Spend Saturday at Arkansas’s Newest State Park


I’ll admit, I hold a special place in my heart for the Mississippi River State Park. Our newest of the 52 Arkansas State Parks, it’s located within the St. Francis National Forest near Marianna.

I have lots of memories of Bear Creek Lake…from childhood to now.  I remember spending time there with my parents, grandparents, cousins and friends. I worked for the U.S. Forest Service on the St. Francis National Forest for four years and learned more about this special place, and my love and appreciation grew more. And I can step out my front door and be there within 10 or 15 minutes.

The park’s visitors center was recently officially opened to the public. It’s a must-see. The building is beautiful, inside and out. The exhibits do a wonderful job explaining and highlighting the Arkansas Delta, the Mississippi River and the culture of the region. Kids and adults will be intrigued with the hands-on activities and videos. Special activities and programs are offered throughout the week. You can find information on the interpretive programs at the visitors center.

This weekend is a great opportunity for you to visit the new visitors center AND get to explore beautiful Bear Creek Lake. The park is offering a Kayak Tour of the scenic lake on Saturday, June 15. The fee is $12 and includes rental of the kayak. Kayaking is a great way to experience the lake. You can check out little coves for wildlife or just enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of Crowley’s Ridge. All skill levels are welcome. The interpreter will cover basic paddling techniques before taking to the water.