State Parks Director's
Although caves at Devil's Den State Park and Withrow Springs State Park are closed to the public as state and federal agencies work to protect these caves and the bats that inhabit them from White-nose Syndrome, Arkansas's show caves are open for business. These seven caves in the Ozarks include Blanchard Springs Caverns, operated by the U.S. Forest Service, and these privately-operated caverns: Bull Shoals, Cosmic Caverns, Mystic Caverns, Old Spanish Treasure Cave, Onyx Cave, and War Eagle Cavern.
Information on these caverns can be found at: http://www.arkansas.com/things-to-do/caves/.
Following renovation of the dining hall/kitchen, the group lodging area at Crowley's Ridge State Park has reopened. The structure's renovation included new flooring and windows, window coverings, the addition of LED track lighting, upgrading of the electrical system, installation of a Mitsubishi mini-split system (HVAC), a new kitchen with updated equipment including an Ansul fire suppression system in the vent hood over range. The building now features a new entrance, new restroom building behind dining hall, and outside lighting. The renovation work also included landscaping/erosion improvements and the repair and replacement of rotten cypress logs on this historic structure dating from the 1930s and built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The reopening also includes the group lodging area's five bunk cabins and bathhouse. For additional details, contact the park at: 870-573-6751.
The laundry facility at Lake Catherine State Park is no longer in service.
During the upcoming five-day Muzzleloader, five-day Modern Gun, and two-day Youth Gun deer seasons, most of the trails at Hobbs State Park–Conservation Area will be closed as a safety precaution. These trails include the Shaddox Hollow Trail, Pigeon Roost Trail, Sinking Stream Trail, Bashore Loop, Dutton Hollow Loop, Little Clifty Loop, and War Eagle Loop. In addition to the temporary closure of these trails, the park’s shooting range and primitive campgrounds will also be closed. The primitive campgrounds will also be closed the day prior to each of these three gun seasons. Park trails that will remain open during these three gun deer seasons are the Historic Van Winkle Trail on Hwy 12 and the Ozark Plateau Trail at the park visitor center. NOTE: Hobbs State Park (with the 12,056-acre Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area) is a hunting Zone 320, and not Zone 1, and the dates of the state Muzzleloader, Modern Gun, and Youth deer seasons do not coincide with the dates of the Muzzleloader and Modern Gun seasons set for Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area. The dates these trails closures are applicable at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area are: Youth Hunt (November 8-9), Muzzleloader season (November 15-19), and Modern gun season (December 6-10), For additional information, contact the park at: 479-789-5000.
Due to interruptions in the water delivery system supplying Queen Wilhelmina State Park, the park restrooms are closed at this time. However, portable toilets are available in the park. [NOTE: The park lodge is closed while undergoing renovation.] It is not known at this time when water service is expected to be restored. If you plan to visit the park, bring water with you. For updates, contact the park at: 479-394-2863.
Camping Areas "A" and "B" at Millwood State Park are closed temporarily while undergoing renovation, including upgrades. These sites are expected to reopen in February 2015. The park's 74 Class B sites campsites and three primitive sites remain open. For updates, contact the park at: (870) 898-2800.
West Park Road within Daisy State Park will be closed permanently to through traffic beginning May 1. This will prevent eastbound travelers on U.S. 70 from mistaking this road for the park's main entrance road (East Park Road) that’s 1,500 feet ahead. For additional information, contact the park at: (870) 398-4487.
The Ed Banks Low Water Bridge that crosses the Cossatot River from the east side on Weyerhaeuser Road #52000 (Ed Banks Road), and from the west on Weyerhaeuser Road #82000, in Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area will be closed to all vehicles beginning November 1. This action is necessary to ensure public safety because the current structure is a safety hazard to vehicle traffic due to damage from flood events over time. The bridge was constructed by the Dierks Land and Coal Company and maintained by Weyerhaeuser Company as part of their timber operations, and Weyerhaeuser Company has determined the river crossing is not necessary due to alternate trucking routes. The bridge will remain open to foot traffic as the river crossing for the park’s River Corridor Trail. The bridge’s closing will not impact the Ed Bank Access along Weyerhaeuser Road #52000 which serves as a put-in point for floaters, or affect the park’s facilities located on the east side of this access.
Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge closed on March 5, 2012, to undergo a major renovation. It will reopen in late spring 2015. This temporary closure applies to the entire lodge including all 38 guest rooms, the restaurant, lobby, meeting room, and restrooms. All other facilities at Queen Wilhelmina State Park, including the campground and trails, remain open. Park offices are temporarily located near the entrance to the park campground. For updates, contact the park at: 479-394-2863.
On April 16, 2010, War Eagle Cave at Withrow Springs State Park at Huntsville closed temporarily to the public. [NOTE: This is the cave on the state park's War Eagle Trail. It is not the privately-owned War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake. All show caves in Arkansas remain open to the public.] This park cave closure continues to be necessary in an effort to protect this cave and the bat species that inhabit it from from White-nose Syndrome, a fungus that has killed millions of hibernating bats in the eastern U.S. and several Canadian provinces. White-nose Syndrome was first detected in February 2006 in Schoharie County, New York. The disease has spread as far west as western Missouri and north central Arkansas. For more information about this cave closure, visit:
In May 2009, the Farmer's Cave and Big Ear Cave at Devil's Den State Park near West Fork closed to the public. On April 16, 2010, the park's Devil's Den Cave and Ice Box Cave also closed. The temporary closures of these four caves continues to be necessary in an effort to protect these caves and the bat species that inhabit them from White-nose Syndrome, a fungus that has killed millions of hibernating bats in the eastern United States and several Canadian provinces. White-nose Syndrome was first detected in February 2006 in Schoharie County, New York. The disease has spread as far west as western Missouri and north central Arkansas. [In July 2013, the fungus that causes White-nose Syndrome was confirmed in the park’s Devil's Den Cave, but no bats exhibiting the disease.] For more information about these cave closures, contact the park at email@example.com or (479) 761-3325