October 5, 2022
@2Benedicts' Favorite Arkansas State Parks
Meet Donny & Tammy Benedict
When we came across this "no regrets" post on Instagram, we fell hard for @2benedicts. Their decision to live their bucket list now, shines a light on adventure, risk-taking and the pursuit of a life well lived. Authentic and personable, we could sense their joy and happiness. And when it comes to friending via social media, well you hope that what you think is true, is actually true! So here we are today! We’re thrilled that Tammy and Donny have agreed to share their love of their home state of Arkansas through their own RV life and travel experiences.
But before we get into what @2benedicts have to share, let’s answer a few questions:
Is Arkansas good for camping?
Honestly, this will be news to a lot of people. But absolutely, unequivocally, YES.
Arkansas is known as the Natural State because of its beautiful lakes, rivers, mountains, and wildlife. So it’s no wonder that Arkansas ranks in the top ten states for camping and recorded a 65% increase in camping reservations 2015 - 2020. As well, the incidence of camping in the south rose to 71% in 2021 from 68% the year before and we’re pretty sure the lure of Arkansas was one of the reasons.
An outdoor enthusiast’s dream, Arkansas has stunning vistas and a temperate seasonal climate. It’s one of those states where you can go camping almost all year round. Of course, there’s always a few nuances to look out for when heading to a new region, so check out this planning guide by Julie Kohl in Only In Arkansas for a few extra tips (eg. making camping reservations).
When is the best season to visit Arkansas?
When it comes to seasons, every state has their favorites.
What better way to advise what seasons are the best seasons than the residents of the state! A 2020/2021 poll by YouGov surveyed 77,000 Americans across all 50 states and makes for a pretty good resource when it comes to determining the best time to visit! Overall, Americans appreciate Spring (30%), Summer (28%) and Fall (28%) all about the same with Spring showing a wee bit of an edge. Winter remains the clear least favorite season.
In Arkansas, the results did vary from the national average with a more clear cut preference by season. Based on residents of the Natural State, Spring comes out on top at 36%, 28% for Fall, Summer at 20% and Winter the clear least favorite at 11%. Now, we’ve already declared our love for the Fall camping season, so while it’s not the most favorite season based on these numbers, it’s still a stunning time to park your RV or pitch your tent in Arkansas!
While we are grateful for all the data points to get our bearings on the Natural State, one of the things we believe is also important, are the views from those who actually have experienced it. And in the case of an article on Arkansas, if the views are from Arkansans, then even better.
So back to our favorite Arkansans, @2benedicts, for a run down of their favorite home state parks so far! Be sure to follow on their Instagram account @2benedicts.
@2Benedicts Guide to Arkansas State Parks
We hope this quick guide provides you with a little intel on some of our magnificent state parks and helps you plan your trip to the most glorious Natural State.
Mt Magazine State Park
This park is the highest point in Arkansas and has the views to prove it! There is a campground on the Mountain that is easy to get to, lots of hiking trails and a beautiful lodge if you’re not a camper.
White Oak Lake State Park
This lake has great campsites with views of the lake. It is a perfect lake for fishing (we're not sure about swimming). We did not camp here but wished we had. There is a trail that connects this park to Poison Springs State Park and White Oak is really close to Arkansas’ little Grand Canyon. You can get directions in the park visitor center that take you straight to it.
Mt. Nebo State Park
What a beautiful place! But definitely not taking the Cougar up here. The drive up the mountain is nothing but hairpin steep turns. But once you reach the top you’ll see deer and killer views. A Springtime trip will allow you to catch the waterfall and definitely do the Rim Trail. You won’t regret it.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park Visitor Center
Pinnacle Mountain has so much more than just the mountain. We visit the Pinnacle State Park visitor center every time we park the Cougar at Maumelle Park. They are only a couple of miles from each other. This view can be found there along with some beautiful views of the Arkansas River.
Lake Dardanelle State Park
This park has beautiful lake views from almost every campsite. There is a beach for swimming, a playground, boat ramp and dock. This a great park if you like to ride your bike and the visitor center has a great deck for viewing the lake. It’s also convenient to so many other fun destinations like the Arkansas wine trail.
Cane Creek State Park
This park is about five minutes south of Star City and is so peaceful! If you want to unplug and feel like you are out in the middle of nature this park is for you. There is a boat ramp and dock along with a fishing pier for all the fishermen out there and a 14 mile wilderness trail with three suspension bridges for all the hikers and mountain bikers. Donny and I rode 4 miles of this trail to the first suspension bridge and turned around. We were done! Benedict’s 0, Cane Creek lake trail 1. There are about 27 campsites in the park with water and electric hook ups.
Moro Bay State Park
This is the most well maintained Arkansas state park Donny and I have ever been to. There are approximately 24 campsites and all are perfectly level and easy to access with water/electric/sewer at every site. The park is situated where Raymond Lake meets the Quachita River and it’s a fisherman’s heaven. There is a ferry exhibit there where the ferry used to transport people across. The park has a boat ramp, dock, general store, large playground, two nature trails and it’s perfect for bike riding.
Daisy State Park
What a great campground with beautiful views of Lake Greeson on 2 of the 3 camp loops. The campsites are mostly 30 amp with water but there are a few 50 amp and the park has plans to upgrade some sites in the near future. We loved riding our bikes around this park. Daisy is also close to Crater of Diamonds State Park and Cossatot River State Park so you can hit all 3 parks in one weekend.
Cossatot River State Park‑ Natural Area
This park has primitive tent camping only but is close to Daisy State Park which does have RV campsites. The river is perfect for floating in the spring and there are four hiking trails in the park. We took the Harris Creek Trail which had several great viewpoints of the river. It is definitely a more natural trail but it is marked well.