Located to the northeast of Little Rock, Maumelle is also in Pulaski County; though it’s a separate municipality, it’s considered by locals to be a suburb of Little Rock.
Much of the town sits along the Arkansas River, and it’s also home to two lakes that are regional recreation hotspots.
Lakes Willastein and Valencia are popular areas for swimmers, fisherman, and all around outdoor recreation enthusiasts.
The town also sports one of the state’s most extensive greenbelts and urban bike trails that connect to similar ones in Little Rock and other neighboring towns.
Below are 13 things to do in and around Maumelle, Arkansas.
1. Lake Maumelle
With nearly 9,000 acres of surface area, Lake Maumelle is a big lake by any standards.
It’s manmade and is one of Little Rock’s primary sources of drinking water. It’s also a popular destination for those looking to experience the great outdoors without venturing far from the city.
The lake is a reservoir that was built in the ‘50s; it’s periodically stocked with game fish, making it a place that’s often visited by local anglers as well.
Much of the area around the park includes trails, trees, and perfect spots for laying out in the sun or enjoying a picnic.
2. Lake Willastein Park
Little Rock and Maumelle are full of parks, and Lake Willastein is one of the most popular.
It’s been around for ages and is an excellent place to go if you’re interested in stretching your legs, breathing some outdoor air, or taking your dog for a walk.
The park includes jogging paths, hiking trails, docks from which to fish and a playground for the little ones.
The land around the lake is also home to a few interesting concrete bunkers left over from the World War II era that seem a bit out of place but are truly unique.
The park is free to use.
3. Smoke Shack BBQ
Arkansas is a big BBQ state, and the area around Little Rock is full of restaurants of all shapes and sizes; one of the most popular is Smoke Shack BBQ.
The dining room is decorated much like a log cabin and includes a rustic yesteryear vibe that somehow goes well with the great food.
From ribs and chicken to pulled-pork, they’ve got all the angles covered. They’re also known for their tasty sides, which include baked beans, fries and hush puppies, to name a few.
Expect to leave full as they’re generous with their portion sizes.
4. Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Since 1977, Pinnacle Mountain State Park has been a favorite destination for not only outdoor activities, but for education and preservation as well.
Though the peak of the mountain is accessible, it’s a little on the difficult side to reach, though it should be doable for those who are at least moderately fit.
The view from the top is impressive, but the trail and boulders which you need to clamber over can get slick and treacherous in spots when it’s raining, so take caution and dress accordingly.
The park entrance is located on Pinnacle Valley Road in Little Rock.
5. Mastermind Escape the Room
Escape rooms have catapulted their way into the upper echelons of recreation activities around the country; if you’ve never tried one, consider a stop at Mastermind Escape the Room in Little Rock.
Escape games are the perfect way to spend a few indoor hours bonding with your teammates and using your noggin to figure out tricky clues.
You’ll be surprised at how suspenseful the whole thing can be, and considering that it’s safe, inexpensive and can be done year-round nearly anywhere, it’s one of those things that shouldn’t be passed up.
It’s a good idea to book in advance, especially if you plan to go during peak times.
6. Bell Slough Wildlife Area
Consisting of more than 2,000 acres of land, the Bell Slough Wildlife Management Area is located about 20 miles from Little Rock, near the town of Mayflower.
Much of the land is swamp and wetland that front the Arkansas River, and the habit is home to a diverse group of plant and animal species.
The area’s key feature is an interpretive path that winds its way more than two miles into the reserve.
The path is easily walked and gives visitors some fantastic views, which may include glimpses at some of the area’s animals, like deer, foxes, and a variety of birds.
7. Allsopp Park
Located on Cedar Hill Road in Little Rock, Allsopp Park is one of the city’s oldest. Since it’s near many sites that you’ll probably want to see, it’s a convenient place to relax after a long day on your feet.
The park includes tennis courts, a baseball field, and a playground.
There are covered pavilions and picnic tables, and a number of trails that wind their way through the park as well.
The sports and picnic areas can fill up quickly, especially on late spring, summer and early fall days when the Arkansas weather is perfect.
8. U.S. Pizza Company
Although they’re probably outnumbered by BBQ places in the Maumelle area, pizza restaurants are pretty popular too; the U.S. Pizza Company is one of the local favorites.
They’ve been open since 1972 and have expanded to multiple locations since then, now numbering about ten altogether.
Their dough is made from scratch onsite, so you’ll need to be patient, but the wait will be well worth it.
The restaurants are comfortable, and the pizza is reasonably priced, making it an excellent place for lunch or dinner, or special occasions.
9. Wild River Country
Located on Crystal Hill Road in Little Rock, Wild River Country is a big hit when the weather is bordering on unbearable and splashing around in cool water takes on the utmost importance.
Season passes are available, or if you are only in the area for a short time, grab yourself a day pass.
The season pass will be a much cheaper option, especially if you think you’ll use it frequently.
There are parts of the pools that are shallow for the little ones, and places nearby where parents can sit and relax while keeping a close eye on their children as well.
10. Little Rock Zoo
Municipal zoos are always big hits; you don’t need to be a child to appreciate all the amazing animals that you’ll see.
The Little Rock Zoo is considered one of the best in the southeast portion of the United States. Like most zoos, they offer a wide range of interactive activities geared toward children that’ll keep them engaged and active.
Monkeys and giraffes are a few of the perennial favorites, but there are a lot more species too. The zoo isn’t huge, but it’s reasonably priced and easy to get to. Ask for your senior citizen or military discount if they apply.
11. Little Rock Arsenal
The Little Rock Arsenal is the only remaining structure on the site where a large military base stood decades ago.
It’s also home to the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, so it’s really like getting two for the price of one.
The arsenal was built in the Civil War era and is near the birthplace of Douglas MacArthur – one of the most famous generals in American military history.
The only remaining building of this former military base is the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History – also the birthplace of Douglas MacArthur.
The arsenal was the site of a bloody Civil War battle as well.
12. Historic Arkansas Museum
Located on East 3rd Street in Little Rock, the Historic Arkansas Museum is the area’s most complete museum, featuring exhibits, artifacts, and memorabilia from around the area during the pioneer days.
The museum sports some full-size mockups of people and settings, including housewares, clothes, weapons, and cookware that were commonly used back then.
The second-floor museum is free to visit; some of the most interesting items you’ll see are the first-hand accounts of the people who settled in the area generations ago.
They lived a tough life by our modern standards, and it’s a fascinating insight into the not too distant past.
13. William J. Clinton Presidential Library
Located in downtown Little Rock’s River Market District, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library is one of the city’s most popular attractions.
Regardless of your views on Bill Clinton and the scandals in which he was involved, the presidential library is an interesting site to visit, and since no taxpayer-funded detail was overlooked, you may as well get your money’s worth.
The library sits along the scenic banks of the Arkansas River and is close to the Clinton Foundation’s Arkansas headquarters and the University Arkansas School of Law, which is where Bill and Hillary went to school.