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Meg Matthews with Arkansas State Parks shows us how Ozark Folk Center State Park artisan Jeanette Larson goes from sheep to shawl. Watching the artisans in the craft village at Ozark State Park do their thing is like taking a ride in a time machine. There’s no app for any of this stuff. Jeanette’s specialty is fiber; she creates beautiful rugs and shawls by hand. But her involvement in weaving…

Connecting to Nature You don’t have to spend a copious amount of time outside to realize that there are plenty of benefits to some peaceful time hiking on your favorite Arkansas State Park trail. Research has proven in recent years what many historic conservationists have been telling us for hundreds of years: Time in a natural environment is necessary for a healthy mind and body. Sometimes, however, a hike does…

Arkansas’s First Governor James Conway James Sevier Conway (1796-1855), surveyor, planter, prominent and influential citizen of pioneer Arkansas, took office as Arkansas’s first governor when Arkansas was admitted to the Union as the 25th state on June 15, 1836. Dedicated to his memory, Conway Cemetery State Park preserves Governor Conway’s final resting place, the one-half acre family plot at what was once his cotton plantation, Walnut Hill. The cemetery lies…

MuseumSee All

In honor of Black History Month, I decided to go a different way with this week’s blog. Here in Arkansas we have so much to celebrate, yet so few of us know about our rich, colorful history.  This has bothered me for years. Some time ago I asked my grandmother why I had to search so hard to find Arkansas history- why we didn’t have all the historical markers and…

NatureSee All

Up to 90% of the upcoming solar eclipse will be able to be seen in areas of The Natural State. Your Arkansas state parks are ready to make this amazing event even more special with programs scheduled for Monday, August 21, 2017.  Here are a few of the events that are scheduled: Devils Den State Park – 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Meet at the playground area past the dam.…

Many people are birdwatchers; the United States Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that something like 48 million Americans watch birds. Of those, only a tiny fraction have the time, money, and obsessive devotion for intense birding. Arkansas State Parks has an answer for that.  Check out our birding events and programs and birding in Arkansas state parks. And here’s a great blog about birding by one of our park interpreters.…

“Kids to Parks Day” is a nation-wide call for parents and grandparents to engage their children in outdoor living. This is an opportunity to be nature mentors to children or grandchildren so they can experience first-hand how inspiring the natural world can be, as well as connecting them to the heart-healthy activities in Arkansas state parks. The natural world is a world of wonder, and the Arkansas state park system…

Park InsiderSee All

Billy Lindsey has been promoted to the role of superintendent of Bull Shoals-White River State Park. Billy has been the Assistant Superintendent at Mount Magazine State Park and officially began in his new capacity this month. Billy has previously served as owner/manager of Lindsey’s Trout Fishing Resort in Heber Springs for over 38 years and is a past State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commissioner for over 28 years. He brings…

Arkansas State Parks has been chosen from a field of 300,000 candidates to receive a Special Achievement Award. This comes from the internationally recognized Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) for innovative use of technology.   This specific technology combines something called a Geographic Information System (GIS) with the latest web technologies. At first glance it might sound complicated and not related to everyday use – but that couldn’t be farther…

Keys handed over to Marine Sgt. Marshall Kennedy at War Memorial Stadium Farmington resident Sgt. Marshall Kennedy lost both of his legs and sustained severe damage to his left arm while in Afghanistan in 2011. At War Memorial Stadium this Saturday, August 12th at 10 a.m., this Purple Heart recipient will receive the keys to a Ford Raptor Truck, adapted to accommodate combat-wounded veterans. “Our belief is that, given the…

RecreationSee All

Construction of Delta Heritage Trail Terminus Trailhead Begins Construction of a new trailhead facility for the southern terminus of the Delta Heritage Trail (DHT) in Arkansas City, kicked off Aug. 2, 2017. This innovative project is being developed under the national “rails to trails” initiative, whereby former railroad lines are converted to pedestrian and bicycle routes. The trail is being developed in phases by Arkansas State Parks. When completed, the trail…

Many people are birdwatchers; the United States Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that something like 48 million Americans watch birds. Of those, only a tiny fraction have the time, money, and obsessive devotion for intense birding. Arkansas State Parks has an answer for that.  Check out our birding events and programs and birding in Arkansas state parks. And here’s a great blog about birding by one of our park interpreters.…

Arkansas State Parks offer plenty of great accommodation options for guests, ranging from luxurious lodges to cozy cabins and rustic campgrounds. But if you want to experience something new in a campground setting under the stars, a YURT (Year-round Universal Recreational Tent) may be just the thing. YURTs are perfect if you don’t have camping equipment but would still like a camping experience. There is a fire pit, grill and…

UncategorizedSee All

Whether you’re looking to hike a trail, journey through a moment of Arkansas’s history, muddy up the tires on your mountain bike, or just get away for the weekend, there is an Arkansas State Park waiting for you. There are 52 diverse parks scattered throughout this beautiful state so no matter where you find yourself in Arkansas, you’re sure to be near at least one Arkansas State Park. If you’re…

Ah to see the world through a child’s eyes – such innocence, such joy, such wonder! Today, take advantage of National S’more Day and let your taste buds take you back in time. Head out to an Arkansas State Park to enjoy this ooey, gooey campfire treat just like you did when you were a kid. The traditional recipe is so simple you never need to write it down. Toast…

The best use of my park is as a classroom.  The thing I love to see are young people using their senses to enjoy this place that I have loved all these years.  My greatest hope is that through this contact that they will learn more about their world and come to care for the park.  What could be a more important goal of this special place? The first school…