Queen Wilhelmina State Park has New Leader

Veteran State Park Employee Chosen as New Superintendent

January 3, 2018 (Little Rock, AR)

Mike Farringer has been promoted to the superintendent position at Queen Wilhelmina State Park.  This mountaintop park follows a tradition of historic lodging that goes back more than 100 years.

“Mike has a good history of exceptional performance in our state park system. He’s been a ranger, he’s been an assistant superintendent, he was superintendent at Cane Creek and then again at Cossatot River,” said Arkansas State Parks Director Grady Spann.  “His proven performance, proven leadership, he has a very high quality of hospitality about him personally and I just think he’ll serve QWSP and that whole area very well. His family is from that area so he has a vested interest in that part of the state. And so he will be a great fit for QWSP and the Mena area in general.”

Today's Queen Wilhelmina Lodge offers 40 guest rooms, fine Southern fare at the Queen's Restaurant, and a treasure-filled gift shop. Campsites and hiking trails can also be added to the list of amenities. Understandably, this park requires a superintendent with a lot of experience.

“During his 18 years with Arkansas State Parks, Mike has become a leader and mentor,” said Region 5 Director Becky Bariola.  “He has more than shown this in all the positions he has held and as a law enforcement instructor for the department.  I look forward to working with Mike as the Superintendent at Queen Wilhelmina.”

QWSP sits atop 2,681-foot Rich Mountain, Arkansas's second highest peak. Of the 52 Arkansas state parks, Queen Wilhelmina is one of the state park system's eight mountain state parks with resorts or hotels. 

“I’m looking forward to working with the great staff at Queen Wilhelmina State Park,” said Farringer.  “It is a great park and lodge and located in one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in not just Arkansas, but the central United States.  This park and the town of Mena are steeped in a rich history and I look forward to being a part of that and continuing on with the great traditions of Rich Mountain’s Castle in the Clouds.”

For more information about Queen Wilhelmina and the other 51 state parks go to www.arkansasstateparks.com.

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.