By Morgan Mason

In Northwest Arkansas a small paddling community is bustling and growing. Far from the snowmelt and runoff of the Rockies, this group of paddling enthusiasts watches the forecast for rain to feed the Siloam Springs Whitewater Park. This family-friendly river resource is a bustling location by late spring and into the summer, lined with plenty of soft grass and open gravel bars on the banks of the calm eddies.

The park features two waves, with large protected eddy pools for easy access on both river sides.

The Illinois River flows through this park with two available features, currently, to test your skills. The top feature is made with surfing in mind. It features a friendly, green wave with soft shoulders retentive enough to try more progressive freestyle tricks, and is flanked by sizeable pools with great eddy service ushering you easily back into the lineup after flushing off.

Below is a secondary wave/hole hybrid built for advanced aerial play-park moves.

Eddyside rumors speak of new developments and expanded feature offerings in the future. It will be exciting to see what is coming down the pipeline for the committed paddlers in this upper corner of Arkansas on the Oklahoma border, not far from the Walmart corporate headquarters in Bentonville, and nested right above the Ozarks.

Need gear to play? Ozark Mountain Trading Company is your best bet, with a passionate staff and knowledge to get you outfitted correctly.

Best Float Trips in the Ozarks.
— Kayak fishing on the Little Red River.
Exploring the Buffalo National River.