From guided hikes to kayak outings, there are over 50,000 family-friendly programs available at our Arkansas state parks. If you are still looking for a summer getaway, consider the options in our own backyard.

In 1996, Arkansas voters passed a constitutionally dedicated conservation sales tax benefiting Arkansas State Parks and three sister conservation agencies. We now have 52 state parks on 54,400 acres with 1,800 campsites, 208 cabins, and five lodges serving 8 million visitors annually.

Arkansas has more than 9,700 miles of rivers and streams, and a good deal of it is perfect for floating, be it by canoe, raft or kayak. Experience a lake tour at DeGray Lake Resort, or view the sunset from your kayak on the Bull Shoals-White River. Park interpreters will guide you through the waters as they inform you about your surroundings.

Our state parks also offer lessons in how to cook in historic southern traditions. Learn about the flavors of various herbs at the Ozark Folk Center or how to prepare pizza in an earthen oven at Davidsonville.

Or get away from the harsh city lights and attend a star party. Arkansas’s state parks welcome visitors to look for constellations and learn about astronomy this spring and summer. Guided tours are offered at several parks including Village Creek and Pinnacle Mountain.

And speaking of stars, don’t forget about the opportunities at our national parks. The International Dark-Sky Association just recently designated the Buffalo National River Park as a Dark Sky Park. It is the first such designation for Arkansas and now becomes one of only 19 national parks to be officially recognized as a Dark Sky Park.

There will be a variety of ranger-led night sky programs offered at Buffalo Point this summer.

The Arkansas River flooding is impacting only a few park services. We encourage you to call the park ahead of time to ensure your planned activities are still on schedule.

Check out all Arkansas parks has to offer at arkansasstateparks.com. You can find information on our national parks at nps.gov.

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