Below is the latest on camping from Arkansas State Parks. Before you get into it, we at Arkansas Outside would like to thank the staff of the Arkansas State Parks for keeping the light burning, making sure we have places to enjoy the outdoors and serving the Arkansas public in a time when many are just discovering the mental and physical health benefits of being outdoors. While many Arkansans are not at work, school, or experiencing a normal routine, these public servants are out there facing unprecedented visitation to the parks, cleaning up after us, keeping us safe while also protecting the natural resources of The Natural State. They deserve our respect and our thanks.
If you are going to any public recreational land in the state, please read this first for your safety and the safety of those managing those lands. Also, please follow Leave No Trace 7 Principles when enjoying the outdoors.
(from news release)
Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism (ADPHT), today announced ADPHT is limiting the use of campgrounds to RVs with self-contained bathrooms. Primitive camping areas for backpackers are available at Cane Creek State Park, Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, Mount Nebo State Park, and Devil’s Den State Park. Bathhouses and restrooms in campground areas will be closed. This limitation becomes effective at 9 a.m. Sunday, March 29, until further notice.
Cabins at Arkansas State Parks remain available for rental, and access to trails are open. Day use of the parks is still available for walking, hiking, biking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
“We are making this difficult decision to further limit the use of our State Parks in order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus,” said Hurst. “Cabin rentals and day use of our State Parks remain open and available to the public. We ask that our visitors follow the CDC and Governor’s directives to not gather in groups of more than 10 people.”
Any deposits to the parks will be refunded and any fees will be waived. Questions about reservation cancellation should be made to the parks directly.
Closings previously announced:
Welcome Centers – Lobbies of the 13 Welcome Centers located around the state, which serve the traveling public, are closed until further notice.
Heritage Museums and Archives – The Division of Arkansas Heritage’s Little Rock museums are closed to the public until further notice. This includes Delta Cultural Center, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Old State House Museum. The State Archives locations at Little Rock, Old Washington and Powhatan are closed
Arkansas State Parks – Access to certain park facilities will be limited, effective March 20. Below is an overview; for detailed information visit ArkansasStateParks.com.
- Lodges are closed at DeGray Lake Resort State Park, Mount Magazine State Park, Petit Jean State Park, and Queen Wilhelmina State Park
- Park visitor centers are accessible for cabin check-in and trail access, but exhibits and gift shops will be closed.
- The diamond search area at Crater of Diamonds State Park is closed.
- Cabins and RV campsites remain open. Daily housekeeping will not be provided. After a stay is over, the room will be cleaned and sanitized for the next guest, using the Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
- Restaurants are open for carry-out only.
- Trails, picnic areas, and outdoor pavilions remain open.
- Groups holding reservations should contact the park. Group size, meeting location, etc., will affect the ability for events to proceed.
- Museum parks with trails restricted to trail access only. Museum parks without trails will provide limited access to exhibits. Gift shops are closed.
- Playgrounds are closed.
- Marinas and boat ramps remain open with the availability of rental equipment that will be sanitized following each use. Gift shops will be closed.
- DeGray Lake Resort State Park golf course remains open. The pro shop is open to accept golf fees only. Gift shop and club rentals are closed. Cart rentals continue and are cleaned and sanitized between rentals.
- All interpretive programming, events, and workshops are canceled until further notice.