(BPT) - Vacations are about making memories that last a lifetime. And, there is no better place than an Arkansas State Park to experience a variety of adventures that you will never forget. For 100 years, Arkansas State Parks have provided an oasis from the hectic pace of everyday life and have given millions of visitors an opportunity to hit the reset button. If you want the adventure of a lifetime, it’s waiting for you in an Arkansas State Park. If you desire the serenity of the silence in nature, you’ll find it in an Arkansas State Park. And, believe it or not, you can make a fortune — literally — in a one-of-a-kind Arkansas State Park. In Arkansas, adventure can be found on dry land or in the water.
Arkansas’s Monument Trails are a collection of world-class mountain biking routes within four Arkansas State Parks — Mount Nebo State Park, Hobbs State Park, Pinnacle Mountain State Park and Devil’s Den State Park. The shared-use trails, which were professionally crafted by the world’s best trail builders, showcase Arkansas’s natural beauty and are woven into the beautiful landscape. No matter your skill level, the Monument Trails will offer a meaningful and lasting experience in nature.
Even the world’s most experienced mountain bikers are discovering Arkansas. In May, the Big Mountain Enduro Series will kick off its lineup of races at Mount Nebo, making it the only such race to occur outside of the Rocky Mountain Range.
You can also challenge your intestinal fortitude by tackling a 2,753-foot rock climb on the south bluff of Arkansas’s highest mountain, Mount Magazine at Mount Magazine State Park. In central Arkansas, you can test your climbing skills just a few minutes from downtown Little Rock at Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
If you would rather find your adventure on the water, there is plenty of adrenaline-pumping white water rafting in Arkansas. Try Cossatot River State Park and the Class IV rapids of Cossatot Falls. If a leisurely float down the river is more your speed, then you can do that at Cossatot, too.
There are few activities more serene and calming than a hike along the 300 miles of trails in Arkansas State Parks. There is no better way to see The Natural State. Petit Jean Mountain State Park offers trails that are rather easy and others that are strenuous. Most everyone can navigate the Cedar Falls Trail, and it is definitely worth the effort because the trail’s end is the stunning 95-foot Cedar Falls Waterfall, which begins behind the breezeway at the park’s historic Mather Lodge.
And, finally, we aren’t kidding about making your fortune at an Arkansas State Park — specifically Crater of Diamonds State Park in south Arkansas. There is no other park anywhere in the world like Crater of Diamonds State Park. Visitors can get their hands dirty and dig for diamonds in what is the world’s eighth-largest diamond-bearing volcanic crater. Diamonds of all shapes, sizes, and colors are found here. And, what you find, you keep.
In 2015, a visitor from Colorado paid her $8 entry fee to the park and walked out with an 8.52 carat white diamond, which became known as the famous Esperanza Diamond.
More recently, in March of this year, a regular Arkansas diamond hunter discovered a 3.29 carat brown diamond. Already in 2023, 124 diamonds have been registered at the park. That could happen to you, too.
Since the first diamonds were discovered in 1906 by a farmer who owned the land at the time, more than 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
The adventure of a lifetime awaits you and your family in Arkansas. Plan your vacation today at arkansas.com or arkansasstateparks.com.
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