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: www.arkansas.com/things-to-do/caves/.
On Thursday, April 23, a park visitor found a beautiful 3.69-carat, white teardrop-shaped diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. You can read details and see photos of this gem, named the Hallelujah Diamond, at: http://goo.gl/bAstv6
The Low-water Trail and playground at Moro Bay State Park remain closed following damage this spring from floodwaters. It is not known at this time when they will reopen. All other facilities in the park are open. For updates, contact the park at: 870-463-8555.
The visitor center at Logoly State Park closed on Friday, January, 9, for construction to begin on the park's new visitor center at the same site. The park office relocated to a trailer near the park bathhouse. This temporary office will serve park visitors until the new visitor center is completed. Once built, the new environmentally-friendly visitor center will be a candidate for LEED Gold certification. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices. The phone number for the park office will remain: 870-695-3561.
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 some of the 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.
Camping Areas "A" and "B" at Millwood State Park are closed temporarily while undergoing renovation, including upgrades. These sites are expected to reopen by summer 2015. The park's 74 Class B sites campsites and three primitive sites remain open. For updates on the date that these sites will open, contact the park at: 870-898-2800.
Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge closed on March 5, 2012, to undergo a major renovation. It will reopen in summer 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-761-3325.