Arkansas State Parks to Reopen Tent Camping
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Tent camping will open in all Arkansas State Parks beginning on Monday, June 1, announced Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.
“Whether frequent guests or those new to our Arkansas State Parks, Arkansans have made clear their desire to resume tent camping in our parks,” said Hurst. “I am happy to be able to tell them that our campgrounds will reopen to tent camping on Monday, June 1. Also included in reopening will be the bathhouses and restrooms that support campgrounds and day-use visitors. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we have worked to make sure that we are providing the safest possible way for our guests to enjoy our state parks system.”
The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has advised about proper cleaning techniques to ensure maximum safety for park guests, as well as the staff who will be doing the cleaning.
“We have been diligently working towards this goal for weeks,” said Arkansas State Parks Director Grady Spann. “We were first able to open camping back to RVs with self-contained bathrooms on May 1. Now, with proper PPE and training, our parks staff are able to keep the bathhouses and restrooms sanitized according to ADH and CDC standards. Our main concern continues to be the safety of our visitors and staff during this public health emergency.”
Lodges, cabins, YURTs, and Rent-A-RV had been limited to Friday through Monday only rental. They will now be available for weekday reservations with some restrictions to ensure proper cleaning.
Guests are reminded that while camping they still need to follow the recommended guidelines of keeping a physical distance from others not within their family or group; wearing a face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained, and washing hands or using hand sanitizer frequently. Park rangers and staff will remind campers of these guidelines so state parks can remain open for our visitors to enjoy.
Campground reservations may be made online by going to www.ArkansasStateParks.com or by calling a specific park. Campers may check in at the Visitor Center (cloth face-coverings or masks are required inside public buildings) or by calling the park directly. Park staff will check-in campers remotely prior to their arrival when possible. Visitors from New York state or any international location are advised to self-quarantine according to ADH guidelines.
About Arkansas State Parks
Arkansas State Parks is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism. 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, 16 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, and War Memorial Stadium.
The state parks have 1,800 campsites, 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.