Floodwaters Affect Only a Small Portion of Arkansas State Parks' Wide Diversity of Facilities

At This Time, Only a Few Facilities at Four State Parks Are Temporarily Closed Due to High Waters in Arkansas Lakes and Rivers


(Little Rock--State Parks Director's Office)--The recent heavy rains that Arkansas experienced in wave after wave affected some Arkansas State Parks facilities, but temporary closures and/or damage were limited to only a few facilities at a few parks, according to State Parks Director Greg Butts. “If you want to enjoy a getaway or vacation you will find the majority of Arkansas State Parks’ wide diversity of facilities open and operating under regular operating hours.”

He noted, “There are 52 state parks here in Arkansas and they feature diverse services, facilities and endless recreational and educational opportunities. At this time, only a few facilities at four parks are closed temporarily due to high waters in Arkansas lakes and rivers.” Butts emphasized that the park system is experiencing a busy spring and is looking forward to the kick off to summer vacation time as Memorial Day Weekend approaches. “It would be unfortunate if the public thought that Arkansas’s state parks were heavily damaged or inaccessible due to floodwaters,” said Butts. “That,” he said, “is not the case.” For instance, the park system offers over 1,700 campsites and less than 10 percent of them are temporarily closed. None of the 100 park cabins were affected. All four of the park system’s hotel-like lodges were untouched, as were the marinas, boat docks, trails, pavilions, restaurants, museums, visitor centers and other facilities. He stressed, “Please be assured, Arkansas’s state parks are open for business as usual.” State parks serve a vital role in providing quality outdoor recreation at state and regional levels, and Arkansas’s state parks comprise one of the finest systems of parks and museums in the nation.

According to Butts, park facility closures are limited at this time to specific facilities at Jacksonport State Park near Newport, Moro Bay State Park southwest of Hermitage, Withrow Springs State Park at Huntsville, and Bull Shoals-White River State Park near Mountain Home. Both Jacksonport and Moro Bay are located in the floodplains of the White River and the Ouachita River, respectively, so these facility closures will happen on a rare occasion. He noted that Withrow Springs on the War Eagle Creek experienced damage to its older campsites; however, its new campground with full hookups was untouched. And, because the campground at Bull Shoals-White River State Park is located on the banks of the White River below Bull Shoals Dam, its temporary closure has been a precautionary measure in case the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers had to open the floodgates on the dam any further. No damage has been sustained at Bull Shoals-White River State Park. “The minute the Corps gives us the go ahead, the park campground will reopen,” said Butts.

To get up-to-the minute updates, go the official Arkansas State Parks Web site, ArkansasStateParks.com, and look for the Special Notices section on the homepage or call 1-888-AT-PARKS.

The book online feature allows viewers to make campsite, cabin and lodge guest room reservations there online. Arkansas State Parks also offers a free full-color, 80-page guidebook to the parks that can be ordered by calling: 1-888-AT-PARKS

For more information, contact: Joan Ellison, public information officer, Arkansas State Parks, 1 Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201; phone: (501) 682-2863; e-mail: joan.ellison@arkansas.gov.


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