Explore the Natural State!

The work-environment of an emergency physician is innately stressful. Patients show up septic, traumatized and in pain. Add in the educational demands placed on residents and it can take a toll on the psyche. Fortunately, Arkansas lives up to its official nickname, The Natural State.

pinnacle_mtnPinnacle Mountain State Park is just a ten-minute drive from West Little Rock, where many residents live. The mountain provides a 1000′ rise in elevation with two trails to the peak and 8 miles of well-maintained trails around the base, which are great for a quick trail run. For the more experienced hiker, the Ouachita Trail completes its 223-mile journey from east Oklahoma at the Pinnacle Mountain Visitor Center. Several other state parks, including Petit Jean Mountain, Lake Sylvia and Hot Springs are within an hour’s drive of Little Rock.

The International Mountain Biking Association bestowed their Epic rating on the Syllamo and Womble trails, which run through the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains respectively.

Popular kayaking and floating locations, such as the Mulberry River, the Big Piney and the Buffalo River National Park are within a two-hour drive of Little Rock in the Ozark Mountains.

clinton_libraryThe city of Little Rock as developed a series of parks and pedestrian bridges along the Arkansas River, such as the one pictured to the left at the Clinton Presidential Library. The Arkansas River Trail connects these sites and makes a 17-mile paved loop that is popular with walkers, joggers and cyclists.

Shift work can be tricky to get accustomed to after four years of medical school. Transitioning from nights to days can be exceptionally frustrating. Our residents have found that one of the best ways to deal with this problem is to go fishing after 7 AM check-out. Smallmouth and Black Bass live in just about every creek and river in the state.

The Little Red River, Norfork and White River are three tailwater rivers created when the Corp of Engineers built hydroelectric dams. These tailwaters were stocked with Rainbow and Brown Trout, which have flourished in size and quantity. These rivers are within day-trip driving distance and, more importantly, have produced two world-record brown trout.

river_marketAfter a long shift in the ED, fishing in the Ozarks or running along the river trail, residents need to find sustenance. The River Market in downtown Little Rock hosts live music and a seasonal farmer’s market. Dining options range from down-home BBQ to Fine Dining to local microbreweries.

The Razorback football team plays one football game per year at War Memorial Stadium, which is adjacent to the UAMS campus. This gives our residents the opportunity to volunteer as medical staffing at the stadium and enjoy the game close up.

paradeThe University of Arkansas athletics program is a member of the Southeastern Conference. People take football pretty seriously here, to the point that there will regularly be a lull in patients checking into the ED during the game.

More details about Little Rock, with links to related material, can be found on  UAMSHealth.com.

Explore issues of the Metro Little Rock Guide.