7 Arkansas State Parks With The Most Breathtaking Autumn Color

From the scenic river bluffs in the Ozark Mountains to the lush forests of the West Gulf Coastal Plain, Arkansas puts on a spectacular display of autumn color unlike anywhere else in the country.

Scarlet oaks, maples, sweetgums, and hickories, have already begun to put on a jaw-dropping display of gold, orange, and crimson foliage. Witness some of the most beautiful fall color this year while exploring these state parks.

Use this interactive map to find out when and where the leaves are changing all across the country.

Petit Jean State Park

MORRILTON, ARKANSAS

Petit Jean State Park is an Arkansas icon, a state natural and historic treasure that has welcomed travelers over the decades. The natural beauty and ancient geology of legendary Petit Jean Mountain inspired the creation of Arkansas’s first state park, and with it our state park system.

Hiking trails lead through forestscanyonsmeadows, and along streams and mountainside. See where nature over time formed sheer bluffs, Cedar Falls, and the Seven Hollows, such distinctive features as Bear Cave, the Grotto, and the Natural Bridge, and other formations sculpted geometrically by nature called Turtle Rocks and Carpet Rocks.


Mount Magazine State Park

PARIS, ARKANSAS

Mount Magazine State Park is on the state’s tallest mountain, the 2,753-foot Mount Magazine. Sweeping vistas of broad river valleysdeep canyons, and distant mountains welcome outdoor enthusiasts to Arkansas’s highest point.

The park is a place to enjoy hikingsightseeing, exploring the mountain and nature study. It’s also a destination for outdoor sports and extreme adventure enthusiasts that offers rock climbingrappellinghang glidingmountain bikinghorseback ridingbackpacking, and ATV adventure. An ATV guide service is available.

Mount Magazine is the state park system’s most dramatic location for technical rock climbing. The park also offers overlooks, hiking trails, a picnic area with restrooms, pavilion, and visitor center with an interactive exhibit gallery and gift shop. Park interpreters lead a variety of programs that highlight the mountain’s natural diversity and unique species.

Website: http://www.mountmagazinestatepark.com/


Queen Wilhelmina State Park

MENA, ARKANSAS

A spectacular mountaintop setting. Breathtaking panoramic mountain scenery. Royal hospitality. Queen Wilhelmina State Park is this, and more. The park’s crowning attraction is its renowned hostelry, a historic lodging tradition born in 1898 with the original “Castle in the Sky” resort that graced this same lofty locale high above the Ouachita Mountains over 100 years ago.


Withrow Springs State Park

HUNTSVILLE, ARKANSAS

In the heart of the Ozark Mountains, nestled in a narrow valley cradled by the limestone bluffs of the War Eagle Creek, Withrow Springs State Park is a peaceful setting for camping, hiking, and quiet river floats. The namesake of this park, Withrow Springs, was named for Richard Withrow, a settler who established this area’s first grist mill. The spring’s clear, cold waters gush from a cave at the foot of a bluff near the park swimming pool.

The park offers a put-in point to the waters of the War Eagle, a north flowing stream usually floatable from march to mid-June, depending on rainfall. Floating and angling for catfish, bream, perch, and bass in this stream offers relaxation at its best. Rental canoes and shuttle service are available from the park.

Website: https://www.arkansasstateparks.com//park-finder/park.aspx?id=15


Pinnacle Mountain State Park

ROLAND, ARKANSAS

Pinnacle Mountain is a day-use park dedicated to environmental education, outdoor recreation, and preservation. Located just west of Little Rock, this natural environment of 2,356 acres was set aside in 1977 as Arkansas’s first state park adjoining a major metropolitan area.

The state park’s dominant natural feature is Pinnacle Mountain, which rises more than a thousand feet above the Arkansas River Valley. The mountain’s cone-shaped peak has long been a central Arkansas landmark and attraction for outdoor enthusiasts. Two of the park’s hiking trails lead hikers to the mountain’s beautiful summit.

Website: https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/pinnaclemountain/


Lake Ouachita State Park

MOUNTAIN PINE, ARKANSAS

Surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest, Lake Ouachita is known for its scenic natural beauty and the clarity of its waters. These pristine waters form the largest man-made lake within Arkansas’s borders. Named one of the cleanest lakes in America, 40,000-acre Lake Ouachita is a water sports mecca for swimmingskiingscuba divingboating, and fishing. Angling for bream, crappie, catfish, stripers, and largemouth bass can be enjoyed in open waters or quiet coves along the lake’s 975 miles of shoreline.

Located just a short drive from the spa city of Hot Springs on the lake’s eastern shore, Lake Ouachita State Park is your gateway to this popular water sports lake.


Devils Den State Park

WEST FORK, ARKANSAS

This valley in the renowned Ozark Mountains—ancient sedimentary mountains famous for their natural beauty and lush oak-hickory forest—offers a breathtaking display of fall color every year.

Miles of hiking and multiple use trails wind through Devil’s Den and the surrounding Ozark National Forest. Caves, crevices, and bluff overlooks can be explored here. Take a wet-water day hike up Lee Creek, or trek the 15-mile-long Butterfield Hiking Trail. This trail from the park through the Ozark National Forest leads backpackers deep into the hills and hollows of the rugged scenic Ozarks.

Seventeen fully-equipped cabins featuring kitchens and fireplaces are nestled in the natural beauty of this park. These cabins are available throughout the year. Each cabin has a wood-burning fireplace that is available seasonally. Book a stay at one of these cabins today for the ultimate escape from the city.

Website: https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/devilsden/


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