Getaway to Mammoth Springs, Arkansas

Just across the Missouri-Arkansas border is the charming town of Mammoth Spring. It’s home to a natural marvel: the largest spring in Arkansas and one of the top 10 in the world.

By Juliana Goodwin

May 2024

Mammoth Spring, Arkansas
Photos courtesy Arkansas Parks & TourismTravel to see Mammoth Spring in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas.

See the Spring

Mammoth Spring (17 Highway 63, Mammoth Spring, Arkansas) flows at an amazing rate of 9 million gallons per hour. You can’t see the spring because it emerges 80 feet below water level. At the park entrance, the roar of cascading water comes from remains of a mill, dam and hydroelectric plant. The bridge above the dam is a great place to pause amidst the park’s expanse, which includes a playground, a picnic area, scenic walking trails, a cannon and historical markers. 

Visit the Hatchery

Mammoth Spring National Fish Hatchery and Aquatic Conservation Center (302 Fish Hatchery Lane, Mammoth Spring, Arkansas) is walking distance from the park. Established in 1903, the federal hatchery is one of the oldest in the nation. It produces rainbow trout, striped bass, lake sturgeon, walleye and small mouth bass for restoration stocking. Take a self-guided tour around the visitor center, which boasts a variety of aquariums. Outside, stroll around the hatchery pods. 

Cast a Line at the River

A popular spot for trout and walleye fishing, Spring River is the perfect spot to float too. According to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, the spring makes this one of the state’s best year-round floating destinations because water levels don’t drop as much as other rivers, thanks to the spring’s consistent water output. The water is cool year-round, which is great for trout and can support a healthy trout population for 10 miles downstream. 

Explore a Depot

1886 Frisco Depot Museum is another attraction at the park. In 1886, the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis Railroad started service through this town, stopping at the red Victorian-era depot —now a museum. It offers a fascinating look into the past. There are lifelike figures that depict train crew and scenes from a bygone era. Artifacts include machinery, a mandatory color blindness test for railroad employees, a telegraph machine, luggage carts, suitcases and more. 

Grab a Bite to Eat

Wood’s Riverbend Restaurant (80 Main St., Mammoth Spring, Arkansas) is a casual eatery with down home food and a fabulous view. Perched above the Spring River, the deck is a wonderful spot to enjoy lunch. The menu is full of diet busters like fried catfish, roast beef and mashed potatoes, chicken fried steak with white gravy, coconut cream pie, barbecue, sweet tea and more. From baked beans to hushpuppies and cornbread, there are plenty of options for daily specials.