There are 52 state parks in the U.S. state of Arkansas, as of 2017.The state parks division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism (ADPT) is the governing body and operator of all parks, although jurisdiction is shared with other state agencies in a few cases.
State parks are parks or other protected areas managed at the sub-national level within those nations which use "state" as a political subdivision. State parks are typically established by a state to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, or recreational potential. There are state parks under the administration of the government of each U.S. state, some of the Mexican states, and in Brazil. The term is also used in the Australian state of Victoria. The equivalent term used in Canada, Argentina, South Africa and Belgium, is provincial park. Similar systems of local government maintained parks exist in other countries, but the terminology varies.
Arkansas is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2018. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.
The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism (ADPT) is a department of the U.S. state of Arkansas charged with promoting, protecting, interpreting, and managing the state's natural and cultural resources. The department is also tasked with increasing tourism and promoting individuals, families, and businesses to relocate to Arkansas.
The first Arkansas state park, Petit Jean State Park, opened in 1923 following an unsuccessful attempt by a lumber company to donate the Seven Hollows and canyon areas to the federal government as a National Park.Stephen Mather deemed the parcel too small in 1921, but the Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 276, allowing the Commissioner of State Lands to accept donations of land for public use.
Petit Jean State Park is a 3,471-acre park in Conway County, Arkansas managed by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. It is located atop Petit Jean Mountain adjacent to the Arkansas River in the area between the Ouachita Mountains and Ozark Plateaus.
Stephen Tyng Mather was an American industrialist and conservationist who as president and owner of Thorkildsen-Mather Borax Company became a millionaire. With his friend and journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather led a publicity campaign to promote the creation of a unified federal agency to oversee National Parks administration, which was established in 1916. In 1917, Mather was appointed as the first director of the National Park Service, the new agency created within the Department of the Interior. He served until 1929, during which time Mather created a professional civil service organization, increased the numbers of parks and national monuments, and established systematic criteria for adding new properties to the federal system.
The Arkansas General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Arkansas. The legislature is a bicameral body composed of the upper house Arkansas Senate with 35 members, and the lower Arkansas House of Representatives with 100 members. All 135 representatives and state senators represent an equal amount of constituent districts. The General Assembly convenes on the second Monday of every other year. A session lasts for 60 days unless the legislature votes to extend it. The Governor of Arkansas can issue a "call" for a special session during the interims between regular sessions. The General Assembly meets at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.
The list gives an overview of Arkansas state parks and a brief history of their development since the first park opened in 1923. State parks range in size from 1 acre (0.40 ha) to 11,744 acres (4,753 ha).
|Park name||County or counties||Size||Year Established||Water Body(s)||Remarks||Image|
|Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources||Union County||19 acres |
|1986||None||Museum preserving and interpreting the history of oil and bromine mining in Arkansas|
|Arkansas Post Museum||Arkansas County||8 acres (3.2 ha)||1997||None||Museum dedicated to the history of Arkansas Post, Arkansas's territorial capital until 1821. Located on the grounds of the Arkansas Post National Memorial (National Park Service)|
|Bull Shoals-White River State Park||Baxter and Marion counties||732 acres (296 ha)||1955||Bull Shoals Lake||Trout fishing destination above and below Bull Shoals Dam with over 100 campsites|
|Cane Creek State Park||Lincoln County||2,053 acres (831 ha)||1992||Cane Creek Lake||Wooded lake along Bayou Bartholomew including a hiking trail and camping|
|Conway Cemetery State Park||Lafayette County||11.5 acres (5 ha)||1986||None||Historical state park with no recreational services located on James Sevier Conway's (the first governor of Arkansas) former cotton plantation|
|Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area||Howard and Polk county||5,230 acres (2145 ha)||1988||Cossatot River||Class III, IV, and V whitewater rafting river listed on the National Park Service's National Wild and Scenic Rivers System|
|Crater of Diamonds State Park||Pike County||911 acres (369 ha)||1972||None||World's only diamond-bearing site accessible to the public|
|Crowley's Ridge State Park||Greene County||291 acres (118 ha)||1937||Lake Ponder||Park built on the homestead of Benjamin Crowley, dedicated to the culture and history of the Crowley's Ridge region. Includes many structures built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and spring-fed Lake Ponder|
|Daisy State Park||Pike County||276 acres (112 ha)||1955||Lake Greeson||Park nestled within the Ouachita Mountains on Lake Greeson near the Ouachita National Forest. Popular for camping, water sports, and fishing|
|Davidsonville Historic State Park||Randolph County||163 acres (66 ha)||1957||Black River||Historic state park preserving the abandoned frontier river town of Davidsonville. Interpretive tours and signs guide visitors through the historic community bypassed by the Southwest Trail in the 1820s. Fishing is available along three nearby rivers, with 49 campsites|
|DeGray Lake Resort State Park||Clark and Hot Spring counties||984 acres (398 ha)||1974||DeGray Lake||Resort state park with championship rated golf course, 94 room lodge, and over 100 campsites|
|Delta Heritage Trail State Park||Arkansas, Desha and Phillips counties||960 acres (390 ha)||2002||None||Rails to trails conversion of former railroad bed through Arkansas Delta lowlands, currently 14 miles (23 km), planned to be 73 miles (117 km)|
|Devil's Den State Park||Washington County||2,500 acres (1000 ha)||1933||Lee Creek||Civilian Conservation Corps-built park in the Ozarks with lake, caves, swimming pool and several trails. Includes over 100 campsites, including cabins|
|Hampson Archeological Museum State Park||Mississippi County||5 acres (2 ha)||1961||None||Museum displaying archeological artifacts from the Nodena Site, an aboriginal village of the Nodena people dated 1400-1650 CE, and bones from the Island 35 Mastodon|
|Herman Davis State Park||Mississippi County||1 acre (0.4 ha)||1953||None||Park surrounding a grave and memorial to Herman Davis, a U.S. sniper during World War I|
|Historic Washington State Park||Hempstead County||101 acres (41 ha)||1973||None||Fifty-three buildings that preserve and interpret the architectural, cultural, and political history of a historic nineteenth century town.|
|Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area||Benton, Carroll and Madison counties||12,056 acres (4879 ha)||1979||Beaver Lake||Large park in the Boston Mountains along Beaver Lake featuring trails, camping, and a shooting range.|
|Jacksonport State Park||Jackson County||164.7 acres (66.7 ha)||1965||Black River and White River||Park containing the 1872 Jacksonport courthouse, preserving the culture and history of a former steamboat river town|
|Jenkins' Ferry Battleground State Park||Grant County||40 acres (16.2 ha)||1961||Saline River||One of three battleground sites from the Camden Expedition of the Civil War. Water recreation available on the Saline River|
|Lake Catherine State Park||Garland and Hot Spring counties||2,180 acres (882.2 ha)||1935||Lake Catherine||Civilian Conservation Corps park created along the lake, resulting in a well-preserved natural shoreline. Park features cabins, campsites, nature programs, marina, hiking trails, and a sand beach swimming area|
|Lake Charles State Park||Lawrence County||140 acres (57 ha)||1967||Lake Charles||Lake is maintained and stocked with fish by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission; also features camping, hiking, boat ramps and an interpretative nature center|
|Lake Chicot State Park||Chicot County||211.6 acres (85.6 ha)||1957||Lake Chicot||Largest oxbow lake in the United States; formerly the main channel of the Mississippi River. Park is located within a pecan grove within a bayou environment, offering 122 campsites, 14 cabins, swimming pool, boat shop/marina and interpretative visitor center.|
|Lake Dardanelle State Park||Pope County||246 acres (99.6 ha)||1966||Lake Dardanelle||Two sites (Russellville and Dardanelle), including 74 campsites, boating, visitor center, and aquarium. Popular for bass fishing, including hosting many major tournaments.|
|Lake Fort Smith State Park||Crawford County||260 acres (105.2 ha)||1967||Lake Fort Smith||Large lake in the Ozarks offering 30 campsites, 10 cabins, a marina, swimming pool and visitor center|
|Lake Frierson State Park||Greene County||114 acres (46.1 ha)||1975||Lake Frierson||Reservoir built along Crowley's Ridge known for fishing. Features seven campsites, trails, boat ramp and visitor center|
|Lake Ouachita State Park||Garland County||360 acres (145.7 ha)||1955||Lake Ouachita||Built surrounding a reservoir, the park features a marina, trails, restaurant, eagle tours, and interpretative information on three historic springs in the park vicinity|
|Lake Poinsett State Park||Poinsett County||132 acres (53.4 ha)||1963||Lake Poinsett||Popular with fishing enthusiasts, the park offers 29 campsites, trails and interpretative programs|
|Logoly State Park||Columbia County||368 acres (148.9 ha)||1974||None||Environmental education park containing mature oak-hickory forests, mineral springs and endangered species|
|Louisiana Purchase State Park||Lee County, Monroe County, Phillips County||37.5 acres (15.2 ha)||1961||None||Boardwalk through a headwater swamp leading to a monument dedicating the point of beginning of all surveys of the Louisiana Purchase, which allowed for the westward development and expansion of the United States|
|Lower White River Museum State Park||Prairie County||0.4 acres (0.2 ha)||1975||White River||Museum dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of culture, commerce and history along the White River in Arkansas|
|Mammoth Spring State Park||Fulton County||623.5 acres (25 ha)||1957||Mammoth Spring||Park surrounding the large natural spring, offering fishing, boating and hiking, an Arkansas welcome center and museum|
|Marks' Mills Battleground State Park||Cleveland County||6.2 acres (2.5 ha)||1961||None||Park commemorating Civil War battle, including exhibits and park area. Also a Red River Campaign National Historic Landmark.|
|Millwood State Park||Little River County||824 acres (333 ha)||1976||Millwood Lake||Forested area surrounding large lake known for bass fishing, bird watching, hiking and camping.|
|Mississippi River State Park||Lee County, Phillips County||536 acres (217 ha)||2009||Mississippi River||Newest state park created within the St. Francis National Forest. Park currently includes campground at Bear Creek Lake and birding trail.|
|Moro Bay State Park||Bradley County||117 acres (47 ha)||1972||Ouachita River||Park at the convergence of Raymond Lake, Moro Bay, and the Ouachita River with visitor center. Popular destination for fishing, water sports, hiking trails and camping.|
|Mount Magazine State Park||Logan County||2,234 acres (904 ha)||1983||None||The park contains Mossback Ridge, including the peak of Mount Magazine, Arkansas's highest point. Park also contains The Lodge at Mount Magazine, cabins, trails, and a hang gliding area.|
|Mount Nebo State Park||Yell County||2,984 acres (1208 ha)||1928||None||One of three mountain state parks in the Arkansas River Valley, includes historic cabins, 14 miles (23 km) of hiking trails, and popular hang-gliding launch points.|
|Ozark Folk Center State Park||Stone County||637 acres (258 ha)||1973||None||Located near Mountain View, Arkansas, it preserves the music, culture, and traditions of the Ozark Mountains. Hosts special concerts and regular folk music performances.|
|Parkin Archeological State Park||Cross County||107 acres (43 ha)||1994||None|
|Petit Jean State Park||Conway County||3,471 acres (1405 ha)||1923||None||Situated atop Petit Jean Mountain in the Arkansas River Valley, offers trails, creeks, and geology throughout the forested mountains|
|Pinnacle Mountain State Park||Pulaski County||2,069 acres (837 ha)||1973||None||Rocky Pinnacle Mountain emerges where the flat Arkansas Delta intersects the Ouachita Mountains|
|Plantation Agriculture Museum||Lonoke County||14.5 acres (5.9 ha)||1985||None||Former general store serving a community of cotton farmers operating as a museum including over 10,000 artifacts. Grounds also contain farm machinery used on cotton plantations.|
|Poison Springs Battleground State Park||Ouachita County||85 acres (34 ha)||1961||None||Preserves and commemorates the Battle of Poison Spring in the American Civil War, which was part of the 1864 Camden Expedition|
|Powhatan Historic State Park||Lawrence County||9.1 acres (3.7 ha)||1970||Black River||Preserves a small nineteenth-century river port town on the Black River|
|Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park||Washington County||840 acres (340 ha)||1957||None||Preserves and commemorates the Battle of Prairie Grove in the American Civil War. Park includes a museum, gift shop, and several historic structures from the period relocated to the site around a walking trail.|
|Queen Wilhelmina State Park||Polk County||460 acres (190 ha)||1957||None||Lodge atop Rich Mountain offers 38 guest rooms and is surrounded by forested slopes with creeks, trails, and mountain vistas. Located along the Talimena Scenic Drive.|
|South Arkansas Arboretum||Union County||13 acres (5.3 ha)||1991||None||Arboretum and botanical garden owned by South Arkansas Community College with plants native to the Western Gulf Coastal Plain region.|
|Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park||Lonoke County||185 acres (75 ha)||1975||None|
185 acres (75 ha)
Village Creek State Park is a 6,909-acre (2,796 ha) Arkansas state park in Cross and St. Francis counties, Arkansas in the United States. The park was formed as a result of a study commissioned by the Arkansas General Assembly to form a large park in east Arkansas. Segments of the Old Military Road, later used as the Trail of Tears run through the park, which also features two lakes and 27 holes of golf.
White Oak Lake State Park is a state park in the southwest of the U.S. state of Arkansas, a few miles from Bluff City. The reservoir sits surrounded by tall pine trees, giving it a rich, wooded beauty. The state park offers camping facilities as well as boat and bike rentals, playground facilities and swimming areas.
Wooly Hollow State Park is a 370-acre (150 ha) Arkansas state park in Faulkner County, near Greenbrier, Arkansas in the United States. The park was built and is based on a dam lake, Bennett Lake, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) beginning in 1933. Access to the park is available from Arkansas Highway 285.
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Lincoln County is located between the Arkansas Timberlands and Arkansas Delta in the U.S. state of Arkansas. It is also within the Pine Bluff metro area, and on the outer edge of the Central Arkansas region. The county is named for Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. Created as Arkansas's 65th county on March 28, 1871, Lincoln County has three incorporated cities, including Star City, the county seat and most populous city. The county contains 46 unincorporated communities and ghost towns, Cane Creek State Park at the confluence of Cane Creek and Bayou Bartholomew, and nine listings on the National Register of Historic Places to preserve the history and culture of the county.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is a 911-acre (369 ha) Arkansas state park in Pike County, Arkansas, in the United States. The park features a 37.5-acre plowed field, the world's only diamond-bearing site accessible to the public. Diamonds have continuously been discovered in the field since 1906, including the Strawn-Wagner Diamond. The site became a state park in 1972 after the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism purchased the site from the Arkansas Diamond Company and Ozark Diamond Mines Corporation, who had operated the site as a tourist attraction previously.
Cane Creek State Park is a 2,053-acre (831 ha) Arkansas state park in Lincoln County, Arkansas in the United States. Straddling the Gulf Coastal Plain and the Mississippi Delta, the park includes the 1,675-acre (678 ha) Cane Creek Lake, a wooded lake which borders Bayou Bartholomew, the world's longest bayou. The park became a reality when the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Conservation Service said it would provide federal funds to the project in 1973, prompting the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) to pledge to build and maintain the lake within the park. The park is characterized by rolling wooded hills, deep draws, and steeply sloping ridges.
Conway Cemetery State Park is a 11.5-acre (4.7 ha) Arkansas state park in Lafayette County, Arkansas in the United States. Located on the former cotton plantation grounds of James Sevier Conway, the cemetery serves as Conway's final resting place. No recreational or visitors' amenities are available at the historic site. The site became a state park in 1986 as part of Arkansas's sesquicentennial.
Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area is a 5,299.65-acre (2,144.69 ha) Arkansas state park in Howard County and Polk County, Arkansas in the United States. The park follows a rough, undeveloped 12.5 miles (20.1 km) of the Cossatot River. The river itself is included in Arkansas's Natural and Scenic Rivers System and the National Park Service's list of National Wild and Scenic Rivers, making it a whitewater rafting destination. The rough nature of the river, including Class III, IV, and dangerous Class V rapids, make the park-natural area a popular destination for skilled canoeists, kayakers, and playboaters. The park became a part of the system in 1988 after the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission agreed to cooperative management after acquiring the property from the Weyerhaeuser Corporation.
Crowley's Ridge State Park is a 291-acre (118 ha) Arkansas state park in Greene County, Arkansas in the United States atop Crowley's Ridge. Located on the former homesite of pioneer Benjamin Crowley, the park contains many excellent examples of the work done by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. One of Arkansas's most popular state parks, the parks is bisected by Crowley's Ridge Parkway, a National Scenic Byway. The site became a state park in 1933 in an effort to honor Crowley and the heritage of the Crowley's Ridge area.
Daisy State Park is a 276-acre (112 ha) Arkansas state park in Pike County, Arkansas in the United States. The park at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains features Lake Greeson, a 7,000-acre (2,800 ha) fishing lake constructed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in 1950. The park is surrounded by timberlands and is located near the Ouachita National Forest.
Davidsonville Historic State Park is a 163-acre (66 ha) Arkansas state park in Randolph County, Arkansas in the United States. Situated on a border between The Ozarks and the Arkansas Delta, the park preserves the remains of the abandoned frontier town of Davidsonville. The town was one of Arkansaw Territory's first settlements when founded in 1815, serving as an important river port town on the Black River. The former townsite was made into a state park in 1957 and a monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Bigelow Hollow State Park is public recreation area in the town of Union, Connecticut, in the Quinebaug Highlands. The state park's 516 acres (209 ha) border Nipmuck State Forest on the east and west and Mashapaug Lake on the north. The park and forest are located in a large hollow or depression approximately 700' below the surrounding ridgelines. They are managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Mansfield Hollow Lake is a reservoir resting on the border of Windham County and Tolland County, Connecticut. The reservoir provides drinking water for Willimantic and helps control flooding in the 159-square-mile Thames River watershed. It was created by the Mansfield Hollow Dam and is entirely contained within Mansfield Hollow State Park and the Mansfield Hollow Wildlife Area. Designed and constructed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the dam substantially reduces flooding along the Quinebaug, Shetucket, and Thames rivers. Construction of the project began in 1949 with completion in 1952 at a cost of US$6.5 million. The Mansfield Hollow reservoir is located within the Shetucket River Watershed and is part of the Thames River Basin. Access to the site is available from US Route 6 and State Route 195. The damsite, covering an area of 25 acres (10 ha), was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
Devil's Den State Park is a 2,500-acre (1,000 ha) Arkansas state park in Washington County, near West Fork, Arkansas in the United States. The park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, beginning in 1933. Devil's Den State Park is in the Lee Creek Valley in the Boston Mountains, which are the southwestern part of The Ozarks. The park, with an 8 acres (3.2 ha) CCC-built lake, is open for year-round recreation, with trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Devil's Den State Park also has several picnic areas, a swimming pool and cabins, with camping sites ranging from modern to primitive. Fossils of coral and crinoids can be found along the banks and within Lee Creek at Devil's Den State Park.
Mansfield Hollow State Park is a public recreation area occupying 251 acres (102 ha) of leased lands on the western shore of 500-acre (200 ha) Mansfield Hollow Lake in the town of Mansfield, Connecticut. The state park is one portion of the 2,300 acres (930 ha) leased by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for recreational and wildlife management purposes. Geologic features of the park include remnants of the last glacial period, where retreating glaciers left kames, eskers, and kettles. Recreational opportunities include facilities for boating, fishing, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing. The park is traversed by the southeastern leg of the Nipmuck Trail.
Herman Davis State Park is a 1-acre (0.40 ha) state park in Manila, Arkansas, United States. The park includes the grave of and a memorial to Herman Davis (1888-1923), a U.S. sniper during World War I. The park is located at the junction of Baltimore Avenue and Arkansas Highway 18, south of the city center. It consists of a grassy area, with a concrete walk leading to the memorial. The memorial is a granite obelisk, 25 feet (7.6 m) in height, in front of which stands a full-size granite likeness of Davis in his infantry uniform. Davis' remains are buried just behind the monument. The site is the only location in Arkansas associated with Davis, a native of Manila who won distinction in the war for taking out a nest of German machine gunners with his marksmanship. Davis modestly rarely mentioned the awards he received for this and other actions, but was called out by General John J. Pershing, who placed him fourth on a list of 100 heroes of the war.
Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area is a 12,056-acre (4,879 ha) Arkansas state park in Benton, Carroll, and Madison Counties, Arkansas in the United States. The park was bought in 1979 through a huge financial effort from Northwest Arkansas banks. Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area is located almost entirely in the Springfield Plateau subdivision of the Ozark Plateau. The park, located just south of Beaver Lake, is open for year-round recreation, including 32.9 miles (52.9 km) of hiking, mountain bike and equestrian trails. Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area also has several picnic areas, a shooting range, and primitive camping sites.
Lake Poinsett State Park is a 132-acre (53 ha) Arkansas state park on Crowley's Ridge in Poinsett County, Arkansas in the United States. The park was formed after the damming of Distress Creek to create a recreational lake in the county in 1960. The park is located along the western bank of the lake and is open for year-round for camping/picnicking. Boat rentals are available from February to November.
Mount Magazine State Park is a 2,234-acre park located in Logan County, Arkansas. Inhabited since the 1850s, Mount Magazine first became part of the Ouachita National Forest in 1938, was re-designated as part of the Ozark National Forest in 1941, and became a state park after a 22-year conversion process from the U.S. Forest Service to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Mount Magazine State Park is the highest park in Arkansas. The park contains Mossback Ridge, including the peak of Mount Magazine which contains The Lodge at Mount Magazine, cabins, trails, and a hang gliding area.
Delta Heritage Trail State Park is a 960-acre (390 ha) Arkansas state park in Arkansas, Desha, and Phillips counties, Arkansas in the United States. A rails to trails conversion planned along 73 miles (117 km) of abandoned Union Pacific right of way, the Delta Heritage Trail currently runs 14 miles (23 km) from Lexa to Barton. Acquisition of the abandoned corridor was aided by the National Trails System Act, and the beginnings of the trail through Delta lowlands was dedicated in 2002.
Lake Charles State Park is a 140-acre (57 ha) Arkansas state park in Lawrence County, Arkansas in the United States. Situated in The Ozarks along the Black River, the park features the 645-acre (261 ha) artificial Lake Charles. The lake is a result of a partnership of four agencies to construct a multipurpose lake just north of Shirey Bay Rainey Brake Wildlife Management Area in an effort to control flooding and preserve the watershed. Construction on the lake began in 1964, and the park was dedicated in 1967.
Logoly State Park is one of the 52 state parks of the Arkansas State Parks System, located in the Gulf Coastal Plain, 6 miles (10 km) north of Magnolia, 0.75 miles (1.2 km) east of McNeil, off U.S. Route 79 on Loyola Road in southwestern Arkansas in the United States. The 368-acre (1.49 km2) park surrounds an area of mineral springs that have been known for over a century.