Calling all nature lovers! Discover the unrivaled beauty of Arkansas’ Upper Delta Region by exploring the area’s state parks. Check out these parks to help you start planning your next big adventure. From wildlife viewing and lake trips to birding and fishing, all kinds of outdoor fun await you in this region.
Plan a visit to Crowley’s Ridge State Park near Paragould. This 291-acre park sits on the western slopes of Crowley’s Ridge, an arc of rolling hills that formed over 40 million years ago. The park is home to two spring-fed lakes. Go swimming or lounge on the sandy beach at Lake Ponder. Kayaks and pedal boats are also available for rent. Fish for catfish, largemouth bass and more on the 31-acre Walcott Lake. Or spend the day wandering the various nature trails. As you explore Crowley’s Ridge, you’ll discover the beautiful scenery of the area’s hardwood forest, which sits above the delta of eastern Arkansas. Be sure to bring those binoculars to spot dozens of bird species, like the snowy egret, green heron and purple martin.
Unearth history at Davidsonville Historic State Park near Pocahontas. Once the seat of Lawrence County, Davidsonville was a flourishing town on the banks of the Black River in the early 1800s. It was even the site of the state’s first post office and courthouse. When the county seat relocated in 1829, the town was abandoned. While little of the once-prosperous townsite is visible above ground, archeologists discovered thousands of artifacts through excavations, from tools and jewelry to coins and ceramics. Take an audio tour at the park visitor center to learn more about the park's archeological digs and historical finds. Then, trek the park’s trails around the town square, Trapper lake, the river and multiple cemeteries.
Located in the floodplain of the White and Black Rivers, Jacksonport State Park near Newport was a once-prominent river port. The former steamboat town bustled with trade and commerce in the 19th century and even served as a strategic headquarters for multiple generals during the Civil War. Visit the 1872 Courthouse museum, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, to learn the unique history of Jacksonport and the town’s ultimate downfall. Plan a camping weekend to take advantage of the park’s various amenities, including the swimming beach, playground, and boat access to the White River. Take in beautiful river scenery as you stroll along the half-mile Tunstall Riverwalk — and keep those eyes peeled for great blue heron, American kestrel, eastern meadowlark and many other bird species.
How about a day on the lake? Lake Charles State Park is the perfect destination for the ultimate Lake vacation. The 645-acre lake sits in the northeastern foothills of the Ozarks Mountains, about half an hour northwest of Jonesboro. The lake is known for its fishing, attracting anglers from near and far. Drop a line for bream, catfish, crappie and championship bass. Take the kiddos over to the swimming area for a relaxing afternoon on the water, or rent a kayak or canoe for an exciting lake adventure. The park also offers 140 acres of land to explore. Get back to nature with a peaceful hike along the shoreline and through the forest on the park’s four trails. You might spot wildflowers, deer and various bird species, among other wildlife, along the way! Plan a stop at the visitor center to learn more about the local flora and fauna.
Lake Frierson State Park is a must for wildlife lovers. The state park stretches along the eastern shore of its 335-acre namesake lake, just north of Jonesboro on Crowley's Ridge. This environmental education park is just right for wildlife watching. You might find all sorts of woodland critters, aquatic creatures and various species of birds that call the park home, from deer and box turtles to woodpeckers and frogs. Lake Frierson State Park is also popular for boating, camping and fishing. Anglers routinely catch catfish, bream, crappie and bass at this favorite fishing hole. If you’re traveling with the kids, stop for a picnic before heading over to the park’s playground.
Do you love to fish? Lake Poinsett State Park near Harrisburg is a haven for anglers. The 640-acre reservoir’s shallow waters are prime for fishing crappie, bream, bass and catfish. Need a boat? No worries. Fishing boats and kayaks are available for rent onsite. Extend your fishing adventure by staying at one of the park’s 29 campsites. When you’re not on the water, experience the epic scenery of Crowley’s Ridge. The park’s trails are perfect for all ages and are sure to provide jaw-dropping views of the area’s diverse landscapes filled with wildflowers, maple trees and dogwood blossoms.
History buffs will love Parkin Archeological State Park. Nestled along the St. Francis River, the park preserves a 17-acre site occupied by a Mississippian tribe from A.D. 1000 to 1550. This National Historic Landmark is thought to have been the village of Casqui that the Hernando De Soto Expedition visited in 1541. This was also the site of a sawmill town established in the early 1900s by the Northern Ohio Cooperage and Lumber Company. Today, you can follow along The Village Trail and see remnants of both historic villages, including the Parkin Mound, which researchers believe was a base where the Mississippian chief resided, as well as a cemetery and a schoolhouse used by the lumber company. Be sure to stop at the trail’s scenic overlook for picturesque river views.
Play your way at Village Creek State Park near Wynne. The nearly 7,000-acre park sits near the state’s eastern border, just 40 minutes from Memphis, TN. Experience the incredible scenery of Crowley’s Ridge firsthand as you traverse the park’s lengthy, multi-use trail system. Hike, bike or ride horseback along these trails to immerse yourself in the region's unique landscapes and diverse wildlife. The park also features two fishing lakes, a 27-hole golf course and multiple historic sites. Book a stay at one of 10 modern cabins or 96 campsites to get the most out of your visit.