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Parks for Little Rockers

Plenty of State Parks Near Capital City

As Arkansas’ largest city, Little Rock features plenty of cultural and historical sites and attractions. But for us outdoor kids, it’s good to know adventure is only an hour’s drive away at one of many nearby state parks in central Arkansas.

If you enjoy a good trip to the lake, check out Lake Catherine State Park, Lake Dardanelle State Park for fishing and kayaking, and Lake Ouachita State Park for swimming, water skiing, scuba diving, boating, and fishing.

A weekend of hiking, boating, and picnicking is found at Pinnacle Mountain State Park, while Petit Jean State Park features the 100-acre Lake Bailey, and visit the Museum of Automobiles. More fishing and boating can be had in Bennett Lake at Woolly Hollow State Park, along with hikes down Huckleberry Trail and the historic Woolly Cabin.

Looking for a museum in central Arkansas? Skip the city and head to the Plantation Agriculture Museum, featuring historic buildings, tours, and interpretive exhibits. Experience Arkansas’ frontier days with a visit to the Lower White River Museum State Park, and check out archaeological artifacts or stargaze at Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park.

Jacksonport State Park

An Arkansas state park since 1965, the Jacksonport State Park covers 15 acres north of Newport – less than an hour north of Searcy. Located in northeastern Arkansas, the park preserves the Historic Jacksonport courthouse of 1872. It's just one example of the exceptional state parks across Arkansas.

Set at the confluence of the White River and Black River, the Jacksonport State Park was a former steamboat stop and trading post. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the park features tours, a swimming beach, picnic spots, and the Tunstall Riverwalk Trail.

Petit Jean State Park

Located on the Arkansas River, Petit Jean State Park covers nearly 3,500 acres in central Arkansas – about 40 miles west of Conway and just over an hour from Little Rock. Established in 1923, the park has many structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Outdoor lovers enjoy views of the Arkansas River Valley at Petit Jean's gravesite, and may explore Rock House Cave, the Grotto, Turtle Rocks, and Natural Bridge. Don’t miss the Cedar Creek waterfall, try fishing and boating in the 100-acre Lake Bailey, and visit the Museum of Automobiles.

Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park

Protecting the tallest surviving prehistoric mounds in the state, Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park is located in Lonoke County, near Little Rock, Arkansas. Also known as Knapp Mounds, the park serves as an archaeological site exhibiting remnants from Arkansas’ Late Woodland period.

Designated as a National Historic Landmark, the park is situated on the banks of Mound Lake, which connects to the Arkansas River. The park is a popular venue for events and educational programs such as stargazing and weaving workshops. Explore this or any of the exceptional Arkansas state parks.

Woolly Hollow State Park

Stretched over 370 acres, Woolly Hollow State Park is set near Conway, north of Little Rock, in northern Arkansas. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration, Bennett Lake covers 40 acres, serving as the park’s central feature.

Lake Bennett offers beach fun, fishing, and boating, and hydro-bike rentals are available. The Huckleberry Trail draws nature walkers and hikers alike, while the original Woolly Cabin still stands on the grounds, adding historical perspective. Enjoy an outdoor adventure in northern Arkansas when you explore Woolly Hollow State Park, just one of the many in the state.