Grand Opening Set for Visitor Center at Jacksonport State Park

Grand Opening Set for Visitor Center at Jacksonport State Park

New State of the Art Facility Adds Unique Perspective


March 6, 2019 (Little Rock, AR)


What: Grand Opening of New Visitor Center

When: Friday, March 8, 2019 – 11:30 a.m.

Where: Jacksonport State Park – 111 Avenue Street, Newport, AR 72112


The dedication of Jacksonport State Park occurred more than a half a century ago, but progress of enhancing this historic public property is not over. Now, it is home to a new, state-of-the-art visitor center. The two-story facility houses exhibit spaces, offices, a park store, a resource library, a pavilion, and a multi-purpose room. The project is funded through Amendment 75, which was passed by voters in 1997.


The new building is more than 10,000-square-feet and has a very modern design. The focus of the distinctive exhibits focus on the town’s history. Emphasis is placed on the steamboat and transportation industry, which once made Jacksonport a thriving river port.


“This new visitor center creates an exciting visual component to the park,” said Arkansas State Parks Director Grady Spann. “Seeing the contrast of the 19th century brick courthouse and the 21st century glass and metal visitor center gives our guests a wonderful way to see the ties of the past to the present.”


The new visitor center exhibits have been created to complement the immaculately restored 1872 courthouse museum displays, and span the beginning days of the steamboat town. They show the town’s heyday and its eventual decline due to the rise of nearby Newport, which replaced Jacksonport as the county seat in 1891.


The multi-purpose room overlooks the levee, providing scenic views of the White River and allows space for special events: ranging from meetings, wedding receptions, interpretive programs, family reunions and training sessions. The resource library is designed to give visitors the opportunity to access historical information relating to Jacksonport and Jackson County.


 “The new center allows us to tell the town’s story in a new and exciting way, giving visitors a unique look into Jacksonport’s past,” Park Superintendent Mark Ballard stated. “Hosting school field trips are an important part of the park’s commitment to increasing the understanding of the river town’s important history. Reaching children also ensures that future generations understand the significance of Jacksonport.”


The park, which officially opened on June 5, 1965, is home to the historic courthouse, as well as camping, public boat access to the White River, trail, a swim beach, picnic sites and a playground. To learn more about the park, visit or call 870-523-2143.

About Arkansas State Parks

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 and 16 sites on the National Register of Historic Places.

The state parks have 1,800 camp sites, 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.