Best Camping Areas in Arkansas
There are about 50 State and National parks in the green state of Arkansas. This is why it’s called the Natural State. It would take a lot of hiking and camping to visit them all. Here is a list of 10 best ones:
Mount Magazine, Paris
This park sure has some amazing views. It is spectacular in the fall when you can view the Arkansas River Valley framed in yellows and reds of changing foliage. The tallest peak towers at 2,753 feet. The park is about 17 from Paris and easily accessible from Scenic Highway 309. The park is home to the tallest peak in Arkansas.
Lake Degray, Bismark
Park Degray is beautiful at any time of the year. The park facilities are nice, knowledgeable staff, and wonderful trails and views. The lake is very big; it covers 13,000 acres and is located on the Caddo River, close to the Ouachita Mountains. The park offers all kinds of fun water and hiking activities year-round. It is also famous for rich wildlife and easy trails.
Hot Springs National Park
This park is located in the green mountainous area and offers spectacular views to be enjoyed during easy walks and hikes. This is where President Bill Clinton is from. Visitors can observe warm springs bubbling just under their feet. Take a hike along Hot Springs National Forest trails and enjoy nature’s beauty and serenity.
Crater of Diamonds, Murfreesboro
This park offers one very special activity – a diamond search on its 36 acres. This experience is very unique because it is the only place in the world where visitors can actually find diamonds and get to keep them. The park itself is beautiful, features some old barns, and is fun to kids and adults alike. You can find it 2 from Murfreesboro, on Highway 301.
Pinnacle Mountain, Roland
This is another spectacular park, especially in the fall and spring. The park is only a few miles away from Little Rock and so easily accessible from the capital city. There are enough hiking trails for the whole day. Finish your hike at the top of Pinnacle and get inspired by the beauty of nature. The park is located off I-430, exit 9.
Petit Jean, Morrilton
The main attraction of this park is Cedar Creek and the 95-foot height waterfall. The park is best suited for those who prefer quiet walks and reflections. This is great for families with young kids because the trails are mostly easy and you will encounter forests, little creeks, canyons, meadows, and mountains. The park can be found off I-40 on exit 108.
Lake Ouachita, Mountain Pine
This is an artificial body of water best known because of its clarity. You can see very deep and thus observe various aqua life and fish. The lake is the largest in the state and covers 48,000 acres. It boasts an impressive 975-mile shoreline that is mostly mountainous.
The most popular activities in this park are swimming, diving, and fishing. Beautiful picnic areas are plentiful. See also Arkansas’s Top Fishing Locations. Beautiful picnic areas are plentiful. The park is located close to Hot Springs on U.S. 270 and then Ark. 227.
Devil’s Den, West Fork
Devil’s Den is perfectly suited for all kinds of explorers, young and old. Visitors will be enchanted by many caverns and coves. This park is never too busy, so you have many opportunities to explore at your own pace. In addition to caves, there is an 8-acre lake and many beautiful hikes on shaded forest trails. It is located close to West Fork, off I-540, exit 53.
Blanchard Springs Cavern, Mountain View
This breathtaking cavern is especially popular in summer. Visitors will be wowed by its majestic beauty and will be able to cool off while exploring it. This cave is often listed as the main attraction in Arkansas and considered to be one of the most beautiful caves in America.
This park is owned and cared for by U.S Forestry Service. It is preserved and maintained as intact as possible. Besides railings and a few lights for safety reasons, the cave is not modified from its natural state.
There are two different ways to explore it. One tour is relatively short and easy, well suited for kids. Another tour is longer and involves some stairs.
This is a wild and natural park. There is a nice visitor center facility, but the rest of the park is left as nature intended. The main attraction is the Cossatot River. Extreme sports enthusiasts come to experience one of the best whitewater rafting available in mid-America. In fact, the river drops 33 feet in just 1/3 of a mile, so imagine the power of water! Cossatot means “skull crusher” and is very appropriate for a 3-5 category whitewater.
For those of us not interested in such rafting experience, there plenty of trails available along the river and close to beautiful rock formations.