Breaking News
More () »

Arkansas adding new restrictions for camping at State Parks

These limitations become effective at 9 a.m. Sunday, March 29, until further notice.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

ARKANSAS, USA — Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism (ADPHT), announced Friday (March 27) the department is limiting the use of campgrounds to RVs with self-contained bathrooms.

Primitive camping areas for backpackers are available at Cane Creek State Park, Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, Mount Nebo State Park, and Devil’s Den State Park. Bathhouses and restrooms in campground areas will be closed. This limitation becomes effective at 9 a.m. Sunday, March 29, until further notice.

Cabins at Arkansas State Parks remain available for rental, and access to trails are open. Day use of the parks is still available for walking, hiking, biking, fishing and other outdoor activities.

“We are making this difficult decision to further limit use of our State Parks in order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus,” said Hurst. “Cabin rentals and day use of our State Parks remain open and available to the public. We ask that our visitors follow the CDC and Governor’s directives to not gather in groups of more than 10 people.”

RELATED: Governor banning gatherings of more than 10 people: What to know

Any deposits to the parks will be refunded and any fees will be waived. Questions about reservation cancellation should be made to the parks directly.

Closings previously announced:

Welcome Centers – Lobbies of the 13 Welcome Centers located around the state, which serve the traveling public, are closed until further notice.

Heritage Museums and Archives – The Division of Arkansas Heritage’s Little Rock museums are closed to the public until further notice. This includes Delta Cultural Center, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Old State House Museum. The State Archives locations at Little Rock, Old Washington and Powhatan are closed

Arkansas State Parks – Access to certain park facilities will be limited, effective March 20. Below is an overview; for detailed information visit ArkansasStateParks.com.

  • Lodges are closed at DeGray Lake Resort State Park, Mount Magazine State Park, Petit Jean State Park and Queen Wilhelmina State Park
  • Park visitor centers are accessible for cabin check-in and trail access, but exhibits and gift shops will be closed.
  • The diamond search area at Crater of Diamonds State Park is closed.
  • Cabins and RV camp sites remain open. Daily housekeeping will not be provided. After a stay is over, the room will be cleaned and sanitized for the next guest, using Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
  • Restaurants are open for carry-out only.
  • Trails, picnic areas, and outdoor pavilions remain open.
  • Groups holding reservations should contact the park. Group size, meeting location, etc., will affect the ability for events to proceed.
  • Museum parks with trails restricted to trail access only. Museum parks without trails will provide limited access to exhibits. Gift shops are closed. 
  • Playgrounds are closed.
  • Marinas and boat ramps remain open with availability of rental equipment that will be sanitized following each use. Gift shops will be closed.
  • DeGray Lake Resort State Park golf course remains open. The pro shop is open to accept golf fees only. Gift shop and club rentals are closed. Cart rentals continue and are cleaned and sanitized between rentals.  
  • All interpretive programming, events and workshops are canceled until further notice.            

ADPHT has three major divisions: Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Heritage and Arkansas Tourism. Arkansas State Parks manages 52 state parks and promotes Arkansas as a tourist destination for people around the country. Arkansas Heritage preserves and promotes Arkansas’s natural and cultural history and heritage through four historic museums and four cultural preservation agencies. 

Arkansas Tourism improves the state’s economy by generating travel and enhancing the image of the state. 

RELATED: Real-time updates: 381 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arkansas, 26 reported in Northwest Arkansas

RELATED: House passes $2.2T rescue package, rushes to Trump for signing

Before You Leave, Check This Out