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Mith242

Arkansas State Park System

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Arkansas State Parks get mentioned every once in a while. For good reason, we have a very good park system. To be honest I haven't come across another state that has a better park system than Arkansas. I know arguments can be made that some states have the best areas preserved as National Parks and Monuments instead of state parks. But overall after growing up in Arkansas and visiting other states and seeing their state parks I'm always felt that something is missing. I've noticed some states have entrance fees, which Arkansas doesn't. Some states also seem to lack the nice visitor centers that a number of our parks have. Anyway I was curious to see what people's favorites are. For that matter maybe someone can help shed light on some of the lesser known State Parks that maybe get overlooked a bit.

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Arkansas State Parks get mentioned every once in a while. For good reason, we have a very good park system. To be honest I haven't come across another state that has a better park system than Arkansas. I know arguments can be made that some states have the best areas preserved as National Parks and Monuments instead of state parks. But overall after growing up in Arkansas and visiting other states and seeing their state parks I'm always felt that something is missing. I've noticed some states have entrance fees, which Arkansas doesn't. Some states also seem to lack the nice visitor centers that a number of our parks have. Anyway I was curious to see what people's favorites are. For that matter maybe someone can help shed light on some of the lesser known State Parks that maybe get overlooked a bit.

I'd say quite a few of our parks have entrance fees, it's just that most people don't heed the fees. The fees to hiking trails, parking, etc....are usually these little boxes attached to a bulletin board, where you're expected to pay like $2.50 for parking or something.

There are so many good state parks in AR. The best in the Ouachitas is the Little Missouri River area and Eagle Rock Look trail (I've hiked it!)

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Queen Wilhelmina is nice, but that's pretty popular. Most of areas in the Ozarks aren't ever really overlooked, IMO.

The Delta, Timberland, and Crowley Ridge state parks are definitely overlooked. Out of the many state parks I've been too, I can't recall specifically taking an excursion to a Delta, Timberland, or Crowley's Ridge state park.

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I think Petit Jean, Queen Wilhemina, Devil's Den, and Pinnacle are my favorites.

One of my favorites has always been Pinnacle Mountain, at least partially because it approaches Little Rock city limits and you can see much of the city and river valley from its summit. It also has a nice arboretum (tree park) and a variety of trails not only up the mountain on both sides but also around the base. There's even a paved, handicapped accessible trail.There's also a nice trail on a nearby lower summit.

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I'd say quite a few of our parks have entrance fees, it's just that most people don't heed the fees. The fees to hiking trails, parking, etc....are usually these little boxes attached to a bulletin board, where you're expected to pay like $2.50 for parking or something.

I know for a period they had a 'parking fee' but I was pretty sure they got rid of it. I know for a while you had to buy a little 'ticket' and display it in your windshield. But I haven't seen any of the parks I've been to have any fee.

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I've only been to a couple of Arkansas State Parks, and of them, Petit Jean is my favorite. I used to love hiking through the canyon to the water fall. That was a pretty cool place.

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Queen Wilhelmina is nice, but that's pretty popular. Most of areas in the Ozarks aren't ever really overlooked, IMO.

The Delta, Timberland, and Crowley Ridge state parks are definitely overlooked. Out of the many state parks I've been too, I can't recall specifically taking an excursion to a Delta, Timberland, or Crowley's Ridge state park.

I can't say I've really familiar with a lot of the parks in the Ouachitas. I've always wondered about them. Yeah I can't say that the parks in the Delta or Timberland offer as much unless you're big on fishing. I haven't been in years but I thought I remembered some of the ones around Crowley's Ridge being nice.

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I've only been to a couple of Arkansas State Parks, and of them, Petit Jean is my favorite. I used to love hiking through the canyon to the water fall. That was a pretty cool place.

As I was saying before I decided to start this topic. Petit Jean I know is a lot of people's favorite. It was also the one that really helped set up our current park system.

Honeslty I think many of my favorites are in the River Valley as well. I really like Mt Nebo and Mt Magazine along with Mt Petit Jean. Although I wish there was a little more hiking opportunities around Mt Magazine, but I think they have been working on this. Back here in the Ozarks I'd have to pick White Rock and Pedestal Rock. Not sure if either of those are very well know. White Rock might be if it was a little easier to get to. Pedestal Rocks also is pretty nice but not particularly close to any of the metros. Neither one of those have have features like visitor centers and such. I know Devil's Den is a favorite of a lot of people in northwest Arkansas. I think the state has been trying to upgrade areas near Beaver Lake. Perhaps as some other areas easily accessable from northwest Arkansas aside from Devil's Den.

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The parks in the Ouachitas are my favorite. One thing a lot of people don't realize is that even though Petit Jean, Mt. Nebo, and Mt. Magazine are placed in the River Valley classification by the parks dept, they are technically in the Ouachita Mountains. There is no river valley region, that was just made up by the parks dept. Most people that visit Mt. Magazine, that don't know any better think they are in the Ozarks instead of the Ouachitas because it's in the Ozark National Forest. I've never gotten a str8 answer from them on why it wasn't put into the Ouachita National Forest. I attached a map for reference.

My top 5 favorites:

1. DeGray Lake

2. Petit Jean

3. Mt. Magazine

4. Lake Ouachita

5. Queen Wilhelmina

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I think there is a Arkansas River Valley, but it's classified as a subsection of the Ouchitas.

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I read something interesting today. A group of Italians are studying the Arkansas Park System. They possibly might try to use what they learn here into their own park system over there. But it was one of the details mentioned that caught my eye. One of the newspapers sais Devils Den was the oldest state park in the system. Now I know Mt Petit Jean was the model for the park system and I always thought it was the oldest park. Does anyone have any info on this? Is it possible that Mt Petit Jean was set aside first but wasn't a part of the State Park system till later?

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I read something interesting today. A group of Italians are studying the Arkansas Park System. They possibly might try to use what they learn here into their own park system over there. But it was one of the details mentioned that caught my eye. One of the newspapers sais Devils Den was the oldest state park in the system. Now I know Mt Petit Jean was the model for the park system and I always thought it was the oldest park. Does anyone have any info on this? Is it possible that Mt Petit Jean was set aside first but wasn't a part of the State Park system till later?

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Yeah I had always heard Mt Petit Jean was the oldest. The only thing I can think of is that maybe it was set aside but not officially part of the State Park System till later on. Sorta like how Hot Springs was set aside for a long time but not made an official Natl Park till later. Of course maybe the newspaper was just wrong.

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Yeah I had always heard Mt Petit Jean was the oldest. The only thing I can think of is that maybe it was set aside but not officially part of the State Park System till later on. Sorta like how Hot Springs was set aside for a long time but not made an official Natl Park till later. Of course maybe the newspaper was just wrong.

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Anyone know much about Albert Pike, near Langley, AR? (west of Glenwood and northwest of Murfreesboro) <-- I hope I spelled that right.

Anyway we're supposed to go camping up there with friends this coming weekend so I was wondering. Seems pretty, but I can't find much information about it online.

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Anyone know much about Albert Pike, near Langley, AR? (west of Glenwood and northwest of Murfreesboro) <-- I hope I spelled that right.

Anyway we're supposed to go camping up there with friends this coming weekend so I was wondering. Seems pretty, but I can't find much information about it online.

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Very beautiful area. I'm guessing you'll be around Little Missouri River and Eagle Rock Loop trail. You should definitely check both of them out--hopefully the water won't be too low.

This area is definitely one of the most beautiful locales in the state: clear water flowing through huge monoliths, quartz escarpments, etc. I hiked the Eagle Rock loop trail (~27 miles) w/ my dad a few years back: lots of wildflowers, scenic outlooks, beautiful little river. I also went backpacking here w/ a few buddies, and of course that was a blast as well. The trail section of Eagle Rock loop trail along the river might be the best bang for your buck during summer because you can always bathe in the natural pools and jacuzzis along the trail.

Photos from Arkansas.com

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