Cossatot River State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of Arkansas, located on the Cossatot River. The park consists of 1,818 acres (7.36km2) and has two lakes with an average depth of 18 feet (5m). A visitor center open year-round, the park features interpretive displays about local plants and wildlife as well as archaeological exhibits from the Woodland Indian period.
Current projects include updating trail signage, improving accessibility at several locations, expanding the campground by approximately 20 sites, and adding lakefront parcels to the park.
Cossatot River State Park includes two lakes; Lake Austell and Lake Dunn.
Camping is available throughout the year, but not during the winter months due to freezing temperatures. Two group campsites are accessible via road, with additional walk-in sites scattered throughout the rest of the park. The visitor’s center/nature center and museum store are both housed inside the park office building. Nature programs are held on weekends year round, including hayrides, guided nature walks and hikes, bird banding, etc.
Interpretive displays can be found along the shoreline of both lakes. Other amenities include boat ramps, playgrounds, picnic areas, and over 12 miles (19km) of equestrian trails. Hiking trails include the 0.75 mile long Bear Trail, the 2.5 mile long Canyon Trail, the 3.5 mile Long Trail, and the 5.5 mile Wild Persimmon Hiking Trail. Mountain bike trails consist of the 4.5 mile long Red Trail and the 6.4 mile long Blue Trail, each of which connect with other trails within the park.
Hunting is permitted during certain parts of the year, subject to rules and regulations of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The park has a designated section where bicycles are prohibited, as posted signs point to “trails off the beaten path”. These trails have become popular with runners, who use them as training routes for running races outside the park.
There are also historical markers at various points around the park. On November 13, 2016, the Friends of Cossatot River State Park hosted their annual meeting at the park to discuss plans for the coming year.
The park was created after a series of acquisitions beginning in 1975. In 1990, the city of Prescott, Arizona purchased 320 acres (1.3km2), then sold it to the state five years later. Another 300 acres (1.0km2) were added in 1995 through a lease agreement with the City of Prescott. Additional acreage came into the park in 1996 when the Little Rock Development Commission donated 160 acres (0.6km2) which had been part of a wastewater treatment plant. A total of 710 acres (2.9km2) now make up the park.
Cossatot River State Park offers:
- camping facilities
- hiking trails
- mountain biking
- picnic areas
- boat rentals
- swimming beach
- nature study area.
Common game species include:
- white-tailed deer
Lake Austell has:
Lake Dunn contains: