Tucked away neatly in northeast Arkansas, the Davidsonville Historic State Park is something to talk about! Setting up your rig in the 163-acre park in Randolph County will provide plenty of opportunities for relaxation, boating, and learning about the rich history of the abandoned town of Davidsonville. Campers will learn about the excavations of the area that are still yielding results, with numerous old foundations, streets, and artifacts being uncovered to map out the lives of the people who used to live here. The pet-friendly park is the perfect ground for fun times with the entire family, as fishing and canoeing are some of the most popular activities, and picnicking never sounded better than now with freshly prepared fish on the fire grills. Visitors will find full hookups for their RVs, and can expand their knowledge on the Native American settlements by visiting the galleries and remnants of the old town.
Reaching Davidsonville Historic State Park should not be too challenging, as the park is located right on Highway 166 to 361. The closest town is Black Rock, just under five miles away, which should take you no longer than ten minutes of driving. Pocahontas is about 11 miles north of the Davidsonville Historic State Park, so not too far for visitors coming from this side. If you are coming from Black Rock, pay attention to the New Bethel Freewill Baptist Church on the left roadside. When you see it, you only have a few meters to cover before you turn right to the park. The windy road is quite scenic but unlit, so be careful when you drive at night. The road that leads to the park is clean and flat and goes through the beautiful wooded area before reaching the park campgrounds.
Tent parking is available right next to the tent campground, and a parking lot for day visitors is right by the picnic area and the playground, near the Fishing Pier.
RV travelers will be happy to hear that the park offers 12 class AAA campsites with full hookups, and eight class A sites with water and electric hookups, as well as 10 tent-only sites on the premises. Two of the full-hookup sites are ADA-accessible, and they offer 50 amps for your rig, which must be 60 feet or under. The maximum number of people per site is eight, and reservations must be made in advance. Of course, all of them are pet-friendly, although pets do need to be on a leash. The RV sites are quite roomy, so you won’t feel crowded even when the campground is full, and of course, since it is quite small, make sure to make your reservations in advance, up to one year before your arrival. The campground is close to the Scott Cemetery and the visitor center, but the Davidsonville town site is just a few minutes away, just as the picnic areas and the Trappers Lake.
A camping vacation is not complete without a traditional grilling experience, every dad’s dream! Once you catch the fish in the lake or the river, or if you are more of a supermarket hunter and bring your food along, you can fire up the grill and make a lovely feast for your friends and family. The park provides fire rings and grills where you can cook the food, gather everyone around, and make a day out of it. As always, be careful around the fire to avoid forest fires, and make sure to leave no trace behind, so be sure to bring trash bags that you can dump in the designated area, or take out of the park when you leave. One of the biggest blesses in life is having people around you to gather around the dinner table, so why not do it under the stars, on a chilly evening, by the fire?
If you are looking for a little piece of history on your days off, you can go to the visitor center and attend one of the many exhibitions that take place here. The exhibit gallery contains historic artifacts that were dug out during the excavations, in an attempt to preserve Davidsonville and help tell its story. You can see a fully outfitted flatboat, as well as the interpretations of the historic businesses, residences, and the historic townsite. You’ll be able to see the remnants of wampum beads which were traditionally worn by the Native Americans and used as currency by the British and the Dutch, the remains of the Davidsonville Courthouse, dating back to 1816, as well as the commemorative Davidsonville Plaque.
One of the most popular activities for those visiting Davidsonville Historic State Park in a camper is picnicking – perfect for campers who want to spend a day relaxing, eating great food, and socializing with others. It is also one of the most popular picnic destinations in the entire area, so you will surely run into locals who come here to unwind over the weekend. Picnic areas offer the cool shade of oak trees, picnic fare tables, as well as two screened pavilions you can rent if you have more people if you want to organize a group lunch. While you are here, you can send the children to one of the two playgrounds, right by the picnic area, where they can have fun while the adults are chilling under the trees.
Hikers visiting in their camping trailers will be happy to hear that the park offers several trails they can take and enjoy the relaxing walk through the scenic area. The Historic Townsite Trail is a half-mile paved, barrier-free trail, quite easy to cover, so it is great for campers with children. Scott Cemetery Trail is also a half-mile trail that leads to the post-Civil War cemetery you can visit and learn about history. The Trapper Lake Trail is about one mile long, easy to moderate effort is required, and it will take you around the lake. The park offers brochures for this trail so you can learn more about it. And finally, the Black River Trail is 1.5 miles long and requires moderate effort. The trail will take you through the forest and along the banks of the Black River. You will also see the historic Philips-Reeves Cemetery, and of course, you can grab a brochure to learn more and navigate the trail easier.
If you are into active holidays, you will be thrilled to hear that canoeing is not only allowed, but encouraged at Davidsonville Historic State Park. If you are traveling with your own canoe, you can use the ramp to get on the river and spend your day paddling and exercising, while enjoying the river bank and the soothing surroundings. For travelers who do not have a canoe, the park offers rentals with life jackets and paddles at the visitor center. You can paddle your canoe either in the Black River or in the 12-acre lake. If you are looking to rent a canoe, 24-hour reservations are required, and of course, it is worth calling ahead to check the river conditions and the availability of the canoes.
RV campers who are looking for opportunities to fish will be happy to learn that the Davidsonville Historic State Park is a perfect destination for boaters and anglers! Since the park is located on the banks of Black River and the nearby Eleven Point and Spring Rivers, visitors can find a variety of fish they can catch for their unique alfresco dinners. If you are eager to get your boat into the water and relax far away from the landlubbers, you can take advantage of the launch ramp on the Black River. Non-motorized and paddle boat rentals are also available for visitors who don’t travel with their own boat. As far as fishing goes, campers can toss their bait into the 12-acre fishing lake that is regularly stocked with a variety of fish such as crappie, bass, and catfish.