Prairie Creek on Beaver Lake
Prairie Creek near Bentonville and Rogers, Arkansas, was our Labor Day weekend destination. Due to a gps programming error, we headed to a different campground at the opposite end of the state, thus delaying our arrival until about 2:30am. Fortunately, the weekend improved.
Beaver Lake is an Army Corp of Engineers lake and Prairie Creek is also managed by the Army Corp and as such, the sites are large and grounds well-maintained. There are 112 sites laid out in small loops each with a bathhouse. This is in the Ozarks, so there is a lot of slope to the grounds. There is a swimming area in the campground and a few playgrounds. There is also a boat launch, marina, and a restaurant. We did not spend a lot of time at the lake, but it is a popular boating location.
Bentonville and Rogers are biking destinations. We always debate if we prefer sticking to the paved trails or testing our ability on single track. This area is great as it offers both! Over two days of riding, we rode about twenty miles on the Razorback Regional Greenway Trail, Bentonville Bike Park, and Crystal Bridges Trail. On day one, we started at the bike park and rode toward Bentonville. On day two, we started at Horsebarn Park and rode toward Bentonville. These trails are paved, but mountain biking trails and two agility parks cross the trails offering those challenges.
This was our second visit to this region and we decided Crystal Bridges Art Museum deserved a return visit. We walked the modern and contemporary galleries, along with the grounds. For a first visit, this museum can easily fill a full day. Near the museum is the Amazeum, an ASTC-partner children’s museum. We suspected the kids would have aged out of this, but they played for several hours. This area is the town that Sam Walton built, and Wal-Mart is apparently a great corporate citizen. Their name, and their suppliers' names, cover the museums and it’s clear they donate generously and pay their share of taxes.
As can be expected, we sought out good food and drink. Java Dudes in Rogers is a fun coffee shop offering Onyx Coffee, which is outstanding locally roasted coffee. In downtown Bentonville, we visited Onyx Coffee Lab for more of their joe. We found unique and delicious Mexican food at Table Mesa Bistro. We also walked the Bentonville farmers market around the town square Saturday morning. Ozark Beer Company is located about ten minutes from the campground. We found good beer and house-made hard waters that were refreshing. Pattaya Thai was our find for curries and spring rolls.
The outdoors, culture, food, and drinks are all top notch in Bentonville and Rogers. We enjoyed this return visit and would certainly return, hopefully next time without a long cut.
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Shane and Jessica
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