AETN State & National Parks Initiative

Arkansas Parks StoryShare

AETN Passport Summer Adventure

We had first heard of the AETN Passport several months ago and immediately signed up. After a short wait we received our passports, but were not immediately able to begin our adventure due to prior commitments. The day we could begin finally arrived and we were on the road! We had planned to visit and complete the majority of the park visits over a four day weekend and were able to get ten of the twelve on our 1319.6 mile extended weekend.

tWe started our adventure at Arkansas Post National Park and have nothing but positive things to say about the help and guidance we received here. I really, really wish I would have wrote the NPS Employees name down who assisted us so I could thank him, but I didn't. The next stop was Crowley's Ridge State Park. We had originally planned to make it to Buffalo River National Park the first day, but our schedule was too tight and the park closes at 04:30 p.m. and we couldn't make it by then.

We resumed our adventure bright and early at the Buffalo and then it was on to Pea Ridge National Park followed by Devil's Den State Park and Fort Smith. We were able to make it to Petit Jean State Park before the Visitor's Center closed and rented a cabin and had a great meal at Mather Lodge as we watched the sunset while we ate (photo attached).

Up and out early the next day our adventure took us to Hot Springs National Park where we ran into a geocaching buddy of ours with her grandchildren in tow getting their passports stamped as we arrived. Next we were off to Crater of Diamonds State Park and Old Washington State Park (at the time the Visitor's Center employee, John, said they didn't have the stamp yet so he gave us a generic Old Washington Stamp- hope that works!) to complete our adventures for the weekend.

Yesterday we had business in Little Rock in the morning and as it was finished we took an opportunity to go by the Little Rock Central High School National Park and then travel to Lake Chicot State Park for our final stamp.

I cannot say enough good things about our parks we have in Arkansas. I had the opportunity to visit all fifty-two Arkansas State Parks last year for the Arkansas State Park Cache Geocaching Challenge, but for some reason had never taken the time to visit the National Parks in Arkansas. Thank you for nudging us in that direction with this program as we have had a blast! We hope everyone has as much fun on their AETN Passport adventures as we did!

posted by Justin Murphree on 19 Aug 2009