Posts Tagged ‘Arkansas RV campgrounds’

White Oak lake State Park: A place to sit a while and watch the clouds roll by. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

Arkansas has 52 state parks, 26 of which have facilities to accommodate RVs.

I know because finding state parks along my route is part of my regular trip-planning routine. If it were possible, I would spend all my on-the-road nights at state parks rather than commercial ones.

These public campgrounds are usually less expensive, have larger sites, and almost always come with a view and trails that Maggie and I can hike.

Hollyhocks growing near the Wonder House at Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Arkansas. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Two of my favorite Arkansas campgrounds are White Oak Lake and Queen Wilhelmina. The first is located just 20 miles away from Camden, where I will start my travels for the year next week. I’ve visited it a couple of times but never stayed overnight because of its close proximity.

In a perfect traveling world – well the one that I prefer – I travel about 150 miles than camp for two to three days so I can become more personally acquainted with a landscape.

Queen Wilhelmina, meanwhile, is almost exactly 150 miles from my daughter’s home. I came upon it a few years back when I was driving the Talamina Scenic Byway between Arkansas and Oklahoma.

The park, located high on a ridge in the Ouachita Mountains was too inviting to pass by. I decided to stop for the night, although I had only traveled 20 miles this day.  Five days later I finally left to continue my journey.

This time around I’m planning to spend my first night on the road at yet another Arkansas State Park. Stay tuned and I’ll tell you all about it next week.

“What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” William Least Heat Moon, “Blue Highways”

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The sign stopped me, the park enchanted me -- Photo by Pat Bean

 “Peace is not the product of a victory or a command. It has no finishing line, no final deadline, no fixed definition of achievement. Peace is a never-ending process. The work of many decisions.” — Oscar Hammerstein

Travels With Maggie

Located on the Arkansas side of the Talimena Scenic Drive before it crosses into Oklahoma, Queen Wilhemina State Park was created in the late 1800s and named after Queen Wilhelmina in hopes the young ruler of the Netherlands would visit.

While the park was only 15 miles from where I had spent the previous night, it looked too inviting to pass by – or stay for just one night. That’s the beauty of having no deadlines to meet. The rain storm that blanked the area for the next few days, and which I wouldn’t have wanted to drive through, confirmed my instincts

Turtles, along with birds, deer and squirrels called Arkansas' Queen Wilhemina park home. -- Photo by Pat Bean

During one break in the storm, I walked up to the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge, where I devoured one of the tastiest cheeseburgers of my life while watching dark storm clouds build up for another burst. There’s something in me that loves a storm, and the sound of rain drumming on my RV roof is as enjoyable as a well-played concert. I was glad, however, that I made it back to the coziness of my RV, with my last bite of cheeseburger wrapped in a napkin for Maggie, before the downpour began anew.

Flowers grew all over the park -- Photo by Pat Bean

Finally the storm ended and I spent the next two days hiking the park’s trails, and watching birds and other wildlife. It was with reluctance that I finally left this special place. It’s too bad Queen Wilhelmina never visited. I’m sure she would have enjoyed her stay.

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