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Arkansas State Parks: A year-round destination for adventure and relaxation

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(BPT) - As winter begins to strengthen its cold grip on many parts of the country, rendering outdoor activities difficult, Arkansas — with its mild climate — is primed to offer a memorable outdoor experience.

Come to Arkansas and you’ll see why we are called The Natural State. One must look no further than the state’s 52 state parks.

Whether you seek adventure or just a relaxing day in nature, Arkansas State Parks are open, free for day use and ready no matter what time of year.

For 100 years, Arkansas State Parks have provided thrill-seeking adventure for people of all experience levels. In recent years, the state has invested in developing a unique collection of trails through state parks called Monument Trails.

There are four state parks — Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, Pinnacle Mountain State Park, Mount Nebo State Park, and Devil’s Den State Park — that feature these professionally built multi-use trails that showcase Arkansas’ iconic beauty in a most unique way through quality cycling and hiking paths. Along the trails, which are suitable for all skill levels, users will experience nature and wildlife up close and personal. Soon, outdoor art will be installed along the trails to greater enhance the experience.

Arkansas State Parks Monument Trails are receiving worldwide attention. Earlier this year, Outside Magazine recognized the trails as featuring the best mountain biking in the United States. Professional mountain bikers from around the globe are coming to Arkansas for a one-of-a-kind riding experience.

Traveling across mountain trails isn’t the only way to see Arkansas, you can also climb those mountains. Rock climbing is becoming more than just a trend in Arkansas State Parks. You can test your climbing skills on the south bluff of Arkansas’ highest mountain — Mount Magazine at 2,753 feet.

Four-season adventure also awaits you on the water.

You can take a leisurely float through the cypress trees and water lilies at Cane Creek State Park or paddle down the raging white-waters of Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Most Arkansas State Parks offer numerous camping opportunities. Whether you prefer the primitive setting of pitching a tent along the lakeshore, or renting a cabin or yurt, you can find the perfect accommodations that meet your interests and budget at an Arkansas State Park.

There are also two Arkansas State Parks that feature amenities unique to Arkansas.

Participants can dig for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park. And, what you find — you keep! There is no place else in the nation like it.

Lots of things to do, indeed, and you can find them all in Arkansas State Parks.

Need an excuse to come see for yourself? Plan on being in The Natural State on January 1 for our First Day Hikes program. You will be taken on guided tours through the parks and begin making memories with your family.

Whether winter, spring, summer or fall — it is always the right time to visit Arkansas. Plan your Arkansas State Parks adventure at www.arkansasstateparks.com.