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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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