Things to Do Outdoors Near Mena, Arkansas
Bethesda Lake, Springs, & Waterfall
Located on Stonehill Cottages property, Bethesda Lake is a spring-fed mountain lake that was constructed in 1927. It is a local treasure and is available exclusively for the guests of Stonehill Cottages. The lake offers excellent fishing for bass, bream and catfish, as well as crappie!
Zipline - The Blue Zipline & Farm
Enjoy ziplining at The Blue Zipline & Farm, A fantastic addition to Mena and located just five miles from our cottages.
Enjoy time around the fire pits at each cabin. Firewood is provided.
Hiking & Mountain Biking
Hiking and mountain biking are both very popular outdoor activities in our area. If you are into hiking, you won’t find a better place to visit than Stonehill Cottages! This area is loaded with countless hiking trails too numerous to mention in this section of our website. There are varying degrees of length and difficulty of trail surely to suit every skill level of hiker – from a young child to the most advanced of hikers.
- Orchard Trail This trail is kid friendly and is not strenuous. It is near the cottage location.
- Earthquake Ridge Trail This trail is moderately strenuous. It is near the cottage location.
- River Corridor Trail This trail is very scenic and overlooks the spectacular Cossatot River.
- Ouachita National Recreational Trail This trail is over 200 miles long and is very popular among serious hikers.
There are many more local hiking trails that can easily be found with a web search. There are far too many local trails to list on this page.
Talimena Scenic Drive
The eastern end of the Talimena Scenic Drive is located in nearby Mena and is about 10 minutes from Bethesda Lake. The Talimena Scenic Drive is a 54 mile long scenic drive that travels along the crest of Rich Mountain. The scenic drive begins in Mena, Arkansas and ends in Talihina, Oklahoma. It has countless overlook vistas that are absolutely breathtaking. The Talimena Scenic Drive attracts thousands of visitors annually and is one of our area’s flagship things to do while you’re here.
Wolf Pen Gap ATV Trail System
The Wolf Pen Gap ATV Trail System is just down the road from Bethesda Lake. The west trail head is a little over 5 miles away. You can trailer your ATVs to the trail heads, or legally ride your ATVs to any of the trail heads via backroad or highway. More information on that here. The trail system is made up of 39 miles of ATV trails with varying length and difficulty. The trail system is open from the second Friday in March every year until October 31. It is also open for two additional holiday periods. The first holiday period begins three days prior to Thanksgiving and ends two days after Thanksgiving. The second holiday season begins December 25th and ends January 2nd.
In addition to the trail system, there are miles and miles of scenic Forest Service roads that can be ridden year round that are immediately accessible from Bethesda Lake. The Wolf Pen Gap trail system can be accessed by riding Forest Service roads from the cabins to the Shady community and entering on the south trail head. Feel free to email or text us for answers to any questions you may have on the topic of accessing the trail system from the cabins. There are ATV daily rental facilities in nearby Mena as well.
- The Ouachita River originates in Polk County Arkansas. There are many fishing and swimming spots on the Ouachita River. There is a public access fishing and swimming hole located about 20 minutes from the Bethesda Lake Cabins that is called “McGuire Access” and is easily found on a Google search. For canoeing on the Ouachita River about 35 minutes from the cabins go to Two Spirits Ltd. Canoe Adventures
- The Cossatot River is the home of the Cossator River State Park and is an extraordinary beauty of a river that is well worth your time to visit. It is about 30 minutes from the cabins. It is also the home of the River Corridor Trail (mentioned above). There are many swimming areas on the Cossatot River, but the one most easily found for visitors new to the area is at the Cossator River State Park.
Little Missouri River
- The Little Missouri River originates about 15 minutes from the cottages and blossoms into one of the most beautiful local recreational areas our area has to offer, the Albert Pike Recreational Area.The Albert Pike Recreational Area is a superb swimming and fishing hole area. It is also the area’s only trout fishing river. Trout fishing season is in full swing from December until Memorial Day each year. The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission stocks trout each season.
- The Caddo River is about a 35-40 minute trip from the cottage location and is recommended for canoeing. Canoe rental and shuttle available at Arrowhead Cabin & Canoe.
- Located on Bethesda Lake Cabins and Resort property, Bethesda Lake is a spring fed mountain lake that was constructed in 1927. It is a local treasure and is available exclusively for the guest of Stonehill Cottages. The lake offers excellent fishing for bass, bream and catfish as well as crappie.
- Lake Wilhelmina is a 200 acre lake located about 15 minutes from Stonehill Cottages and is wildly popular for blue gill, redear and catfish. There are also places in Lake Wilhelmina that are popular for swimming.
Irons Fork Reservoir
- Irons Fork Reservoir is located about 15-20 minutes from the Stonehill Cottages and is a very popular local fishing hot spot for bass, crappie, redear and catfish.
- Gillham Lake is a 1,370 acre lake that is located about 30 minutes from Stonehill Cottages. It is very popular for fishing and swimming. There is a sand swim beach located there.
Shady Lake Recreational Area
- Shade Lake is a 25 acre lake located in a remote mountainous area about 20 miles from Stonehill Cottages. “Shade Lake Trail” is an easy hike is also located there. Fishing is a very popular activity at Shady Lake as is picnicking and just generally connecting with nature.
Designated Local Recreational Areas
Little Missouri Falls Recreational Area
- Little Missouri Falls Recreational Area has a spectacular mountain waterfall and is a true sight to behold. There is a designated picnic area and trails that route you to the waterfall.
Albert Pike Recreational Area
- The Albert Pike Recreational Area is ideal for picnicking (picnic tables and toilet present), fishing, swimming and sightseeing. There is also a hiking trail on site.
Caney Creek Recreational Area
- The Caney Creek Recreational Area is a huge draw for the most avid of hikers as it contains a trail rated “most difficult” by hiking trail standards.
Nearby State Parks
Queen Wilhelmina State Park
- Queen Wilhelmina State Park is located about 15 miles from the cottages and is home to many fun activities including a restaurant, hiking trails and the Mountain Glory Station. The Mountain Glory Station is a miniature train enjoyed by kids and adults alike. There is also miniature golf and a snack bar at the Mountain Glory train station.
Cossatot River State Park
- See above link under “Local Rivers.”
Crater Of Diamonds State Park
- Crater Of Diamonds State Park is an hour and thirty minute long “day trip” from the cottages but is well worth the trip for an opportunity to dig for diamonds that you actually get to keep. This state park is a volcanic crater and is the location of an actual diamond mine. The state park day pass allows you to actually dig in the 37 acres of plowed dirt fields for diamonds. If you find a diamond, you get to keep it!
Other Outdoor Activities
- Hunting is a very popular activity in the county where Stonehill Cottages resides. Whitetail deer, bear, turkey, squirrel and other types of game animals are all commonly hunted in the local area. The Mena and Polk County area are home to thousands of acres of publicly accessible U.S. National Forest land where hunting is allowed with a local hunting license. The Stonehill Cottage property borders thousands of acres of easily accessible U.S. National Forest property that is legal for hunting of all types of game animals (limited to designated seasons that can be found at the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission website.
- There are shooting ranges located in the general Polk County area.
- There is one golf course located in nearby Mena. It is called The Ouachita Country Club and is located on Highway 88 East in Mena. It is a 15 minute drive from the cottages. If you’re willing to drive 45 minutes for a great round of golf on a fabulous course, you should try Glenwood Country Club golf course. That course is revered by many and is played by avid golfers from all over.