Experience the perfect Midwest getaway at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

With its 10,000 acres of serenity, Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is a natural paradise that makes for the perfect Midwestern weekend getaway.

The park is nestled in the Ozark Mountains and is a haven full of towering bluffs, waterfalls, creek beds, and wildlife. The nature park is the perfect place to unwind by enjoying miles of hiking and biking trails but also a great place to add some adventure into your weekend with wildlife tours, horseback rides, and trout fishing.

With a dedication to conservation, Dogwood Canyon is also a great educational place to bring the family to learn more about and interact with the Ozark scenery around them.

The park is open almost daily year-round. With so much to do, you’re probably wondering how to fit it all into a weekend. Consider a two-day ticket to make the most of your time in the nature park, and enjoy this weekend itinerary. (Note: Certain experiences are limited to specific days and times and may need to be booked in advance.)

And keep in mind that these are just some of the special and ongoing experiences available at Dogwood Canyon. Visit dogwoodcanyon.org to learn more and to book your experience today.


DAY 1

9:30–11:30 a.m.: Canyon Discovery Tour

What better way to start your trip than with a ride across the grounds to see all that Dogwood Canyon has to offer? Kick off your day with a private educational tour, along with one of the park’s interpreters. During the two- to two-and-a-half-hour tour, guests can make stops and exit the open-air vehicle for short observations to explore what the park has to offer up close.

Details: Offered Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from March–November. Tickets $300.

Noon–1 p.m.: Mill & Canyon Grill Restaurant 

After your adventure, fuel up with a menu of Ozarks flavors at the Mill & Canyon Grill Restaurant while taking in waterfall views. Consider digging into a Dogwood Bison Burger; Dogwood Canyon Chili; Elk Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup to embrace the natural flavors of the area. The restaurant also serves up appetizers, a full kid’s menu, tasty desserts, and adult beverages for those old enough to enjoy.

Details: Restaurant open daily 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Last seating at 3:30 p.m. See menu.

1–3 p.m.: Wildlife Kayak Tour 

Venture off the pavement and into the quiet parts of Dogwood Canyon to explore the habitat where Little Indian Creek and Table Rock Lake meet. The two-hour experience includes a mix of hiking and kayaking to see bald eagle and great blue heron nest sites, as well as other wildlife along the way.

Details: Tour takes place on specific days from either 10 a.m.–noon or 1–3 p.m. Tickets $75.

3:30–4:30 p.m.: Conservation Center & Treehouse

If you have some free time between experiences, stop by the Conservation Center to enjoy interactive activities, artifacts, and live animals. Head to the lower level to visit the General Store, and take a piece of Dogwood Canyon home with you. For more fun, take the swinging bridge to see the Treehouse, crafted by the team from Animal Planet’s hit TV show Treehouse Masters.

Details: Free with park admission. Reservations not needed.


DAY 2

9:30–11:30 a.m.: Guided Bicycle Tour

Set out along Dogwood Creek with one of the park’s educators on a leisurely one-and-a-half- to two-hour tour beginning at the Conservation Center. Enjoy all of the sights and sounds of the park while learning all about the canyon.

Details: Guided bicycle tours are seasonal and available on select days. Tickets $25.

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.: Little Indian Lunch Ride

The Little Indian Lunch Ride is perfect for those looking to keep the fun going all day long, even through meals. Geared toward confident beginners, intermediate, and advanced riders, this journey through the woods lasts two and a half hours and includes a stop for lunch before heading back to the stables. Unlike the one-hour horseback ride, guests can enjoy side-by-side riding and trotting if the group is comfortable.

Details: Meal includes Ozark ham and Swiss cheese, slow roasted turkey with Vermont cheddar, or avocado vegetable sandwich. Tickets $140 per person.

1:30–3:30 p.m.: Wildlife Tram

During your stay, be sure to book a ride on the Wildlife Tram, a favorite for many visitors. Enjoy a two-hour narrated ride in an open-air tram with stops at some of Dogwood Canyon’s most beautiful spots along the way. Plus, tram riders will cross the Arkansas border into the Bison-Elk Country pasture, where they’ll meet some of the largest residents of Dogwood Canyon.

Details: Reservations are highly encouraged. Seasonal pricing $30 for adults, $20 for children.

4–5 p.m.: Self-Guided Fishing

End your two-day excursion with a relaxing hour of self guided trout fishing in Dogwood Canyon’s spring-fed streams. Both catch-and-release or catch-and-keep options are available, with tackle and rental rods available at the store.

Details: No online booking available. Reserve time at the General Store. Tickets $20 per hour for adults and $15 per hour for children.


This post was created by SLM Partner Studio on behalf of Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. To plan your trip, visit dogwoodcanyon.org.

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