20 AMAZING STATE PARKS IN ARKANSAS

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20 AMAZING STATE PARKS IN ARKANSAS

 

20 AMAZING STATE PARKS IN ARKANSAS, Arkansas is a southernU.S. state that borders the Mississippi Swash. It might be that you do n’t know important about thisU.S. state as it’s maybe one of the lower- known countries. Nicknamed the Natural State, it’s rich with inconceivable geographical geographies and home to the popular Springs National Park. Away from its popular public demesne, Arkansas has 52 state premises dotted around the state.

Not only is the state filled with beautiful lookouts, but it played a significant part in the Civil Rights Movement and has a rich Native American history. So, add these Arkansas state premises to your list when planning your coming trip.

ARKANSAS STATE PARKS

20 STATE PARKS IN ARKANSAS TO EXPLORE 

1- PINNACLE MOUNTAIN STATE PARK

Orange leaves in Pinnacle Mountain State Park Arkansas
You’ll be blown away by the fall colours in Pinnacle Mountain State Park, Arkansas.

Pinnacle Mountain State Park is almost smack bang in the middle of Arkansas, west of the capital Little Rock.

Centred around Pinnacle Mountain, which rises 1,000 feet (305 m) above the valley, this park is excellent for hiking and exploring.

As well as having state park status, this park is one of the “Trail of Tears National Historic Sites.”

It has more than 20 miles (32 km) of great hiking trails to take in the beautiful scenery, but hiking trails aren’t the only things on offer.

A 71-acre (29 ha) botanical garden is home to many of the state’s native flowers.

If biking is more your thing, head out along 14 miles (22.5 km) of bike trails and look for a picnic spot at one designated area.

Pinnacle Mountain State Park is at 11901 Pinnacle Valley Road, Roland, AR 72135.

2- DEVIL’S DEN STATE PARK

river running through Devil's Den State Park Arkansas
Another state park in Arkansas to check out is Devil’s Den State Park.

Devil’s Den State Park is in the Lee Creek Valley in northwestern Arkansas.

Like many state parks in America, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a role in building the park.

The CCC was responsible for building many of the wooden and stone structures in the park today.

The park has a unique collection of rock formations, caverns, and a rock dam that crosses Lee Creek.

In the park, there is an eight-acre lake for fishing and boating.

As well as hitting the water, you can also enjoy hiking, mountain biking and horse riding.

Many trails in the park lead to the Ozark National Forest.

If you are looking for camping in Arkansas, then Devil’s Den is a lovely spot and where you will find 17 cabins complete with kitchens and fireplaces as well as 135 campsites.

Devil’s Den State Park is at 11333 West Arkansas Hwy. 74, Winslow, AR 72774.

3- MOUNT MAGAZINE STATE PARK

Mount Magazine rock face and trees in a valley
Of the many state parks in Arkansas, Mount Magazine is one worthy of your time.

Mount Magazine State Park is around 100 miles (161 km) southeast of Fayetteville near Paris (no, not that one!).

This state park marks the highest point in Arkansas, with Mount Magazine standing at 2,700 feet (823 m).

Activities in the park include hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, rock climbing and ATV riding, so there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained.

There’s camping within the park, and The Lodge is ideal if you are looking for a more luxurious getaway.

The Lodge has an indoor swimming pool, restaurant and fitness centre.

Whether you want a long or short hike, this is a fantastic state park to explore.

Mount Magazine State Park is at 577 Lodge Dr, Paris, AR 72855.

4- LAKE DARDANELLE STATE PARK

Around an hour and 20 minutes drive northwest of Little Rock is Lake Dardanelle State Park.

If you are searching for somewhere with an incredible sunset, then there’s just no place better.

This park is spread across two parts of Lake Dardanelle, with the most popular part being Russellville.

There is a fishing pier, swimming beach, boardwalk, visitor centre (with an aquarium) and trials.

The Meadowbrook Trail is a self-guided trail that lets you see the park’s plants and trees, starting and ending near the amphitheatre.

There are also 57 campsites, and check out the Dardanelle Area, which looks out over the U.S. Highway 64 bridge.

Lake Dardanelle State Park is at 100 State Park Drive, Russellville, AR 72802.

5- LAKE FORT SMITH STATE PARK

Lake Fort Smith State Park is in northwest Arkansas around 40 minutes drive from the border city of Fort Smith.

This multi-use park is on the banks of Lake Fort Smith in the scenic Boston Mountain Valley of the Ozarks.

Camping, fishing, kayaking, mountain biking and hiking are popular activities in the park.

The park also has 30 campsites and 10 cabins.

The park has a swimming pool, a marina with boat rental, a pavilion and picnic sites for even more fun.

This is a fantastic place for families or those travelling with friends who want to cool off, kick back and enjoy a couple of days by the water.

Lake Fort Smith State Park is at 15458 Sheperd Springs Rd, Mountainburg, AR 72946.

 

6- MOUNT NEBO STATE PARK

mountains and lakes in Mount Nebo
One of the state parks in Arkansas you will love is Mount Nebo State Park.

Mount Nebo State Park is close to Lake Dardanelle State Park and centred around the 1,350-foot (411 m) Mount Nebo.

It’s also part of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Site.

14 miles (22.5 km) of hiking and biking trails will give you different ways to take in the scenery and Mount Nebo.

There are 34 campsites within the park and 15 cabins (12 on the bluff looking out over the river valley).

Mount Nebo State Park is at 16728 West State Highway, 155, Dardanelle, AR 72834.

7- DEGRAY LAKE RESORT STATE PARK

Close to Hot Springs and Little Rock, this state park in Arkansas is on the shores of DeGray Lake.

It’s popular because there is top quality lodgings in the park and well-developed amenities and attractions, especially in summer.

There’s an 18-hole golf course driving range and practice green.

If you’re not into golf, head to the lake’s swimming beach or play basketball or tennis with your friends.

There are five hiking trails around the park and exciting boating water trails.

Talking of boats, there’s a full-service marina with a bait and tackle shop and places to rent kayaks and pedal boats.

The park delivers incredible sunsets and going on a sunset cruise is a popular activity, as well as snorkelling trips, guided hikes and bird-watching tours.

Believe it or not, right in this State Park, there is an escape room perfect for testing your brain power.

DeGray Lake State Park Resort is at 2027 State Park Entrance Rd, Bismarck, AR 71929.

8- PETIT JEAN STATE PARK

green as far as the eye can see
The lush Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas.

Petit Jean State Park is just over an hour’s drive northwest of Little Rock, known for its ancient geology and the Petit Jean mountain.

As a result of the natural landscape and its beauty, this became Arkansas’s first State Park.

The CCC has been responsible for constructing the facilities within the park since 1933, and today, you can see many of the roads, bridges, cabins and trails they built.

To make a weekend of visiting Petit Jean State Park, book into the 24-room Mather Lodge that overlooks Cedar Creek Canyon, as it’s a beautiful place to stay.

As well as the lodge, there are also 33 cabins all with views of the canyon.

This State Park also has two swimming pools, a playground, picnic areas, tennis and basketball courts and a boat launch ramp.

Lake Bailey is a great place to launch kayaks or canoes and explore the park’s shores.

Petit Jean State Park is at 1285 Petit Jean Mountain Rd, Morrilton, AR 72110.

9- DELTA HERITAGE TRAIL STATE PARK

The Delta Heritage Trail State Park in eastern Arkansas is just an hour and 15 minutes drive outside Tennessee’s Memphis.

Whether you walk or ride your bicycle along the delta heritage trail State Park, this place leaves you with fond memories of the outdoors.

The trail project hasn’t yet been finished, but upon completion, the trail will be 84.5 miles (136 km) long.

So far, 44.4 miles (71.4 km) of the trail has been completed and awaits your discovery.

There are restroom facilities, picnic tables and a visitor centre.

One of the best tours at Delta Heritage Trail State Park is the Pedal & Paddle Tour which is a sort of mini marathon consisting of a bike ride from Barton to Lakeview (12 miles), then kayaking on Old Town Lake and finally, a bike ride back to Barton.

Delta Heritage Trail State Park is at 5539 US 49, West Helena, AR 72390.

10- HOBBS STATE PARK-CONSERVATION AREA

Hobbs State Park is around 14 miles (22.5 km) from Rogers in northwestern Arkansas.

This is Arkansas’s largest state park covering 12,054 acres (4878 ha) of Ozark landscapes along the shores of Beaver Lake.

This state park focuses on minimising human impact and elevating the ecosystem.

A 54-mile (87 km) trail system is accessible to hikers, bikers, and horse riders.

If you want to try different hiking trails, stay at the campsite so you can be up early to hit the trails.

Hobbs State Park is at 20201 AR-12, Rogers, AR 72756.

11- LAKE OUACHITA STATE PARK

Lake Ouachita State Park is 70 miles (113 km) west of Little Rock.

Lake Ouachita is Arkansas’s largest lake at 40,000 acres (16,187 ha) and has clear, clean and refreshing water on a hot summer’s day.

While at the park you can go swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, boating and fishing.

Some fish in the lake include bream, crappie, catfish, largemouth, and striped bass.

In winter you can also go skiing.

The historic Three Sisters Springs has been a source of health and healing since the 1800s.

There are also interpretive programs like guided hikes, kayak tours and eagle cruises.

Lake Ouachita State Park is at 5451 Mountain Pine Rd, Mountain Pine, AR 71956.

12- HAMPSON ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM STATE PARK

Hampson Archaeological Museum State Park is on the border with Tennessee, north of Memphis.

This museum exhibits a renowned collection from the Nodena site.

Once a thriving village on the Mississippi River, today, this 15-acre (6.07 ha) park is dedicated to the archaeological findings in the region.

The museum focuses on farming-based civilisation between 1400 AD and 1650.

Admission is free, so visiting the museum is great to fill in time if you are on a budget.

Join a group or private tour of the museum, where your guide will tell you all about the local life of the early Aboriginals who farmed and cultivated crops.

Hampson Archaeological Museum State Park is at 33 Park St, Wilson, AR 72395.

13- CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK

people digging in a field
One of the most unusual Arkansas state parks is Crater of Diamonds State Park.

This state park in Arkansas is really unique, and visitors from all over the world head to Crater of Diamonds State Park to search for natural diamonds.

While at the park, you can search the 37-acre field that’s the eroded surface of a volcanic crater.

What’s unique about this place is that any rocks, minerals and gemstones you find are yours to keep!

You can bring your own mining equipment or rent tools from the park.

Prepare for your visit by researching how to best search for diamonds.

When at the park, head to the visitor centre to learn more about diamonds and the area’s history and geology.

Crater of Diamonds State Park is at 209 State Park Rd, Murfreesboro, AR 71958.

14- BULL SHOALS-WHITE RIVER STATE PARK

Bull Shoals-White River State is on the southern shores of Bull Shoals Lake and the White River in northern Arkansas.

Start at the visitor centre, which is set high above the Bull Shoals Dam offering excellent views of the dam and park.

The riverside marina is ideal for launching boats and you will find anglers along the lake, waiting to catch trout.

You should also hit the hiking and biking trails too.

Bull Shoals-White River State Park is at 153 Dam Overlook Ln, Bull Shoals, AR 72619.

15- CANE CREEK STATE PARK

A drawing of autumn trees in cane creek
Fall is a fantastic season to visit Arkansas’ state parks, especially Cane Creek.

Cane Creek State Park is around 75 miles (121 km) from Little Rock, where the Coastal Plain meets the Mississippi Delta.

You can see both in just one visit.

The park’s main feature is the trail system.

You can run, ride your bike or walk along the park’s rolling terrain and across three bouncy suspension bridges.

If you’re keen on a dip in the water or a fish, head to Cane Creek Lake.

For overnight stays, there are 29 campsites with plenty of amenities for a comfortable stay.

Cane Creek State Park is at 50 State Park Road, Star City, AR 71667.

16- CROWLEY’S RIDGE STATE PARK

Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Arkansas in forested hills, this state park is beautiful and the perfect escape from the city.

The park has unique geological formations and rich history.

The ridge by which the park gets its name is an island formed by the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

Don’t miss out on seeing Crowley’s Ridge State Park in autumn, as the foliage is mightily impressive.

The park has trees that are found nowhere else in the state, such as Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata).

Crowley’s Ridge State Park is at 2092 AR-168 North, Paragould, AR 72450.

17- LAKE CATHERINE STATE PARK

The water and fall trees at Lake Catherine
If you love the water, put Lake Catherine State Park in Arkansas on your escape to nature list.

This state park is located on Lake Catherine, one of five lakes in the Ouachita Mountain region and has a full-service marina.

There’s a tackle shop for bait, snacks, drinks and boat fuel.

The park has a boat launch, picnic sites, a playground, and a trail leading to the park’s waterfall.

Visit between Memorial Day and Labor Day to enjoy guided horse rides around the park.

This activity is fun to enjoy with kids, friends or as a couple.

18- DAISY STATE PARK

Tucked away in the picturesque Ouachita Mountains close to Diamond Crater State Park and Lake Ouachita State Park, this is another lovely place to spend some time outdoors.

As the parks are so close, you can explore them all in the area for a few days or a week.

Daisy State Park is an excellent place for fishing, kayaking and boating. You can rent boats if you don’t have your own.

Book a lake tour to discover some fantastic rock formations.

One of the best things about Daisy State Park is that you can camp in style in a yurt but book in advance as they sell out like hotcakes.

Daisy State Park is at 103 E Park Rd, Kirby, AR 7195.

19- HISTORIC WASHINGTON STATE PARK

This 101-acre state park is in southwestern Arkansas, less than 10 miles (16 km) outside Hope.

Historic Washington State Park became an important stop along the Southwest Trail.

Between 1863 and 1865, this place was the Confederate capital of Arkansas.

The building in the park’s heart was the 1874 courthouse, but today it is the historic Washington state parks visitor centre.

It’s a good idea to start your trip to the Historic Washington State Park at the visitor centre and old courthouse.

Next, head to the blacksmith shop, weapons museum, and print museum and see various other historic locations around the park.

Historic Washington State Park is at 103 Franklin St, Washington, AR 71862.

20- LAKE CHARLES STATE PARK

armadillo in Lake Charles
An armadillo in Lake Charles State Park, Arkansas.

Around a 30-minute drive from Jonesboro and 1 ½ hours from Memphis, Lake Charles State Park is a lovely relaxing place.

This State Park is on a 645-acre lake filled with crappie, bream, bass and catfish.

You can get bait and tackle from the state parks visitor centre between March and October and fish until your heart’s content.

As well as fishing, there is a campsite with 50 spots but if camping is not quite your thing, then why not try staying in a yurt?

Whether you plan on visiting during spring, summer, autumn or winter, this is an excellent State Park for exploring and relaxing.

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