Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Fairfield Bay, AR

  • Published 2023/03/18

If you want to experience the Arkansas outdoors, go to Fairfield Bay.

Fairfield Bay lies in the Cleburne and Van Buren counties on the north shore of Greers Ferry Lake.

It received the City of Distinction award, recognized for the quality of life and ecological initiatives it continues to uphold.

The city’s stunning mountain scenery, scenic lake, and surrounding woodlands present a great outdoor adventure.

The city is one unique recreation destination offering golf courses, hiking trails, sports facilities, and leisure locations for the whole family.

Featuring a mild climate all year, you’ll enjoy an affordable Fairfield Bay adventure compared to other destinations.

Here are the best things to do in Fairfield Bay, AR:

Discover Ancient Landmarks at the Indian Rock Cave Trail

A rock formation at Indian Rock Cave Trail

Brandonrush, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Indian Rock Cave Trail is a moderate trail hike that runs three-quarters of a mile from the Old Log Cabin.

You’ll travel the path leading to the Indian Rock House, where you can find petroglyphs at the state’s largest bluff shelter.

A wooden boardwalk at Indian Rock Cave Trail

Brandonrush, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The trail continues along the Indian Hills Golf Course on one side and passes through scenic mounds and remarkable rock formations.

Visit the Edgemont Shelter, a landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This cave was where Native American tribes met, dating back to 1,000 BC.

Book Tee Times at Mountain Ranch Golf Club

Mountain Ranch Golf Club hosts a fantastic tee time with a view of the Ozark Mountain landscape.

This 18-hole resort golf course spans over 6,000 yards with designs from famous architect Edmund Ault.

The championship course is carved and covered with lush green to provide an enjoyable round of golf.

Do you want to improve your golf swings?

Practice your swing at the chipping and putting areas, or sign up for golf lessons.

If you’re looking for some quality golf equipment and merchandise, stop by the Pro Shop.

Enjoy a savory meal at the Bar & Grill after your tee games and unwind with your choice of drinks.

Go Camping at Fairfield Bay Campground

Enjoy a night by the campfire with your family at the Fairfield Bay Campground.

The grounds feature 33 campsites with electricity, water, fire rings, a dump station, and parking areas with picnic tables, pavilions, and a fantastic lake view.

They also have 16 sites with electricity and tent camping sites, and a bathhouse for campers.

Loosen up at camp, enjoy a swim, fish at the lake, or take a dinner cruise around the Sugarloaf Mountain area.

You can also rent pontoon boats, wakeboards, tubes, jet skis, and other water sports equipment.

Don’t forget to grab some souvenirs from the Marina Store.

Read the Classics at Fairfield Bay Library

The Fairfield Bay Library offers more than collections of books.

You’ll find a lot of book selections and printed collections that might interest you.

Likewise, check the section about Arkansas.

See the artworks of local artists at the North Central Arkansas Foundation for Arts & Education (NCAFAE) gallery.

You can also use the computers and access the WiFi inside the library for free.

Library patrons can browse over 1,400 DVD movies of various genres suited for any age.

The library also hosts a book sale area where you can purchase books of your liking.

Take a Ride at Fairfield Bay’s UTV and ATV Trails

Get ready to drive a UTV and experience a different adrenaline rush.

Fairfield Bay has over 90 miles of trail with stunning sceneries perfect for ATV rides with the whole family.

You’ll go past several stream beds, woodlands, and rocky areas with varying levels from easy to advanced.

Excellent and easy-to-detect signages and maps will get you around Fairfield Bay.

Challenging trails take you from East Cliff Drive and Net Lane, passing through the breathtaking Fairfield Bay hills near Greers Ferry Lake.

Another route winds through the badlands of Mountain Ranch.

The moderate trail leads you through the woods of Northwood Hills with mud, water, and stream obstacles.

The easy trail lets you enjoy the splendid scenery through the woods near Lynn Creek.

Prepare Your Bait at the Fairfield Bay Marina

The waters of Fairfield Bay Marina

Brandonrush, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Are you heading out to fish at Greers Ferry Lake?

Then the Fairfield Bay Marina is the best stop for your fishing supply needs.

Buy bait like night crawlers, crappie minnows, and bass minnows.

You can rent ski boats, pontoons, jet skis, kayaks, or SUPs for your water activities.

Launch your boat from the Marina and catch crappie, large and smallmouth bass, walleye, and hybrids at Greer Ferry Lake.

You can also take the Sugar Loaf Shuttle if you’re planning to hike Sugar Loaf Mountain Island.

Relax at the dock, enjoy the view of the boats at the marina, or feed the fish.

You can buy souvenirs, clothing, and snacks at the shop.

Enjoy Outdoor Sports at Woodland Mead Park

Hosting many outdoor activities for all family members, the vast Woodland Mead Park offers both nature and sports recreation.

The park is home to two 18-hole miniature golf courses, one of which is certified by the Harris Cup.

Play disc golf at the nine par-3 holes course that winds through the woods, crosses a hiking trail and ends at the park’s edge.

Take a fantastic nature hike at the Lost Creek Trail and Woodland Mead Park Trail.

Drop by the Indian Thong Tree, a historic spot used by the Native Americans to mark significant areas.

Children can run about and climb in the play areas.

Other facilities include basketball and shuffleboard courts, sand volleyball, horseshoe pit, picnic areas with grills, lighted pavilions, a stone amphitheater, a snack bar, fans, and WiFi access.

Take a Hiking Adventure at Sugar Loaf Mountain Trail and Island

If you want a different hiking experience in Fairfield Bay, climb Sugar Loaf Mountain.

It’s the only mountain island trail with two island trails in Arkansas.

One of them is the challenging Mule Trail, while the Terrace Trail is the moderate one.

It also became one of the first National Scenic Trails in the country.

The trail leads to the peak of Sugar Loaf Mountain island, located in the middle of Greers Ferry Lake, and stands 1,000 feet.

You’ll see an incredible panoramic view at the top.

See unique Arkansas flora and fauna, natural stone formations, and places carved out by nature.

Sweat it Out at the Hart Center

Since 2000, the Hart Center has become the leading fitness center in the city.

Its warm and friendly staff will help you with your fitness needs.

Though they offer a membership, first-time guests can try their classes or grab a free day pass.

The 23,000-square-foot fitness facility has an indoor swimming pool designed with two laps, a hot tub and dry sauna, and basketball and pickleball courts.

For weights and cardio routines, you can use the Cybex weight machines, cardio equipment, free weights, and indoor track.

You can also choose from classes like aerobics and therapeutic courses, toning, and yoga.

Otherwise, pamper yourself at All You Knead Massage.

Stroll the Calming Gardens at Ed Leamon Park

The relaxing Ed Leamon Park landscape will surely make you feel tranquil amid nature.

The Van Buren County Master Gardeners created the award-winning arboretums, offering garden tours and hosting the annual Bloomin’ in the Bay festival during May.

Explore the plant varieties and marvel at the rose gardens as you stroll the walking paths.

Enjoy the ambiance of lush greens and water features or watch the butterflies in their planned garden.

You can also go bird watching, spot some wildlife, and have photo opportunities.

Check Out the Art at the North Central Arkansas Art Gallery

The North Central Arkansas Foundation for the Arts & Education established the North Central Arkansas Art Gallery.

Check out the works in watercolor, oil, acrylic, mixed media, art photography, sculpture, glass, and pottery pieces.

See the artworks from local and national artists year-round at the Fairfield Bay Conference and Visitor Center.

Besides permanent and rotating exhibits, you can also catch the gallery’s musical performances from renowned artists and local talents.

Visit the Art Gallery free of charge from Monday through Friday.

Purchase any of the pieces on display.

Spend the Day by the Pool at the Bayview Pool Club

Beat the heat with your family at the Bayview Pool Club, overlooking the beautiful Greers Ferry Lake.

Enjoy the outdoor pools with flagstone decks, waterfalls, a spray pool for kids, and moving water elements.

You can also enjoy picnic areas, outdoor tennis tables, a playground, and free access to WiFi.

Grab some cold beverages and tasty food at Cool Pool Sports Grill.

If you’re visiting during the summer, you can catch a Dive In Movie for a unique experience.

Roll a Strike at Fairfield Bay Lanes

Play bowling with your family at Fairfield Bay Lanes.

Join the fun on Fridays with Red Pin Day, where you win a free game when you get a strike on a red headpin.

Seniors can also enjoy themselves here every Wednesday for Senior Days.

Aside from the six lanes, this recreation spot has arcade games and pool tables.

Enjoy an all-American dinner at the Fairfield Lanes Café and get delicious burgers, pizza, hotdogs, chicken tenders, nachos, and more.

Play Tennis and Pickleball at Fairfield Bay Recreation Center

Enjoy hours of tennis games and pickleball at the Fairfield Bay Recreation Center.

The facility has eight USTA-certified courts and is open 24/7.

Maximize your playing hours; six of these courts are available for nighttime matches.

You can rent tennis racquets and balls or book a lesson with a pro to improve your game.

Join other tennis players for a Mix-n-Match Doubles every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

If you’re in for some pickleball, two outdoor courts are available at this recreation center.

Accommodating staff will assist you if you want to schedule playing hours, rent paddles, learn how to play the game, or catch pickleball tournaments.

Other features are the open picnic areas with tables and grills, a playground for the little ones, and shady spots for relaxation.

If you’re hungry, grab cold refreshments and good food at the Cool Pool Sports Grill adjacent to the center.

Bring a Picnic at Van Buren Recreation Area

Picnicking at Van Buren Recreation Area makes a great and memorable day for traveling families.

The park features many activities to do, perfect for the whole family traveling to Fairfield Bay to explore the great outdoors.

You can use the picnic tables around the marina to enjoy a delicious lunch or snacks by the water.

Also, there’s a designated swimming area, which is clearly marked with night light boundaries.

Enjoy the whole day of spending time at the park away from the noise of the big city!

Van Buren Recreation Area is located at Highway 330 South.

Grab a Hearty Breakfast at Beach 2 Bay Cafe

Serving delicious and homemade breakfast made with fresh ingredients, Beach 2 Bay Cafe is a perfect place to grab your breakfast early in the morning.

Don’t miss out on its homemade quiches, waffles, breakfast sandwiches, bagels, croissants, and many other breakfast specials.

And of course, to get your day started, the coffee here is excellent too, including its lattes, cappuccinos, iced coffees, as well as fresh fruit smoothies.

Lunch is also available at Beach 2 Bay Cafe.

It’s located at Villiage Place Mall.

Get a Relaxing Massage at Spa Serenity

After a long day touring around Fairfield Bay, you can relax and take solitude in the comfortable and warm corners of Spa Serenity.

The spa offers therapeutic massage services, including Swedish, Reflexology, Deep Tissue, and Back, Neck, & Shoulder Massage.

You can take advantage of any of these services for up to two hours of relaxation and comfort.

The spa also has a Couples Massage for couples who want to do it side by side.

Packages are also available with nail services and waxing, as well as lunch and beverages.

You can find Spa Serenity at Lost Creek Parkway.

Hang Out at Dock of the Bay

Mouthwatering American comfort food and many drink specials are served by Dock of the Bay, which you can enjoy for dinner or late lunch.

It’s popular for its delicious thin-crust pizza, wings, burgers, pasta, and salads, alongside its specialty drinks like cocktails.

There are several screen displays at the bar, where you can watch your favorite sports while enjoying a drink with your family and friends.

There’s also live music to listen to, which adds to the bar’s friendly and upbeat vibe.

Dock of the Bay is located off Dave Creek Parkway.

Browse the Liquors at Beaver Road Liquors

If you’re a liquor buff, a wide selection of liquors, beer, and wine are available at Beaver Road Liquors.

The store is perfect for those who make a collection of liquors themselves, especially since it has a nice selection of glass decanters and other liquor stuff.

Look out for free samples on Saturdays for a great tasting starting at noon time.

Also, you can check out its Wine and Whiskey Wednesdays with a 20% discount on all wines and 10% off on whiskeys.

Don’t get drunk though!

You can visit Beaver Road Liquors at Beaver Road.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Check Out Arts and Music at Ozark Folk Center State Park

A building at Ozark Folk Center State Park

Brandonrush, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Watch more than 20 artisans create handmade craft items.

These items include leather goods, wood carvings, copper jewelry, baskets, stained glass works, ironworks, pottery, and more.

Listen to talented local musicians play Ozark Mountain music at the Blacksmith Stage, entertaining you with fiddles, guitar, mandolins, banjo autoharp, and the dulcimer.

You might also catch a featured concert or event at the Ozark Highlands Theater.

Join scheduled music and dance workshops open to all skill levels.

Drop by the Heritage Herb Garden, cultivating native greens and medicinal and edible herbs.

If you visit during May or October, you can also join workshops and culinary and medicinal herbs programs.

Stay at the Cabins at Dry Creek and eat at the Skillet Restaurant.

Otherwise, try the Loco Ropes course and zip line at this park.

Final Thoughts

Adventurous travelers will surely enjoy a city with many nature and outdoor locations.

If you want a family vacation full of fun things to do, Fairfield Bay is a great place.

Book your Fairfield Bay trip today!

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