5 Things to Do in Conway That Are Good for the Soul
When I was a kid, all I knew about Conway was that it was difficult to get to and rather traffic-heavy once you arrived. That was all pre-road-reconstruction, and thankfully it’s now much easier to come and go. Getting around the city now seems downright easy. Though that’s the case, I never imagined myself living here. But when we sold our home in Maumelle a few years ago, Conway was the logical answer for a variety of reasons. At first I struggled with finding activities that were both rejuvenating and close to home. But, over the last few years, I’ve found a few things to do in Conway that are good for the soul.
Several of these require getting outside in nature, which studies indicate can lead to a lower risk of depression (Jordan). Don’t worry; that doesn’t mean you have to become a serious hiker overnight. Something as simple as a walk outside on your lunch break can have benefits. But, also included are taking advantage of volunteer opportunities and playing with your kids.
Cadron Park, located at 6200 Hwy 319 West, Conway, AR 72034
Those who have been, love it, and those who haven’t been have likely never heard of this great option. Cadron Park offers a restored cabin, hiking trails, a Trail of Tears exhibit, a mural, and pavilions with restroom facilities. It’s particularly awesome because it’s free, has activities, and offers an outdoor recreation option that’s still close to town.
Hendrix Creek Preserve at The Village at Hendrix
If a drive to Cadron isn’t in the cards for the day, check out the Hendrix nature trail. It’s a frequent stop for runners, walkers, and those taking their dogs out for a stroll. Located next to The Village, the nature trail is a great choice for a quick lunch walk or stress-relief walk in the middle of the day. You don’t have to drive out of town to get in nature. In addition to the lovely walk, you’ll also find some interpretive exhibits that discuss the function of the storm-water management system in the watershed. Total trail length is two miles.
Share.the.Love Kidsclub at 911 Oak Street, Conway, AR 72032
The kids club, located on Oak Street next to Zeteo Coffee, is a fun place to go if you need to take your kids somewhere where they can burn off some energy. You can relax knowing they’re in a safe, supervised, enclosed area. You must stay in the facility with your children, so enjoy watching them play and make friends. Watching our children play can be a joyful experience that makes our daily troubles seem small.
Conway was recently voted the second most giving city in the United States, and with good reason. Conway, a small town of about 65,000 people, has a nonprofit on every corner. There is so much opportunity to contribute to whatever cause most calls to you. While a monetary donation is always welcome, nonprofits are often time-poor, and volunteers are the main way they fill gaps in coverage. If you’re interested in helping kids, adults, the hungry, the homeless—Conway has a group for you. If you need help navigating your choices, Thriveworks Conway counselors can help connect you with some options.
Faulkner County Urban Farming Project
This project, run by the Locals, hosts volunteer days every Sunday and Thursday at 5pm. Getting outside and involved in physical activity is a proven way to manage stress, and of course a little exercise never hurt anyone. The farm is also great for those who don’t have a yard of their own. There’s a saying that, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” (Audrey Hepburn). And indeed, there’s something soothing for the soul about getting outside and planting something in hopes that, with attention and care, it will grow into something beautiful.
Most things in Conway that are good for the soul involve slowing down, reconnecting with ourselves through nature, and stepping outside of ourselves to appreciate things we often ignore. The Internet and all its connectivity is certainly wonderful, but overworking and ignoring the inner self isn’t exactly therapeutic.
Attending to the soul, the inner self, is something that everyone can benefit from, regardless of religious or spiritual affiliation.
Thriveworks Conway counselors work with people of all different backgrounds to help them find what’s good and needed for their souls. If you’re actively suffering, or just feel a bit off, even if you don’t know why, contact us. We don’t have a waiting list, so we can usually see new patients within 24 hours. You don’t have to wait any longer to get on the road to better mental health.
Jordan, Rob. “Stanford researchers find mental health prescription: Nature.” June 2015. News.stanford.edu.