The Arkansas State Parks Include The Only Park In America Where Visitors Can Dig For Diamonds!
There are currently forty eight state parks in Arkansas plus four other areas which all come under the control of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.
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The parks are extremely diverse and at least one is totally without parallel in the whole of the United States.
This is the Crater Of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro in Pike County.
Here, for a small entrance fee, visitors can arrive and dig for diamonds and other precious stones.
Every year more than 600 gems are unearthed and over 29,000 have been discovered since it became one of the Arkansas state parks.
The Arkansas River Flowing Through Little Rock, The Capital Of Arkansas
Arkansas is a state in the southern part of America and is a land of deep forests, with beautiful rivers and lakes.
The eastern border of the state is formed by the Mississippi River while to the west, along its border with Oklahoma, there are two low lying mountain ranges.
These are the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains and are the only major mountains between the Appalachians in the east and the Rockies in the west.
Mount Magazine, the highest point in Arkansas at 2,753 feet, is found in the Ouachita range.
The first European recorded as reaching what is now Arkansas, was the noted Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. He died in 1542 near Lake Village on the Mississippi during his expedition to the area.
Although there was a great deal of Spanish influence in this part of North America, the area eventually came under the ownership of the French. They then sold it to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
Louisiana Purchase State Park has a granite marker indicating the spot from where the land acquired during this deal was surveyed.
Civilian Conservation Corps Pavilion At Crowleys Ridge State Park
There are other Arkansas State Parks which are unique. For example Herman Davis State Park holds the grave and a memorial to Herman Davis.
He was an infantry private during World War One and he was described as "one of the outstanding American heroes of the war" by General Black Jack Pershing who led the U.S. troops in Europe.
Many of the state parks in Arkansas are sited on lakes. These include Lake Catherine State Park, Lake Chicot State Park, Lake Dardanelle State Park and Lake Poinsett State Park.
The fishing is often superb and many of these waters have produced state record catches. Many bass fishing tournaments are held and are always very popular.
Lake Ouachita State Park stands on the shores of the largest lake totally within Arkansas.
Its waters are so clean and pure that rare sponges and jellyfish are to be found.
Because of the clarity of the water it is an extremely popular destination for scuba divers and spearfishers.
A number of the Arkansas State Parks preserve Civil War sites. Jenkins Ferry State Park, Marks` Mill State Park, Poison Spring State Park and Prairie Grove Battlefield are all examples.
One of the Arkansas State Parks that receives more than its share of visitors is Petit Jean State Park. This is because of the legend associated with the grave that lies at the top of Petit Jean Mountain.
It supposedly contains the remains of a young Frenchwoman who died during an expedition to the area in 1687.
Entrance Sign At Petit Jean State Park
This map shows the location of the state parks in Arkansas