Batesville, AR (PRWEB), December 18, 2013 – Ozark Gateway Region (, Arkansas’ premier vacation destination located in the pristine beauty of the Ozark Mountains, is excited to announce its top reasons to visit the Ozarks this winter.

“When it comes to escaping to the south this winter, there are countless reasons to make the Ozarks one’s top travel destination,” says Cathy Drew, executive director at Ozark Gateway Region. “Whether it’s the Ozark National Forest, the region’s state parks, the Syllamo Bike Trail, the antique malls across the eight-county region, or taking in the local museums to learn about the area’s rich history, the Ozark Gateway Region delivers unrivaled, unparalleled experiences for visitors of all ages.”

The area’s state parks preserve and share the people, places, and events that helped to develop the Ozark region into the collection of beautiful spots we see today, Drew explains, citing Jacksonport State Park as an example. In the 1800s, steamboats made Jacksonport a thriving river port. During the Civil War, Jacksonport was occupied by both Confederate and Union forces because of its crucial locale. Mammoth Spring State Park is another example, being home to Arkansas’ largest spring and the second-largest spring in the Ozark Mountains. In addition, visitors to the Ozark Region can discover Davidsonville Historic State Park, Ozark Folk Center State Park, Lake Charles State Park, and Powhatan Historic State Park.

“Those who want to explore the rugged beauty of the Ozark National Forest on two wheels will love the Syllamo Mountain Bike Trail,” Drew observes. “Chosen by Outside Magazine as one of the Top 20 Outdoor Destinations in the United States and one of Men’s Journal’s Best 52 Weekends in the United States, the Syllamo Mountain Bike Trail is a series of interconnecting loops that gives riders 50 miles of track dedicated single track. The trail stretches over thousands of acres of the Ozark National Forest and provides riders with beautiful views of the White River and Sylamore Creek Valleys and the Ozark Mountains.”

According to Drew, many come to the Arkansas Ozarks to enjoy the unspoiled forests, lakes, river, and mountains. However, beneath the wilderness are the spectacular, unforgettable limestone caves of the Ozarks. Located in the Ozark National Forest in Stone County, visitors to the Blanchard Spring Caves will discover subterranean lakes and streams, crystals, fossils, underground creatures, and an array of formations, including stalagmite, stalactite, flowstone, and helictite. The Blanchard Spring Caves offer three different tours: the easier, shorter Dripstone Trail, the Discovery in the Dark Headlamp Tour for intermediate explorers, and the Discovery Trail for more experienced visitors. And for those physically fit and intrepid explorers, there is the five-hour Wild Cave Tour.

“For those who would rather explore the Ozark Region indoors, there is a large number of city, county, and regional museums and historic sites that record the region’s varied history. Visitors to the Ozark Region can also spend the day perusing any of the unique shops, then cap off the day with a meal at one of the area’s riverside restaurants. Keep a watchful eye out for the wide variety of both native and migratory birds that call the Ozark Region their home,” Drew adds. “The Ozark Region continues to reinvent itself with an endless number of activities for people of all ages to participate in. Whether it’s spent indoors or outdoors, the Ozark Region is the perfect place to spend a weekend or extended vacation this winter.”

Before traveling in the winter time, please contact Ozark Gateway for opening times to confirm hours of operation for various activities.

Recognized as one of Arkansas’ most popular vacation spots, Ozark Gateway Region is the perfect online destination for those looking to enjoy the area’s southern hospitality. The Ozark Gateway Region web site is filled with information about the region’s attractions, points of interest, recreation and tourism sights, lodging, dining, maps, and year-round cultural events. More information on Ozark Gateway Region is available online at or call 800-264-0316.