Spring is a great time to get outside and explore the outdoors. Thankfully we live in the Natural State where the beautiful outdoors is all around us. There are so many activities for families to do in Jacksonville: ride a bike, walk a trail or explore one of the 12 parks in the area.

One activity you might be overlooking is canoeing. Arkansas has many miles of rivers, streams and bayous. Most of these waterways are perfect for floating and paddling sports are among the fastest growing recreational activities in the United States.

Arkansas has many public paddling trails throughout the state, creating accessible day trips in a variety of settings and for all levels of paddling experience. But did you know that Jacksonville has one of the premier urban canoe trails in Arkansas?

The Bayou Meto Urban Canoe Trail is two miles of shaded waterway that provides canoers and kayakers a view not seen from any other location. It includes large cypress trees, beaver dams and a profusion of wildlife.

Jacksonville Bayou Meto canoe trail

Canoeists looking for gentle waters to explore in central Arkansas now have a flat-water trail on the Bayou Meto. Fishermen will also enjoy this area because there’s an abundant amount of largemouth bass, bluegill and shellcracker panfish, as well as catfish.

A walking trail along the shore of the bayou makes this the perfect place for the family to have a very scenic and peaceful experience.

Bayou Meto is part of the Urban Canoe Trail program, which is a project of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. It was designed to open up paddling access to urban residents who may not have convenient ways to get to Arkansas’ more famous floats. Like any nature trail, it gives the community a chance to connect with the environment.

The trail can be accessed by ramps at Dupree Park and Reed’s Bridge Battlefield Heritage Park in Jacksonville.

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