These 16 State Parks In Arkansas Are Totally Worth A Visit
One of the great things about visiting or traveling Arkansas is that a family or an individual can get a lot done in a day! One weekend trip to the state can fill you up with memories to last a lifetime. The best thing about visiting Arkansas is there’s always something new (or an old place you’ve yet to hear about) for your sightseeing or adventurous pleasure. Without further ado, here’s a list of some of the very best state parks to visit in Arkansas.
1. Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources
Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources, 4087 Smackover Hwy, Smackover, AR 71762, USA
This facility has state-of-the-art indoor exhibits as well as working equipment on display outside in its adjacent Oil Field Park. The museum also tells the stories of Arkansas's natural resources, with emphasis on petroleum and brine recovered for bromine extraction. It's one of the best
museums in Arkansas
. And the best part of all? Admission is free!
2. Arkansas Post Museum
Arkansas Post Museum State Park, 5530 US-165, Gillett, AR 72055, USA
Visitors learn here about life on, and the history of, Arkansas's Grand Prairie and Delta. Two buildings on the museum grounds are original to the Grand Prairie. The 1877 Refeld-Hinman Loghouse is an example of how houses were built on the prairie and throughout the Delta. When it comes to
must-see historic landmarks in Arkansas
, the Post Museum is at the top of the list.
3. Cane Creek State Park
Cane Creek State Park, 50 State Park Road, Star City, AR 71667, USA
Next up on our list of the best state parks to visit in Arkansas is Cane Creek State Park. This park offers you the opportunity to explore two of Arkansas's distinct natural settings in one visit. Hike or bike the park's 2,053 acres of woodlands in the Coastal Plain. Cane Creek Park is located where the rolling terrain of the West Gulf Coastal Plain and the alluvial lands of east Arkansas's Mississippi Delta meet. It's an
underrated park in Arkansas
worth checking out.
4. Crater of Diamonds State Park
Crater of Diamonds State Park, 209 State Park Rd, Murfreesboro, AR 71958, USA
This is the eighth largest diamond-bearing deposit in surface area in the world. Here you can enjoy the one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure of prospecting for real diamonds. Occurring naturally here along with the diamonds are garnet, amethyst, jasper, agate, quartz, and other rocks and minerals that make this site a great find...and what you dig up is yours to keep! There's a lot to love about the unique
Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas
5. Daisy State Park
Daisy State Park - Area B, Daisy, AR 71950, USA
Seated among the scenic foothills of the Ouachita Mountain, Lake Greeson, the Little Missouri River,
Daisy State Park
makes a winning combination for hikers and day trippers. Lake Greeson, 7,000 acres of clear water and mountain scenery, delights water enthusiasts. Catches of black and white bass, stripers, crappie, catfish, and bluegill account for its popularity with anglers.
6. Degray Lake Resort Stake Park
DeGray Lake State Park Resort, 2027 State Park Entrance Rd, Bismarck, AR 71929, USA
Arkansas's resort state park rests on the north shore of DeGray Lake, a large fishing and water sportsman's paradise in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. DeGray offers a lodge and convention center, over 100 Class B campsites, swimming, tennis, golf, hiking, bicycling and guided horseback trail rides. It's the only
island resort in Arkansas
, and it definitely belongs on your bucket list.
7. Delta Heritage Trail State Park
Delta Heritage Trail State Park, 5539 US 49, West Helena, AR 72390, USA
This rail-to-trail conversion in southeast Arkansas is located near the former Union Pacific Railroad and stretches from one mile south of Lexa, Arkansas to Rohwer, Arkansas and extends via the Mississippi River levee to Arkansas City. Trailheads for this park are located at Helena junction near Barton, Walnut Corner at the U.S. 49 overpass, Lick Creek (Ark. 85 just south of Barton), Lake View, and Elaine. Learn more about all there is to look forward to when you visit
Delta Heritage Trail State Park
8. Historic Washington State Park
Historic Washington State Park, 103 Franklin St, Washington, AR 71862, USA
This popular family destination is a conserved 19th-century village interpreted by Arkansas State Parks in conjunction with the Pioneer Washington Restoration Foundation. From its establishment in 1824, Washington was an important stop on the rugged Southwest Trail for pioneers traveling to Texas. Without a doubt, this park is one of the
best-kept secrets in Arkansas
9. Jacksonport State Park
Jacksonport State Park, Newport, AR 72112, USA
During the Civil War, Jacksonport was occupied by both Confederate and Union forces because of its crucial locale. Jacksonport became county seat in 1854, and construction of a stately, two-story brick courthouse began in 1869. The town began to decline in the 1880s when bypassed by the railroad. Today, exhibits in the park's 1872 courthouse and programs by park interpreters share the story of this historic river port. Jacksonport is also home to one of the
best swimming holes in Arkansas
10. Jenkins Ferry Battleground State Park:
Jenkins Ferry Battleground State Park, Forest Rd 9010, Leola, AR 72084, USA
Three Civil War battles took place in south central Arkansas that were part of the Union Army's "Red River Campaign." Jenkins Ferry is the most visited of the three sites. Arkansas has three state historic parks that commemorate Civil War battles: Poison Springs Battleground State Park, Marks' Mills Battleground State Park, and
Jenkins Ferry Battleground State Park
11. Lake Catherine State Park
Lake Saint Catherine State Park, Poultney, VT 05764, USA
Lake Catherine State Park
features CCC/Rustic Style facilities constructed of native stone and wood by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. This park is nestled in the natural beauty of the Ouachita Mountains on 1,940-acre Lake Catherine, one of the five popular Diamond Lakes in the Hot Springs area.
12. Lake Dardanelle State Park
Lake Dardanelle State Park, 100 State Park Drive, Russellville, AR 72802, USA
Surrounded by the natural beauty for which the Arkansas River Valley is known, Lake Dardanelle is a sprawling 34,300-acre reservoir on the Arkansas River. Lake Dardanelle State Park offers two areas on the lake: one park site is at Russellville, and the other is located at nearby Dardanelle. Both the Russellville and Dardanelle locations offer camping, launch ramps, standard pavilions, picnic sites, restrooms, and bathhouses with hot showers. It's possible one of the most
family-friendly parks in Arkansas
13. Moro Bay State Park
Moro Bay State Park Pvt, Arkansas 71651, USA
Take a tour of one of the most popular fishing and water sport areas in south central Arkansas where Moro Bay and Raymond Lake join the Ouachita River at Moro Bay State Park. Park facilities include campsites, picnic sites, a store, marina with boat rentals and gas pump, a standard pavilion, playground, trails, and the Moro Bay Ferry exhibit featuring a historic tugboat and barge. There's a lot to love about
Moro Bay State Park
14. Mount Magazine State Park: The mountain offers sweeping vistas of broad river valleys, deep canyons, and distant mountains. Here the altitude, geography, and climate combine to create unique habitats for rare plants and animals. The elevation makes the mountaintop a cool place to be on hot summer days.
Mount Magazine State Park, 577 Lodge Dr, Paris, AR 72855, USA
Located atop 2,753-foot Mount Magazine, the state's highest mountain, this scenic Arkansas state park was developed by Arkansas State Parks in the Mount Magazine Ranger District of the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests through a special use permit from the USDA Forest Service. For more inspiration, check out these
10 reasons to visit Mount Magazine State Park in Arkansas
15. Mount Nebo State Park
Mount Nebo, Mt Nebo, Arkansas 72834, USA
Rising 1,350 feet, Mount Nebo offers sweeping views of the Arkansas River Valley. In 1933, a portion of the mountain was chosen as a park site. Native stone and logs from Mount Nebo were used by the Civilian Conservation Corps to construct many of the park's bridges, trails, rustic-style cabins, and pavilions. The park offers 34 campsites (24 Class B; 10 Hike-in Tent sites) [no dump station] and 14 fully-equipped cabins with kitchens. Fourteen miles of trails encircle Mount Nebo. Here's more on why this park offers some of the best
mountain scenery in Arkansas
16. Lake Ouachita State Park
Lake Ouachita State Park, 5451 Mountain Pine Rd, Mountain Pine, AR 71956, USA
Surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest, Lake Ouachita is known for its scenic natural beauty and the clarity of its waters. These pristine waters form the largest manmade lake within Arkansas's borders. Named one of the
clearest lakes in America
, 40,000-acre Lake Ouachita is a water sports mecca for swimming, skiing, scuba diving, boating, and fishing.
Plan a trip to visit Arkansas or one of its incredibly scenic parks – you’ll be surprised at what can get done in a day! Did any of your favorite state parks to visit in Arkansas miss the list? If so, be sure to share your thoughts with us in the comments below — we’d love to hear from you!
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More to Explore
state parks to visit in Arkansas
Does Arkansas have any natural wonders?
Yes! It seems only fitting that a state nicknamed the Natural State would be brimming with natural wonders. No matter which region of Arkansas you're exploring, you're bound to find yourself in close proximity to some show-stopping attractions. Some of our favorite natural wonders in Arkansas include the Crater of Diamonds, Onyx Cave, Mammoth Spring, Lee Creek Valley, Bull Shoals Caverns, Mystic Caverns and Crystal Dome, Drowley's Ridge, Hot Springs Natural Park, Lake Chicot, Blanchard Springs Cavern, Cedar Falls, Buffalo National River, White Rock Mountain, and Lake Ouachita. How many of these
incredible natural wonders in Arkansas have you experienced?