notes on leaving Arkansas:
I tell ya - this is a state that is dedicated to living up to its
motto "The Natural State." The parks I visited were prime
examples of what state parks should be. The people that worked there
did so out of love for their home's natural resources and sharing
them with us. And Arkansas voters put their money where their mouth
is by approving an 1/8 cent conservation tax that partially funds
state park projects.
met many fellow RVers here who are from Arkansas and they know what
they have within the state parks in their own backyard. Generations
return again and again, believing it an important asset to their
quality of life here. The state encourages them, giving them resident
discounts and great organized programs for children and adults alike.
time visitors, especially those from states that charge day use
fees in addition to camping fees, appreciate that Arkansas doesn't.
They remark on how well kept the parks are, how clean and well maintained.
That was certainly my own impression as well. I only had a chance
to stay in 3 state parks and they just whetted my appetite for more.
Ouachita - a park that proves you can have the
best of all worlds - lakefront property, 50 amp full hookups and satellite
TV through the gorgeous tree cover! Its superintendent, Lee Howard,
and his entire staff made me feel so welcome it was easy to have fun
there. The sunset cruise on that pristine lake will always be a treasured
Catherine and its quiet, graceful charm was like coming
home to where I really began to understand the joys of RVing - campfires
right on the lake in a quiet forested setting with the added perk
of being close enough to explore Hot Springs easily. I really enjoyed
my talks with the Park Superintendent, Bill Saunders. With 26 years
in the park service, it always does my heart good to hear someone
who really loves their job and wouldn't rather be doing something
else - it's a rare enough thing, that's for sure!
Creek was the last Arkansas park I stayed at this trip
and I will definitely be back. Already special in many ways, not
the least its location on a unique piece of land called Crowley's
Ridge with the only remaining preserved portion of the Trail of
Tears, there are many planned improvements in store there. When
the golf course, clubhouse, lodge/restaurant, and full-service spa
is complete in 2007, it will certainly live up to the name Village
Creek Resort. Mike Brawner and his staff are the perfect
hosts for this park and I hated having to leave there without being
able to spend more time with them.
I learned a
lot here about Arkansas and its different environments during my
visit to this beautiful state. I recommend you do your own research
and find your favorite parks here on Arkansas
State Parks' website. If you visit any of the parks I did, please
be sure to tell the friendly folks there Malia sends her regards.