A Guide to State Parks in Arkansas

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Arkansas, known as the Natural State, boasts a wealth of natural beauty and outdoor adventures waiting to be explored. Among its treasures are its numerous state parks, which have become increasingly popular destinations for RV enthusiasts seeking to immerse themselves in the state's scenic wonders. 

In this guide, we'll delve into why Arkansas state parks have become a favorite among RV campers and provide overviews of 10 top parks that offer exceptional experiences for RV camping trips. So, check off your Arkansas bucket list with these popular destinations.

Why State Parks in Arkansas Are Popular for RV Camping

Arkansas's state parks offer a unique blend of natural splendor, diverse landscapes, and recreational opportunities, making them ideal for RV camping adventures. The state's commitment to preserving its natural heritage is evident in the well-maintained parks that cater to the needs of RV travelers. Here are some reasons why Arkansas state parks have captured the hearts of RV enthusiasts:

Scenic Beauty: From lush forests and towering mountains to serene lakes and winding rivers, Arkansas's state parks showcase the state's stunning landscapes, providing picturesque settings for RV camping.

Outdoor Recreation: Whether you're into hiking, fishing, boating, birdwatching, or simply relaxing in nature, Arkansas state parks offer a wide range of outdoor activities to suit every interest.

RV-Friendly Facilities: Many of Arkansas's state parks are equipped with RV campsites that feature amenities such as electrical hookups, water connections, dump stations, and bathhouses, ensuring a comfortable camping experience for RV travelers.

Affordable Camping Options: RV camping at Arkansas state parks is budget-friendly, with reasonable campsite fees and annual passes available for frequent visitors, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers.

Now that we've explored why Arkansas state parks are popular for RV camping let's delve into 10 top parks that promise unforgettable experiences for RV enthusiasts.

The Best Arkansas State Parks for RV Camping

Arkansas is home to 52 state parks. While we won’t name them all on this page, we will dive into the top 10 state parks in Arkansas for RV travelers. Read on to learn more about each state park and what makes it unique. 

  1. Crater of Diamonds State Park

Nestled in the Ouachita Mountains, Crater of Diamonds State Park is a one-of-a-kind destination where visitors can hunt for diamonds and other gemstones in the world's only diamond-bearing site open to the public. RV campers can enjoy spacious campsites with full hookups, as well as access to hiking trails, a water park, and interpretive exhibits showcasing the park's geological wonders.

  1. Lake Fort Smith State Park

Situated near the Arkansas-Oklahoma border, Lake Fort Smith State Park offers RV campers a tranquil retreat amid the scenic beauty of the Boston Mountains. The park features a picturesque lake perfect for fishing, boating, and swimming, as well as miles of hiking trails that wind through forests teeming with wildlife. RV campsites are equipped with modern amenities and offer stunning views of the lake and surrounding landscape.

  1. Petit Jean State Park

Perched atop Petit Jean Mountain, Arkansas's first state park, offers RV travelers breathtaking vistas and a wealth of recreational opportunities. From exploring scenic overlooks and cascading waterfalls to uncovering the park's rich history through archaeological sites and interpretive programs, there's no shortage of adventures to be had at Petit Jean State Park. RV campsites provide convenient access to hiking trails, picnic areas, and the park's iconic Mather Lodge.

  1. Lake Ouachita State Park

Known as the "Gem of the Ouachitas," Lake Ouachita State Park is a haven for water sports enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. With its crystal-clear waters and undeveloped shoreline, Lake Ouachita offers endless opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and kayaking. RV campers can choose from a variety of campsites overlooking the lake, complete with amenities such as boat ramps, marinas, and picnic areas.

  1. Moro Bay State Park

Tucked away on the banks of the Ouachita River, Moro Bay State Park beckons RV travelers with its scenic beauty and rich history. The park's peaceful setting is ideal for fishing, birdwatching, and kayaking, while its historic sites, including a restored 19th-century steamboat, offer glimpses into the area's past. RV campsites provide a peaceful retreat surrounded by nature, with easy access to hiking trails and waterfront amenities.

  1. White River State Park (Bull Shoals)

Located along the White River in north-central Arkansas, White River State Park offers RV campers unparalleled fishing opportunities in one of the country's premier trout streams. Anglers can cast their lines for rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout, while nature lovers can explore the park's scenic beauty through hiking trails, wildlife viewing areas, and interpretive programs. RV campsites offer riverfront views and convenient access to boat launches and fishing piers.

  1. Lake Dardanelle State Park

Situated on the shores of Lake Dardanelle, this expansive state park offers RV travelers a diverse range of recreational activities amid a picturesque setting. From fishing and boating on the lake to hiking and birdwatching along its scenic trails, there's something for everyone to enjoy at Lake Dardanelle State Park. RV campsites provide modern conveniences and stunning views of the lake, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

  1. Mississippi River State Park

Located along the eastern banks of the Mississippi River, Mississippi River State Park offers RV campers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. The park's diverse ecosystems, including bottomland hardwood forests and wetlands, provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species. RV travelers can explore the park's scenic trails, go birdwatching, or enjoy fishing and boating along the mighty Mississippi. RV campsites offer picturesque views of the river and modern amenities for a comfortable stay amid nature's splendor.

  1. Withrow Springs State Park

Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Withrow Springs State Park is a retreat for RV campers seeking solitude and outdoor adventures. The park's rugged landscape features limestone bluffs, pristine streams, and lush forests, offering opportunities for hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. RV campsites provide a peaceful setting surrounded by nature, with easy access to hiking trails, picnic areas, and the park's scenic overlooks.

  1. Mount Magazine State Park

As Arkansas's highest point, Mount Magazine State Park offers RV travelers breathtaking views and recreational opportunities atop its majestic summit. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the park's extensive trail system, including the challenging Rim Trail that encircles the mountain's edge. RV campsites provide modern amenities and stunning vistas of the surrounding Ouachita Mountains, making it an ideal base for hiking, rock climbing, hang gliding, and enjoying the beauty of the natural world.

Arkansas's state parks offer RV enthusiasts a gateway to explore the state's natural wonders and outdoor adventures. Whether you're seeking diamond hunting thrills, scenic mountain vistas, or water-based recreation, Arkansas's top state parks deliver unforgettable experiences for RV camping trips.

Tips for Beginners Looking to Go RV Camping at Arkansas State Parks

For beginners looking to embark on their first RV camping adventure at Arkansas state parks, here are some helpful tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Plan Ahead: Research the Arkansas state parks you're interested in visiting and make reservations for RV campsites well in advance, especially during peak seasons. Check park websites or call ahead to inquire about availability and any specific requirements or restrictions.

Pack Essentials: Make a checklist of essential items to bring on your RV camping trip, including bedding, clothing, toiletries, cooking utensils, food, water, and camping gear. Don't forget to pack RV-specific items like leveling blocks, hoses, adapters, and tools for maintenance and repairs.

Check Road Conditions: Before departing for your RV camping trip, check road conditions and weather forecasts along your route to ensure safe travel. Be prepared for varying terrain and driving conditions, especially if you'll be navigating mountainous or rural roads in Arkansas.

Follow RV Campground Etiquette: Respect campground rules and regulations, including quiet hours, speed limits, waste disposal procedures, and pet policies. Be considerate of your fellow campers and maintain a clean and orderly campsite throughout your stay.

Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by minimizing your impact on the environment and leaving campsites cleaner than you found them. Dispose of trash properly, avoid damaging vegetation, and respect wildlife habitats to preserve the natural beauty of Arkansas's state parks for future generations to enjoy.

Go Camping at Arkansas State Parks with Cruise America

With an RV rental from Cruise America, you’ll be well on your way to going RV camping at the best state parks in Arkansas. So what are you waiting for? Reserve an RV rental today and hit the road!