Among the many opportunities for enjoyment and achievement in the Arkansas outdoors is the quest to make the High Five.
Spend a night or more at each of the mountaintops in the state that have cabins and/or lodges as well as campgrounds.
They are Queen Wilhelmina State Park, Petit Jean State Park, Mount Nebo State Park, Mount Magazine State Park and White Rock Recreation Area. The last is an Ozark National Forest facility.
There are no formal rules for this informal High Five. Do it in a camper, in a tent, by renting a room or cabin or a combination of those methods. A summer or early fall benefit is that all tend to be a little cooler than the flatlands below.
Let’s start a capsule summary here with the one least familiar to many Arkansas folks — White Rock. You have a choice of cabins, a group lodge or a campground. All come with cautions about bears.
White Rock is in northern Franklin County. From Interstate 40, take the Mulberry exit and go north on Arkansas Highway 215. You can reach White Rock from U.S. 71 to the west or Arkansas Highway 23 to the east, but that takes some exploring skills on Forest Service roads.
The rock cabins and the group lodge are rustic but comfortable enough. Bring towels, pillows and bed linens or sleeping bags in addition to food. The campground, like most Forest Service ones, does not have electrical hookups.
An overlook offers spectacular sunsets, but keep an eye on small children.
More information: Online at www.whiterockmountain.com or phone 479-369-4128.
Just outside Dardanelle on Arkansas Highway 22 is the junction of Arkansas Highway 155, the road to the top of Mount Nebo. Hairpin curves are a feature, some too sharp for long trailer rigs.
The park has 14 cabins, some dating from Civilian Conservation Corps days of the 1930s, and 25 camping sites with hookups. Cabins are well furnished with televisions, microwaves and other appliances. Linens are furnished.
Sunsets at the west end of the park are a must for most visitors.
More information: Online at www.arkansasstateparks.com/mountnebo or phone 479-229-3655.
Take Arkansas Highway 309 from either Paris or Havana. The lodge and cabins here are the leading facets of this jewel of Arkansas state parks. Just a few years old, they are established as a destination for Arkansans and out-of-state visitors alike. Work ahead with reservations.
The 14 cabins are luxurious — hot tubs, full modern kitchens, superb views. The lodge restaurant is spacious and provides good eating. One visit, one night at the lodge or a cabin, and you’ll want to come again with friends or relatives.
The campground has hookups and the usual state park amenities.
More information: Online at www.mountmagazinestatepark.com or phone 1-877-665-6343.
Take Arkansas Highway 88 from Mena. History abounds with the lodge, which has a restaurant offering good meals. The campground has hookups and the usual state park amenities.
More information: Online at www.queenwilhelmina.com or phone 1-800-264-2477 or: 479-394-2863 or 479-394-2864.
Take Arkansas Highway 154 from Oppelo, south of Morrilton, north of Perryville. Mather Lodge and the adjoining restaurant are always popular and the park’s many cabins and spacious campgrounds are available to visitors. This park has special meaning to legions of Arkansans.
More information: Online at www.petitjeanstatepark.com or phone 501-727-5441.
Joe Mosby is the retired news editor of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas’ best known outdoor writer. His work is distributed by the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.