Outside University: 21. University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Aug 14, 2012
Outside Magazine
AAREC (Fayetteville) ENTO environment insects students

University of Arkansas.   

Fayetteville’s pretty outdoorsy, drawing people from all over the South to its trails and greenways—and its 218 yearly days of sun. It’s got an office of sustainability (a growing trend for smaller cities), so things should stay fairly verdant around here. Among its past residents are Bill and Hillary—check out the Clinton House, where the power couple got hitched in 1975, and where they lived while they taught at U.A.’s law school.

Even though the university’s rec department doesn’t give a ton of adventure classes, it does offer a huge variety of affordable rentals and plenty of minimally priced trips too: The kayaking excursions for women are among the most popular (and sometimes include yoga) but the ice-climbing trips to Iowa and ski trips to Colorado also get lots of love. A free bike-fix clinic is a boon for cyclists.

An abundance of classes get students out of the lecture hall, including one from the crop-management program called “Weed Identification, Morphology, and Ecology.”

Extracurricularly, there’s a leadership program that trains students to be able to head up outings, two extensive fitness centers stocked with a bouldering and a rock wall, and a crazy-active 4-H club, whose goal is to take kids “out of the classroom and into the outdoors.”

U.A. also puts on a conference called “Arkansas Adventure Programming” to connect students who are outdoor-ed enthusiasts with like-minded folk. It’s held at a dude ranch called Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, where more than 300 bolted climbing routes await.

Other nearby attractions for outdoorsy types include Hobbes State Park, Beaver Lake (500 miles of shoreline), and, of course, the Ozarks and all they offer.

For alumni with money to spend, there are occasional travel-with-your-fellow-Razorbacks opportunities. The most recent one was a $4,000 cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage.

CONTACT: (479) 575-2000, uark.edu
STUDENT BODY: 17,247 undergraduates, 4,158 graduates
TUITION: residents $7,174, nonresidents $17,606, room and board $8,330