LITTLE ROCK—Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism (ADPHT), today announced that ADPHT is instituting closings and/or limited access to some of its parks and museums in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective March 20.
Welcome Centers – Lobbies of the 13 Welcome Centers located around the state, which serve the traveling public, will close until further notice.
Heritage Museums – The Division of Arkansas Heritage’s Little Rock museums will close to the public until further notice. This includes Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Old State House Museum.
Arkansas State Parks – Access to certain park facilities will be limited, effective March 20. Below is an overview; for detailed information visit ArkansasStateParks.com.
- Park visitor centers are only accessible for camping/lodging check-in, and trail access, but exhibits and gift shops will be closed.
- Lodges, cabins, and camp sites remain open. Daily housekeeping will not be provided. After a stay is over, the room will be cleaned and sanitized for the next guest, using Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
- Restaurants are open for carry-out only.
- Restrooms – Parks will continue to provide some access. Per the discretion of park superintendents regarding labor and supplies, some restrooms may close.
- Trails, picnic areas, and outdoor pavilions remain open.
- Groups holding reservations should contact the park. Group size, meeting location, etc., will affect the ability for events to proceed.
- Museum parks with trails restricted to trail access only. Museum parks without trails will provide limited access to exhibits. Gift shops are closed.
- Playgrounds are closed.
- Marinas and boat ramps remain open with availability of rental equipment that will be sanitized following each use. Gift shops will be closed.
- Golf courses remain open. Pro Shops open to accept golf fees only. Gift shop and club rentals are closed. Cart rentals continue and are cleaned and sanitized between rentals.
- All interpretive programming, events and workshops are canceled until further notice.
“We believe the closing of welcome centers, heritage museums and some limiting of access and services at our parks is the best thing to do for our visitors and our staff,” said Secretary Hurst. “People can still come enjoy our beautiful state parks, where social distancing is achievable; but they can also get some great stress relief by hiking or biking our trails, enjoying our lakes, or just sitting still and taking in the great outdoors.”
ADPHT has three major divisions: Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Heritage and Arkansas Tourism. Arkansas State Parks manages 52 state parks and promotes Arkansas as a tourist destination for people around the country. Arkansas Heritage preserves and promotes Arkansas’s natural and cultural history and heritage through four historic museums and four cultural preservation agencies. Arkansas Tourism improves the state’s economy by generating travel and enhancing the image of the state.