Getaway to War Eagle Mill in Arkansas

War Eagle Mill is just a short day trip away, with lots for an outdoors-lover to do there. Go for the mill, but stay for an adventure (or two).

By Sony Hocklander

Apr 2024

River in Arkansas
Photo courtesy Sony HocklanderWithrow Springs State Park has three scenic trails perfect for hiking. Purchase Photo

Known for its proximity to mega craft fairs each fall, War Eagle Mill near Rogers, Arkansas, is worth visiting any time of year. But let’s face it: Amazing as it is, would you drive 2.25 hours just to see the mill on War Eagle Creek? Unlikely. What about a mill-centered day trip that includes hiking or floating and other outdoor recreation fun? Yes, please! To help you plan a fantastic day out, we rounded up a slew of suggestions. 

And if you can’t fit all you want to do into a day, plan to stay over nearby. Eureka Springs, Rogers and Bentonville are just 30 to 40 minutes away from Rogers.

Explore War Eagle Mill

Let’s start with the mill and general store on War Eagle Creek (11045 War Eagle Road, Rogers). The historic, picturesque site that includes an amazing water wheel and bridge is a photographer’s dream. While the 50-year-old mill built in 1973 could only be called vintage, it sits on the foundation of a burned-down mill built in 1873—and that mill was built on the site of two mills before it. The tradition of providing fresh natural foods, begun with the original homesteaders, continues at the general store, which sells grain-based foods produced at the mill and other Arkansas-made products. If you arrive hungry before 3 p.m., pick up a homestyle meal at the War Eagle Mill Cafe.

Hike Nearby Trails

Whether you want to hike first, then visit the mill or vice versa, you’ll find plenty of nearby trails. Hobbs State Conservation Area (20201 E. Arkansas 12, Rogers), about five minutes away, is the largest state park in Arkansas at 12,000 acres and hugs the southern shore of Beaver Lake. Within its 54-mile trail system, some are accessible, others cater to mountain biking, horseback riding and of course, hiking. Try the easy-to-moderate 1.5-mile Shaddox Hollow Nature Trail that goes along bluffs and winds through a creek. The Sinking Stream Trail is an easy half-mile loop. If you don’t mind driving a bit farther, there are three trails at Withrow Springs State Park (33424 Arkansas 23 Spur, Huntsville), about 30 minutes southeast of War Eagle Mill. Or try Lake Leatherwood trails (1303 County Road 204, Eureka Springs), 45 minutes northeast, or the gorgeous Kings River Falls trail (1543 Madison 3500, Witter), an hour southeast and worth the drive.

Bring Your Mountain Bike

You’ll build up an appetite for the War Eagle Cafe if you bring your mountain bike. More than one trail adventure is easy to access near the mill. In fact, the first sections of what’s known as the Monument Trails in Arkansas go through Hobbs State Conservation Area. The trails are optimized for mountain bikes but they are also open to hikers and trail runners. Trails start at the park’s visitors center with the Tunnel Connector. More bike-optimized trails include Sawtooth, Timberjack and East and West Wolf Den. For another scenic ride, try the 24-mile Hidden Diversity Multi-Use Trail.

Float War Eagle Creek

For an easy Class 1 float, it’s hard to beat War Eagle Creek when the water is at prime paddle levels. The creek makes a family-friendly outing and an easy addition to your day trip. Generally floatable between March and mid-June, some call the creek a “miniature Buffalo River” for its tall, scenic bluff beauty. The creek, which flows through Withrow Springs State Park—a great place to access the river for a self-shuttle float—also lures anglers for its catfish, perch, bass, walleye and bream. If you need to rent from an outfitter, try OAR War Eagle Kayak and Campground (191 Madison 8568, Huntsville), which offers several float trip options from 4.5 miles to 14 miles. 

Play at Beaver Lake

The winding Beaver Lake, with its many arms and channels, seems to curl around War Eagle Mill to the east and north. With a variety of access points only 20 to 30 minutes away, it’s easy to add some lake time to your mill outing. Is it warm enough to swim? The Prairie Creek campground and day use beach area, a Corps of Engineers-run site (9314 N Park Rd, Rogers), is just 20 minutes away. Prairie Creek also has a marina for boat launching and rentals (1 Prairie Creek Marina Drive, Rogers). In-season hours begin mid-April. For a standup paddleboard adventure, head for SUP Outfitters (234 Timber Ridge Road, Eureka Springs), about 35 minutes northeast of the mill on Beaver Lake. You can book lessons and tours—and there’s even paddleboard yoga!