Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism Announces Limits on Camping at State Parks
For more information, contact Melissa Whitfield, (501) 324-9611 or [email protected]
LITTLE ROCK—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 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.
ADPHT has three major divisions: Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Heritage, and Arkansas Tourism. Arkansas State Parks manages 52 state parks and promotes Arkansas as a tourist destination for people around the country. Arkansas Heritage preserves and promotes Arkansas’s natural and cultural history and heritage through four historic museums and four cultural preservation agencies. Arkansas Tourism improves the state’s economy by generating travel and enhancing the image of the state.
About Arkansas State Parks
Arkansas State Parks is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism. Arkansas state parks and museums cover 54,400 acres of forest, wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation facilities and unique historic and cultural resources. The system includes 1,100 buildings (including 183 historic structures), six National Historic Landmarks, a National Natural Landmark, 16 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, and War Memorial Stadium.
The state parks have 1,800 campsites, 1,050 picnic sites, 208 cabins, five lodges, and 415 miles of trails. Eight million visitors annually come from all regions of the country. Park staffs provide over 42,000 education programs, activities and special events to more than 700,000 participants each year.
Established in 1923, Arkansas State Parks preserve special places for future generations, provide quality recreation and education opportunities, enhance the state’s economy through tourism, and provide leadership in resource conservation. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and visit ArkansasStateParks.com and ArkansasStateParks.com/media to learn more about everything we have to offer.