12 Parks in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Fayetteville, Arkansas is a vibrant city nestled in the Ozark Mountains that offers residents and visitors alike plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.

With over 50 parks located throughout the city, there are scenic parks with trails for hiking and biking, community parks great for sports and recreation, botanical gardens that showcase beautiful floral displays, and more. The city’s moderate climate means its parks can be enjoyed year-round.

In this article, we will highlight 12 of the best parks in Fayetteville and all the amenities and attractions they have to offer. From Lake Fayetteville Park with its water recreation to Kessler Mountain Regional Park with its hiking and biking trails, these Fayetteville parks provide the perfect spots for outdoor fun, relaxation, and exploration.

Wilson Park


Covering over 100 acres in central Fayetteville, Wilson Park is one of the oldest and most popular parks in the city. It contains a variety of amenities and facilities including:

Playgrounds and Splash Pad
Wilson Park has colorful playground equipment for younger kids as well as a splash pad to keep cool on hot summer days. The splash pad has ground sprays, dumping buckets, and shoots of water of various heights perfect for children to run and play in.

Disc Golf
The park features an 18-hole disc golf course that takes players through the rolling hills and tree-lined fairways. The course incorporates the park’s fields, trees, and creeks into the layout to create challenging holes requiring accurate throws. It’s a beautiful spot to take in nature while enjoying a round.

Baseball Fields
With 5 baseball and softball fields, Wilson Park is a hub for local youth baseball and softball leagues and hosts tournaments bringing in teams from other regions. The complex has covered dugouts, batting cages, and seating for spectators.

Tennis Courts
Wilson Park contains 6 lighted tennis courts open to the public. The plexipave surface and lighting allows for play into the evening. It’s an ideal spot for tennis matches and practice.

Creeks and Walking Trails
Peaceful Plenty Creek runs along the western edge of Wilson Park. Visitors can walk along the creek and crossing footbridges on the trails that wind through the mature trees along the creek bank. It provides shaded spots to sit and glimpse wildlife or read a book.

Theo Witsell Tennis Center
Adjacent to Wilson Park, the Theo Witsell Tennis Center is one of Arkansas’ premier public tennis facilities. The complex contains 8 lighted tennis courts with a central pavilion. Four of the courts are covered for more comfortable play during sunny or rainy conditions. The center offers affordable court time, lessons, leagues and hosts local and regional tournaments for youth and adults.

Walker Park


Walker Park spans over 140 acres in South Fayetteville, making it the second largest park in the city. It contains a diverse range of amenities:

Skate Park
Constructed of concrete with various bowls, ramps, and rails, Walker Park’s skate park challenges skaters with different skill elements. Skaters can session the street course or launch into the bowls. The park doesn’t require pads or safety gear, but does mandate that skaters wear helmets.

Mountain Biking Trails
The park contains over 5 miles of mountain biking trails that wind through the wooded hillsides and valleys in the park. The trails have differing levels of difficulty, from the novice Hummingbird Trail to the expert Gravity Trail that navigates rocky terrain and fast downhills. The trail system challenges riders with quick turns and multiple obstacle features along the way.

Disc Golf Course
Walker Park contains an 18-hole disc golf course taking players through the wooded sections and open field areas of the park. With challenging shots incorporating elevation changes and tricky pin placements, it tests players’ throwing accuracy and controlled finesse shots.

Dog Park
The off-leash dog park at Walker Park gives dogs a safe fenced-in area to play and socialize. It provides spaces for large and small dogs along with waste stations and water fountains. Owners can exercise their pets while supervising them interact with new furry friends.

Gulley Park


Gulley Park occupies over 60 acres in downtown Fayetteville near the historic square and University of Arkansas campus. Along with open green space, it contains:

Botanical Garden
Strolling through the botanical garden, visitors admire vibrant floral displays and landscaped gardens showcasing native plants. Winding crushed gravel paths meander through garden rooms containing herbs, butterfly plants, succulents, a pine tree collection, and more. The botanical garden also incorporates art pieces and water features.

Playground
The playground at Gulley Park has standard playground equipment along with unique installations. Kids can climb the net tower, explore the music garden, or go down slides implanted in the hillside then cross rope bridges linking the structures. Parents can supervise children from benches scattered throughout the playground.

Walking Trails
Pea Ridge Creek runs along one side of Gulley Park, and a trail follows it banks shaded by oak and hickory trees. Other trails twist through the open fields and wooded sections of the park. Visitors walk the peaceful trails to glimpse wildlife, jog for exercise or walk dogs on leashes.

Kessler Mountain Regional Park


Covering over 1,100 acres in south Fayetteville, Kessler Mountain Regional Park contains an expansive network of multi-use trails for hiking, trail running and mountain biking winding through rugged terrain. Points of interest in the park include:

Vista Overlooks
The park’s trails lead to vista points atop the rugged ridges and peaks within the park that reward visitors with panoramic views. Hikers and bikers can take in views of Fayetteville nestled in the valley below along with ridges fading into the distance. Iconic McIlroy farms dots the landscape as well.

Mountain Biking Trails
With over 15 miles of natural surface trails, the park’s mountain biking trail network features winding single-track along the ridges and valleys traversing rocky, technical terrain. The trails have different levels of difficulty marked with colors.

Trail System
Kessler Mountain contains an extensive 40-mile trail system catering to hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers. The wide double track Finger Trail forms a 3.6 mile loop around the perimeter of the park while other trails shoot off exploring the park’s interior. Trail junctions have maps and wayfinding signage to orient users.

Lake Fayetteville Park


Lake Fayetteville Park is located in west Fayetteville abutting the shoreline of Lake Fayetteville, a reservoir supplying the region with drinking water. In addition to watersports, the 640-acre park contains ample amenities:

Water Recreation
The park offers visitors prime access for water-based activities on Lake Fayetteville. Guests can swim along a designated beach, go boating, kayaking or canoeing on the lake’s calm open water, or try their hand at fishing for bass, catfish or crappie.

Playground and Spray Park


Families with smaller children can enjoy the playground and spray park located near the swimming area. The playground has standard equipment along with unique installations. The adjacent spray park lets kids frolic in fountains shooting arcs and sprays of water interspersed with bells dumping flowing curtain walls of water.

Paved Trail
A 4-mile paved trail loops around Lake Fayetteville going through Lake Fayetteville park along the water as well as wooded stretches and across the dam. Since its a paved multi-use trail, visitors can walk, jog, bike or skate. Interpretive panels explain the reservoir’s construction and purpose.

Mountain Biking Trails
Lake Fayetteville Park contains around 15 miles of natural surface mountain biking trails that shoot off from the main paved trail to explore the park’s interior wooded terrain. The trails cater to different riding abilities with green circle trails being easier and blue square and black diamond trails offering more technical trail features for advanced riders.

Yvonne Richardson Community Park


Yvonne Richardson Community Park is a 58-acre park in west Fayetteville distinguished by its sports facilities and amenities making it an active gathering place for the community. Highlights of the park include:

Sports Fields and Courts
The park contains lighted fields and courts for playing baseball, softball, soccer, tennis and basketball along with an off-leash dog park. With affordable field and court reservations, it’s ideal for games and practices for community leagues along with independent play.

Playground and Splash Pad
Kids can expend energy on the playground and cool off at the splash pad. The playground has standard equipment and unique installations like a roller slide, upright spinner and double bay swings. The colorful splash pad features ground sprays, dumping buckets and water curtain walls for summer fun.

Walking Trail
The park contains a .6 mile walking trail encircling a pond and winding through grassy areas and wooded stretches. Since its paved, visitors can walk, jog or bike on the flat trail through serene natural settings just beyond the park’s active sports facilities.

Clark Park


Located along Clear Creek in east Fayetteville, the scenic 10-acre Clark Park straddles the creek containing walking trails, a playground and an off-leash dog area. Visitors enjoy:

Waterfront Access
The park provides creek-side access for wading, wildlife watching or just sitting along the banks of Clear Creek listening to the flowing water. Kids can splash in shallow areas while supervised. Open grass areas work well for picnics.

Looping Trail
A crushed gravel walking trail forms a loop in Clark Park completely encircling Clear Creek as it flows through the park. Visitors can take in views and sounds of the creek during an easy nature walk seeing what waterfowl and wildlife are active that day.

Dog Park
The off-leash dog area near the creek lets pet owners exercise active dogs while supervising them interact with new furry friends. The fenced-in area has waste stations along with creek access for dogs to swim and cool off.

East Side Community Park


Spanning just over 16 acres, East Side Community Park packs numerous amenities into a compact space:

Inclusive Playground
The playground has equipment for visitors of all abilities to enjoy including ramped play structures, specialized swings and a merry-go-all roundabout. With rubber surfacing, it enables children restricted to wheelchairs to access and play on equipment.

Splash Pad
Kids can revel in the splash pad’s dumping buckets, ground sprays and water curtain walls during hot weather. It’s vibrant colors and variety of water features make it an engaging space for children to expend energy and beat afternoon heat.

Basketball Courts
The full court offers players adjustable hoops to accommodate different ages and abilities for games of 21, horse or just casual shooting around. Since its surfaced with Sport Court material, the court stands up well to heavy use.

Walking Trail
A .3 mile paved loop trail encircles the perimeter of the park allowing people to walk laps through open grass fields and patches of shade trees for exercise with nice scenery. Since its paved, visitors can use it for walking, jogging or biking.

Bikes and Bites Pump Track
Located next to East Side Community Park, the Bikes and Bites Pump Track caters to a wide age range and ability levels with looped dirt mounds and banked paved turns around a landscaped plaza. Kids on balance bikes, teens on BMX bikes and adults on mountain bikes can all session the various lines and features honing bike handling skills and enjoying friendly competition. Riders can refuel at an adjacent food truck court.

Randall Wobbe Park


Sitting along Clear Creek in west Fayetteville, Randall Wobbe Park offers visitors creekside nature trails, sports fields and fun playground equipment delivered with an educational twist. Highlights include:

Nature Trail
Wobbe Park contains a one-mile loop nature trail that closely follows Clear Creek on a crushed gravel surface. Interpretive panels explain the native trees, wildflowers and wildlife visitors might spot. Benches allow resting in shaded spots along the creek.

STEM Playground
The playground incorporates elements teaching about science, technology, engineering and math into equipment like arched monkey bars configured like molecular models, a geometrical climber and pendulum swings. Kids burn energy while absorbing STEM concepts.

Sports Fields
With two baseball/softball fields and a multi-use field, Wobbe Park supports community youth sports leagues and teams along with pick-up soccer or football games and batting practice. Supporting infrastructure like bleachers, dugouts and perimeter fencing boost functionality.

Graves Park


Located along scenic Clear Creek on Fayetteville’s west side, Graves Park contains walking trails, sports fields and a skate spot catering to bikes, skateboards or scooters adjacent to the creek. Highlights include:

Pump Track and Skills Course
The asphalt pump track wrapped around a grass field challenges riders with rollers, banked turns and small jump features to maintain speed and flow. Nearby the skills course has obstacles like ramps, grinding rails, boxes and jumps of varying difficulty to session.

Baseball Field
The park contains one baseball field supporting community youth leagues using the field for games and practices under the lights for night play. Dugouts and bleachers allow teams and fans to settle in for the competition.

Crushed Limestone Trail
The walking trail follows Clear Creek through Graves Park on an accessibility-friendly crushed limestone surface. Visitors can observe waterfowl, glimpse fish visible in the clear water or identify wildflowers and trees benefiting from the creek. Interpretive panels describe park ecology.

Wildwood Park


Covering 250 acres in east Fayetteville, Wildwood Park protects one of the largest remaining tracts of prairie habitat in northwest Arkansas. The park offers visitors rolling grassland vistas and forested ridges to explore via an expanding trail network. Highlights include:

Prairie Restoration
Ongoing efforts help restore native tallgrass prairie across the park’s grassland expanses through seasonal mowing and burning and planting native wildflower and grass species like big bluestem and Indian grass. Wildflowers like blazing star and prairie clover add splashes of color.

Mountain Biking Trails
Around 6.5 miles of natural surface mountain biking trails explore Wildwood Park’s ridges and valleys delivering scenic backdrops for riding. The trails have jump features, skinny bridges across ravines and technical rock gardens presenting challenges for advancing riding skills. Difficulty is denoted by trail color coding.

Hiking/Biking Trail System
Wildwood contains over 8 miles of wide accessible shared-use trails perfect for hiking, trail running, birding or leashed dog walking with routes ranging from 1 to 3 miles in length. Since they use geotextile fabric underlayment, the trails hold up to weather and activity well.

Frisbee Golf Course
The 18 hole disc golf course takes advantage of Wildwood’s meadows, rugged terrain and wooded areas for hole variety requiring accuracy, finesse and power. Concrete tee pads and signage with hole maps and distances guide players through the course spanning over hills and down ravines.

Conclusion


With over twelve distinctive parks profiled ranging from community parks facilitating sports and recreation to botanical gardens and nature preserves safeguarding vital habitat, Fayetteville clearly delivers abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation, exercise and connecting with nature.

The parks contain trails to hike, bike or walk, playgrounds for children to expend energy, fields and courts to play sports, along with areas to simply relax and unwind surrounded by beautiful scenery. With moderate weather allowing for year-round enjoyment, it’s easy to see why Fayetteville parks are popular gathering places bringing residents and visitors alike together.

Leave a Comment