Lake Poinsett State Park is located among a panorama of rolling hills called Crowley’s Ridge. The 640-acre lake is situated in northeastern Arkansas, and was constructed by the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission in 1960 to provide recreation to outdoor lovers and those who enjoy fishing. Lake Poinsett State Park was established in 1963 and faces the northern end of the lake. The park offers picnicking and camping options for guests, as well as excellent fishing facilities. Outdoor enthusiasts typically find the shallow waters of the lake ideal for catfish, crappie, bream, and bass fishing.
Lake Poinsett State Park’s location makes it an excellent base from which one can go exploring, and those interested in the history and scenic attraction of Crowley’s Ridge, can enjoy a year-round feast for the eye. An enormous range of colors can be viewed from either the north or south ridge, including bright red maple leaves during autumn, dogwood blossoms in spring, and a plethora of wildflowers throughout the summer. The history buff will enjoy the northern area of the park situated close to Paragould. This area, made famous by General Marmaduke during the Civil War, is a celebrated historical site.
Many people choose the park as a family vacation destination, and not only camp at Lake Poinsett, but also explore the town of Wilson, which is less than an hour’s leisurely drive from the park. The Hampson Museum in Wilson houses an extensive collection of Nodena Phase Indian artifacts dating back to 1700 AD. These artifacts were uncovered in the early years of the 20th century by Doctor James K. Hampson and his family. Because of the excellent records kept by Doctor Hampson, modern archaeologists were able to analyze the Nodena Phase Indians and gain a wealth of understanding concerning their culture and way of life. Such museum exhibits explain the prehistoric lifestyle of the tribes, and the scientific method of the archaeology used in their study.
Facilities in Lake Poinsett State Park
The lovely, shaded camping areas offer year round camping and all sites overlook Lake Poinsett State Park. There is a total of 27 campsites and all feature freeze-proof water connections, dual-voltage electrical hookups and picnic tables and grill. The area is spacious enough for those who prefer camping in a tent. During the spring, summer, and fall, a bathhouse is provided for campers, as well as a dump station which is situated near the park’s entrance. Camping reservations are recommended during peak season to avoid being shut out.
Scattered throughout the park are grills, picnic tables and other cooking sites for those who enjoy frying a fresh catch, or grilling dinner just as they would at home. Many picnic tables are covered with the shade of the nearby towering trees, however, there is plenty of open space available for games such as catch or softball. A playground for children is situated close to both the picnic area and campground. For family activities and group gatherings, a covered pavilion picnic area can be reserved for a nominal fee.
Fishing boat rentals are available by the park’s boat launch ramp, and there is a variety of fishing and camping stores near the park where various supplies can be purchased. The park also has a public swimming pool, and one can find laundry services, shopping, and restaurants in nearby Harrisburg, approximately 3 miles from the park. A boat launch ramp is provided at the park, and this can be found close to the grilling area, however, no motor boats are allowed. The launch is free of charge for patrons of the park.
Campers are required to register at the Visitor Center before they proceed to claim a campsite. The sites are assigned by park personnel based on the size of the party, and the type of camping in which they choose to participate. The covered picnic pavilions must be reserved before being occupied, at which time a deposit is required.
Those who wish to make reservations or desire further details about the park may contact:
Lake Poinsett State Park Route 3 Box 317
Harrisburg, AR 72432
or visit: http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/lakepoinsett/