem, but it’s one that deserves to be discovered. From the enchanting underground wonders of Mystic Caverns to the natural splendor of the Buffalo National River, this small city offers a diverse range of experiences that will captivate any visitor. Immerse yourself in the history, art, and natural beauty of Harrison, and you’ll leave with memories that will last a lifetime. So, plan your trip, explore the hidden gems, and create your own unique adventure in Harrison, Arkansas.