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By Dave Woods | DiscoverNorthwestArkansas.com

Meg Matthews enjoys her job. “It’s a fun job and I love it,” she said. “I love Arkansas state
parks, too.”

It’s a good thing. Meg, public information coordinator for the state parks system, visits a lot of them and spends much of her workday talking about them.

“There are 52 of them,” she explained. “There is one for every weekend of her year. In Northwest Arkansas I’ve discovered amazing parks. Prairie Grove with its Civil War heritage. Lake Fort Smith has some cabins that are brand new with an open floor plan and a deck. They also have wonderful cable TV. Devil’s Den is great for hiking and biking and rustic charm. Hobbs State Park has so many programs with crafts and story time. It’s a great way to get the family away from their screens for just a minute.”

Northwest Arkansas residents are lucky to have several parks close to home. They all are unique and offer opportunities to explore and enjoy.

“Devil’s Den is the birth place of mountain biking in Arkansas,” Meg said. “Mountain biking in
Northwest Arkansas has just boomed. People come from all over the world to mountain bike.

“At Prairie Grove State Park we have a Civil War re-enactment of the battle that happened there, she said. “Hobbs State Park has a wonderful group of volunteers who are very active. Hobbs is our largest state park with over 12,000 acres of land.”

Meg said the state is lucky because the parks system is well funded. “The nice thing about Arkansas state parks is we have a constant source of revenue,” she said. “We don’t have to charge a fee to get in. We offer free entrance and moderate prices for camping and lodging. If you want to take a day trip, all it’s going to cost is the gas to get there and back.”

Go to arkansasstateparks.com to learn more.

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