16 Best State Parks in Arkansas for Renting a Cabin

If you want to talk about natural beauty in the United States, you better mention Arkansas. Arkansas ranks highly on the list of beautiful US states, so high that it earned the moniker, “Natural State.” It’s no wonder so many people leave their home states for camping, photoshoots, hiking, rockhounding, and many others adventures in the beautiful mountains of Arkansas.

If you’re looking to visit the state, or you live there and want a new place for camping, here are 16 of the best state parks in Arkansas for renting a cabin.

1. Cossatot River State Park

In the vicinity of the National Wild and picturesque Cossatot River lies this state park, which stretches for 12 kilometers. When consistent rainfall boosts the watershed, Cassatot River generates Cossatot Falls, a steep gorge with Class IV rapids, perfect for skilled canoe and kayak enthusiasts.

You’ll find clean and spacious picnic areas, bathrooms, and river access available at Brushy Creek Recreation Area. There are six sites in the Cossatot Falls region, fifteen in the Sandbar area, and two in Ed Banks (with no hookups). Over in River Ridge, the Group Camp has a rustic site (no power or water) and a group camping facility with river access (must be reserved), a grill, fire pit, pavilion, and most importantly, restrooms.

Hikers can choose from four picturesque pathways totaling over 20 miles in length. A wildlife observation hall, meeting space, exhibits, and a gift store await you in the visitor center. Access year-round interpretive activities and call or visit online for camping reservations and group facilities. At [email protected], you can rent tents, tent sites, and group campers.

The park has multiple walking trails, a myriad of activities, and lots of nearby amenities.

2. Petit Jean State Park

Petit Jean State Park was Arkansas’ first state park, and it was the spark that ignited the current state park system. The park has developed significantly since the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built it on the mountain in 1933 to accommodate the growing number of visitors it receives each season.

Petit Jean Mountain, the park’s centerpiece, is well-known in Arkansas for its fascinating trails and waterfalls. It has bluffs, caves, canyons, and other fascinating geological features you’ll have to experience to fully understand and appreciate. You’ll want to make multiple trips to this park because there is simply too much to see in one trip.

If you want to make a longer journey, Mather Lodge has 24 rooms with views of Cedar Creek Canyon, 33 cabins scattered along the cliff, and 125 campsites in the vicinity. If you’re looking for an alternative lodging experience, you can also rent a yurt.

3. DeGray Lake Resort State Park

You’ll find Arkansas’ Resort State Park located on the banks of lovely DeGray Lake, near Hot Springs and Little Rock. Year-round, you’ll have access to first-rate hotels and services as well as outdoor fun and adventure. DeGray Lake Resort has a 96-room lodge with a conference center on an island just off the shore; 81 Class B campsites and three Rent-A-Yurts; an 18-hole championship golf course with driving range, practice green, and pro shop; disc golf; swimming; tennis; and hiking trails and guided horseback riding in the park; and world-class mountain biking trails nearby. Bait and tackle, fuel, and boat rentals, including party barges, kayaks, and pedal boats, are available at the full-service marina.

The lodge features a conference center, heated pool, indoor hot tub, exercise area, and breathtaking views of DeGray Lake. The Shoreline Restaurant at the lodge serves a full menu and offers banquet catering services for groups and special requests. Corporations can hold retreats, weddings, and reunions in the 300-seat conference center and breakout meeting rooms. The lodge takes pleasure in providing outstanding service and hospitality for weddings and gatherings. DeGray’s amenities include swimming beaches, boat launches, pavilions, bicycle rentals, and an amphitheater.

Sunset cruises, snorkeling outings, guided hikes, birding tours, and other educational activities are among this park’s many attractions. Throughout the year, outdoor classes and special events are held, including winter Eagle Watch Tours on DeGray Lake. The Iron Mountain Trail System is close by and organizes many events throughout the year for mountain bikers fresh to the area. If you’re racing or riding in town, DeGray Lake Resort State Park is a great spot to stay.

Visit the Escape Room for a mind-boggling, sensory-stimulating, and unique experience. To escape the chamber, you and your team will have 60 minutes to find clues, hunt for hidden items, and solve puzzles. Feel the adrenaline rush as you study, explore, and interact in a state park setting.

4. Lake Catherine State Park

This tranquil park sits on Lake Catherine, one of the Ouachita Mountain region’s five lakes. The park is home to the lake’s only full-service marina, open in the summer for bait, snacks/drinks, and gasoline, and you can rent a boat any time of year. A launch ramp, pavilion, picnic areas, playgrounds, and a well-marked walk that leads to a waterfall are also all available in the park.

There are 20, wholly equipped cabins in the park, including one two-bedroom cottage with a patio facing the water and its fishing pier. There are also other natural stone and wood structures on the property, which date back to the 1930s.

Seventy campsites are available onsite, of which 47 are Triple A-Class. You can also select from six primitive tent sites, one Rent-A-Camp, and one Rent-A-Yurt at the park. Many of these locations sit near the water’s edge. Year-round, park interpreters lead hikes, lake tours, and events. Seasonal guided equestrian rides are also available.

5. Lake Fort Smith State Park

This gorgeous, well-maintained park in the Boston Mountain Valley of the Ozarks offers camping, fishing, kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking along the shores of Lake Fort Smith. It is the western terminus of the 240-mile Ozark Highlands Trail for trekkers.

The park has 30 campsites (20 Class AAA and 10 Class B), ten cabins, a swimming pool, a marina with boat rentals, a pavilion, picnic areas, and group facilities such as a dining hall and two group lodges with full kitchens.

A reproduction pioneer log cabin and covered wagon, as well as displays and lectures on the area’s early history, are housed at the visitor center. Throughout the year, park interpreters guide guests on nature treks and lake cruises. (The park prohibits swimming, water skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, and jet skiing.)

6. Crowley’s Ridge State Park

Crowley’s Ridge State Park, hovering over the lush green hills of Northeast Arkansas, is home to a distinct geological structure with a fascinating history. The rustic character of this park comes from the native log and stone structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

Campers have the options of bunk and duplex cabins (five and four respectively) equipped with cooking facilities and furnaces. There’s also a more rustic cabin (with a kitchen), picnic areas, hiking trails, pavilions, a 31-acre fishing lake, a 3.5-acre swimming area, 18 Class B campsites, and eight tent sites. Rentals for fishing boats, kayaks, and pedal boats are available at the park. The park is nine miles west of Paragould on US 412, then two miles south on US 168.

Crowley’s Ridge State Park’s full-service cabins are also available and feature all the conveniences tourists need for a pleasant getaway. The cabins offer satellite television, heat and air conditioning, and fully equipped kitchens with cookware, linen, and dishes.

7. Davidsonville Historic State Park

At Davidsonville, Arkansas’ first post office and one of the state’s earliest courthouses, frontier history, and modern-day recreation collide. You’ll only see little of Davidsonville’s history above ground; excavations are still discovering streets, foundations, and relics. Because the park borders the Black River and a fishing lake, fishing is a popular pastime for locals and visitors alike. Pedal boats are also available for rent.

A model, 1820s hunter-trapper flatboat, an audio tour, and a display of historical items from archeological digs are all part of the new visitor center. Park features include trails, picnic spots, and a freshly rebuilt campground with 20 campsites.

8. Devil’s Den State Park

Another 1930s CCC project, Devil’s Den is one of the most well-preserved CCC sites in the country – which is understandable. Yellow Rock Trail, one of the state’s most famous vistas, has been featured in movies, nature photography, and periodicals.

Hikers and backpackers will find a set of ledges that hover over rolling hills on this trail. The rock formations are one-of-a-kind in color and shape, making for great photo opportunities. Many more attractions within the park are must-sees, whether you’re there for the first time or the hundredth.

The Devil’s Den Dam, caves, the Ozark National Forest, and pretty much any of the rock formations strewn throughout are all worth seeing. Cabins and campsites are both available within the park if you want to stay awhile and take in a sunrise – or several!

9. Mount Nebo State Park

Although the trip up is a little challenging due to tight turns, the journey down gives you an adrenaline rush. This mountain is a popular destination for motorbike riders who want to climb up and watch the dawn or sunset from opposite sides of the 1,350-foot-tall structure. Mount Nebo is a sight to behold, whether on motorcycles, bicycles, vehicles, or foot.

Cabins and campsites built by the CCC provide spectacular views of the Arkansas River Valley below. Just remember that sharing is caring, and deer families may want to join you for watching the sunrise.

10. Village Creek State Park

Village Creek State Park
Image: ARKANSAS STATE PARKS

Village Creek State Park spans 7,000 acres and is ripe for exploration. Thirty-three miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding paths are available, as well as campgrounds for both humans and horses. There are 66 stalls in the equestrian campgrounds with all the facilities your equine family members require.

The park recently remodeled the Village Creek’s cabins to provide a more modern outdoor experience. The park also has an Andy Dye-designed golf course – the Ridges at Village Creek – which adds a luxurious touch. The course includes a full-service clubhouse with everything a golfer may require.

The park notes that the soil in the Crowley’s Ridge part of the state is distinct from other types. Therefore, some trails may close when rainy to protect the trails’ condition.

11. Crater of Diamonds State Park

Crater of Diamonds State Park is a rock-hounding paradise that attracts campers from every end of the country. Bring your tools and get ready to sift through its 37-acre field.

What was once a volcanic crater is now a popular global tourist destination. With more than 33,100 diamonds discovered since the park’s inception in 1972, Arkansas is one of the few areas where the public can search for diamonds near their source.

Don’t be disappointed if you don’t locate a diamond the size of the 40.23-carat Uncle Sam or the 15.33-carat Star of Arkansas – though it’s not impossible. Whatever the case may be, there are plenty of gems for you to find – and keep!

After you’ve gotten your hands dirty, take a walk in the park, have a picnic, or even go rockhounding again after some rest and leisure.

12. Cane Creek State Park

Have you ever longed to see two different parts of the country at the same time? Cane Creek State Park, located in the Mississippi Delta and the Coastal Plain, allows you to do just that. There’s something for everyone, with vistas like Cane Creek Lake, Bayou Bartholomew (the world’s longest bayou), and the vast grasslands to explore.

Cane Creek not only has hiking paths for people to enjoy, but also a kayak route. The track features a paddle past both dead and alive cypress trees, as well as water lilies that will guide you through the lake (if you visit during the summer). Along the route, say hello to the wildlife, which includes beavers building their lodges.

13. Mount Magazine State Park

While not as tall as other mountains in the country, at 2,753 feet, Mt. Magazine is the highest point in Arkansas. Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and ATV riding is all available on nine trails in this magnificent state park. Explore different regions of the mountain and environs.

If ground exploration isn’t your thing, Mt. Magazine is one of two parks that offer hang-glide launch locations. The Lodge at Mt. Magazine features suites and cabins with magnificent views of the mountain to enjoy after an exhausting day.

Do you want to take your family camping? For your s’mores and stargazing needs, the park provides 18 campsites. Whether you’re traveling up the mountain for a day trip or enjoying a more extended stay, the Skycrest Restaurant will satisfy your appetite with wonderful meals and breathtaking views of the Petit Jean River Valley and Blue Mountain Lake.

14. Delta Heritage Trail State Park

Delta Heritage Trail State Park
Image: ARKANSAS STATE PARKS

Cyclists, take note: this is the place for you! The park expects its completed rail-to-trail project to be a massive 84.5-mile stretch incorporating several courses and a total of 44.4 miles of trail available for usage.

In other words, you’ll need a map to discover the ideal trailhead for you, and conveniently, Geo-Enhanced maps for cellphones are available.

With such a long journey ahead of you, there will be plenty of geological features and fauna to see. Take a walk or ride your bike around this beautiful part of the state!

15. Logoly State Park

Logoly State Park
Image: ARKANSAS STATE PARKS

Logoly State Park is a great place to take the kids if you want to get them outside. Logoly, the first environmental state park in Arkansas, is a 370-acre park with mineral springs, a verdant forest, and some of the region’s most magnificent plant species. This park in south Arkansas includes plenty of areas for picnicking and playing on the playground. The visitor center offers a wide range of interactive educational activities for kids to learn more about the park and Arkansas’ natural wonders.

16. Daisy State Park

The gorgeous Lake Greeson and the Little Missouri River, in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains, are popular outdoor recreation destinations. Daisy State Park, located on Lake Greeson, is a popular spot for fishing and kayaking, with rentals available if you don’t have your own gear.

Views of beautiful rock formations that you might not otherwise see are visible on lake trips. In the spring, the Little Missouri River provides excellent trout fishing as well as good floatation. ATV riding on the Bear Cycle Trail is one of the other popular activities available.

Daisy is close to Crater of Diamonds State Park, which is a fantastic day trip from your campground. Three yurts, 100 campsites (26 Class A, 56 Class B, and 18 tent sites), picnic spots, a gazebo, launch ramps, and a playground are among the amenities available.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of campsites are available in Arkansas?

The Arkansas campgrounds range from rustic hike-in tent sites to high-end campgrounds with easy access and modern amenities for RV campers, such as water, electricity, and sewer hookups. You can access modern facilities with hot showers and flush toilets at most Arkansas campgrounds.

What are the group camping options?

Many parks offer dedicated group camping areas. For further information or to arrange a reservation, contact park officials.

What about pets?

Dogs are welcome on the campgrounds as long as they are on a leash. If you plan on staying in a yurt, Rent-an-RV, or camper cabin, please verify with the park directly before making your reservation, as some of their unique lodging choices do not allow dogs.