The best national parks in Arkansas- a guide. So you’re looking for the best of the best? Look no further because here I have carefully selected the best national parks in Arkansas, renowned for their beauty, culture and historical significance.
- What is a national park?
- Why visit the national parks in Arkansas?
- How many national parks in Arkansas are there?
- The best accommodation when visiting the national parks in Arkansas
- Essential packing list when visiting the national parks in Arkansas
- The best national parks in Arkansas
- Hot Springs
- Arkansas Post
- Little Rock
- The Best National Parks In Arkansas- further reading.
What is a national park?
What exactly is a national park? A national park is a site of beauty, as well as being of historic and cultural significance. They usually boast stunning landscapes and have unique features that set them apart from the ordinary. A national park aims to preserve its grounds and benefit from them as well as caring for the natural environment. The ‘National park service‘ manages 423 national parks across America, in aims of conserving the ‘natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of current and future generations’.
Why visit the national parks in Arkansas?
Why should you visit the national parks in Arkansas? Well, Arkansas has some beautiful and culturally rich sites, with American civil war history to natural wellness parks with spas and baths. The diversity and range in the national parks ensures there is always something for everyone at Arkansas!
How many national parks in Arkansas are there?
How many national parks are there in Arkansas? There are 7 national parks in Arkansas according to the National park service, gaining 3 million visits annually. It’s no wonder why these parks are so popular, with Arkansas being labelled ‘The Natural state‘, known for boasting beautiful lakes, rivers, trees and natural rocks.
The best accommodation when visiting the national parks in Arkansas
The best accommodation when visiting the national parks in Arkansas. Here are the most conveniently located, beautiful and best priced accommodation for visiting the national parks in Arkansas.
Embassy suites is an amazing accommodation, located on Hot Springs national park. This is the ideal accommodation to stay at whilst visiting Hot Springs, with a shuttle service down to the site with no extra costs. Hot springs shopping mall is within easy reach too so there is a selection of restaurants and shops nearby! Indulge in the amazing faculties hosted, including a spa for anything from massages to facials. So whether you’re relaxing with a spa treatment, enjoying an amazing nights sleep or taking a dip in the indoor pool, your stay is sure to be top notch. Click here to find out more.
Day Inn is a 20 minute drive from Arkansas Post national park. This accommodation is a charming inn with great facilities for the price. There is an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers for a visit in the summer months. The rooms have free WIFI, a flat screen and a desk and chair. Click here to find out more.
Wyndham Riverfront Hotel is a great accommodation just a 5 minute drive from Little rock national park. There are all the facilities for a great stay, with free WI-FI, a fitness centre, sun terrace and bar with a restaurant. Click here to find out more.
Dame fortune cottage court is just a 16 minute walk away from the stunning Hot springs national park. This quirky cottage boasts colourful interiors, cosy beds and amazing facilities. What more could you want? Come home to the cottage after a day of relaxation at Hot springs, and you’re sure to end the day on a high note. Click here to find out more.
Essential packing list when visiting the national parks in Arkansas
So what is an essential packing list for visiting the national parks in Arkansas? Here are the essentials for the perfect trip to Arkansas.
The national parks in Arkansas are full of beautiful hikes and trails..so what’s better than to prepare by packing the correct hiking gear.
- Hiking poles are a great support, especially in the up hill areas. I recommend TheFitLife trekking poles because they are ultra light so they are packing friendly, as well as being adjustable.
- Hiking backpacks are convenient for carrying everything you may need on your trip, including a water bottle and first aid kit. I recommend the Eono super lightweight backpack for ultimate comfort and 30L capacity.
Sun cream is essential for skin protection whilst being in the great outdoors all day. The ALTRUIST sun cream is perfect for factor 50 protection, so don’t forget to re apply!
Insect repellent bracelets
Insect repellent is essential in the national parks in Arkansas, especially in the summer months. Stay protected with Pestects insect repellent bracelets These are super convenient for use instead of sprays or lotions and are also super child friendly.
Although the majority of people use their phone cameras to capture the moment, having a camera on your trips is a special way to capture your time. Not only are the images high quality, but they are also ones for the album. I recommend the KODAK camera for the cheapest price and best quality.
The best national parks in Arkansas
The best national parks in Arkansas. Here are the best national parks in Arkansas, specialised for their unique beauty, amazing culture and rich history.
Hot springs is a site of incredible natural beauty, boasting fresh green forest, thermal springs , mountain landscapes and of course the architecture of bathhouses. This is one of the best national parks in Arkansas because of the perfect blend between natural and built culture and history.
Delve into the site by exploring the different bathhouses, featuring the Buckstaff and the Quapaw bathhouses. You can enjoy treatments in both of these modern bathhouses which use only the natural mineral waters found in palm springs. This is a perfect example of a wellness tourism destination, where you can treat yourself to a bath +day spa experience.
Thermal springs is a natural phenomena with its 4,000 year old spring waters, which come out at a temperature of 147 degrees Fahrenheit, cooling as it falls down the stream. Because of this high temperature, the water kills harmful bacteria and therefore it is safe to drink. You can get the experience to take home a bottle of this, where you can fill up at multiple fountains across site!
There are many trails to follow in thermal springs. If you prefer a shorter trail, check out the ‘Grand Promenade‘ trail. This is roughly a mile including the walk there and back. This will take you between the Bathhouses and on a scenic route with views of the historic sections of hot springs. If you enjoy a longer trail, consider the Oertel Trail (formerly Dead Chief Trail). This trail is about 2.8 miles. ascending the Stephen’s Balustrade and continuing onto Grand promenade onto the gravel road.
Arkansas post has been a meeting ground for many cultures over time. The first European settlement was built there in 1686 by Henri de Tonty, and soon became a home for the French and Spanish governor, acting as a crucial trading post. A few years went by, and it became the first capital of Arkansas territory from 1819-21 in the American Civil war. With much history to explore, today the grounds, history, culture, natural wildlife and artefacts are all up for show.
The visitor centre and musuem is a great way to start. You will get the opportunity to watch the film, “Arkansas post: Echoes of the past“. There are plenty of exhibits on site that tell of the intriguing war history. In peak seasonal times you can historic weaponry demonstrations
Make sure to look out for the beautiful natural side of Arkansas post, with prairie grasslands, lowland forests, rivers and wetland marshes. The beautiful wildlife nests here, with species of deer, alligator, turkey and racoon. What’s better is that you can experience it up close with a trail through the historic town site.
Little Rock national park is the site of the old high school building that was crucial in the development of integration being introduced after the Brown vs board of education outlawing segregation. The ‘Little rock nine‘ were the group of African American students who protested by entering the all white Little rock high school, protesting desegregation, causing a federal intervention from President Eisenhower. The Little Rock national park is hugely significant in terms of American history, and that is what makes it one of the best national parks in Arkansas to visit and learn from.
You can reserve a guided tour from Tuesday to Saturday, where you can be led by a professional ranger on a ‘walking interpretive programme’ that guides through the in depth history and importance of the different areas of Little Rock. The route of the tour takes you through Little rock central high school, the grounds of Magnolia Mobil station and the Commemorative gardens.
The Visitor centre has plenty of exhibits to discover, including audios, news footage, interviews and recordings of the students who were involved in the Little Rock nine protest. It displays the shocking truth behind the social exclusion and treatment of African Americans in 1950s America. Some of the exhibits on show display the personal stories of the little rock nine and much that conveys how much they impacted and improved school life for the future of African American children.
The Best National Parks In Arkansas- further reading.
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