Craighead Forest Park is one of the highlight attractions in the city of Jonesboro Arkansas. Ok, so there is not a lot going on here and given that it is our current hometown it’s fair to say we spend quite a bit of time here enjoying the gorgeous lake and awesome trails throughout the park. If you love nature and the outdoors, a visit to Craighead Forest Park is worthwhile and you will gain a greater appreciation of why this is such a popular spot in north-east Arkansas.
Whether you are a highly skilled mountain biker, a seasoned cross-country runner or perhaps just someone who enjoys relaxing among the flora and fauna, Craighead Forest Park is the perfect spot to visit.
Heather will concur that I am a huge critic of Jonesboro, primarily because of its geographic location in the heart of the “Southern” United States but also because I find there is very little to do here. Fortunately, Craighead Forest Park offers visitors to Jonesboro the opportunity to experience the natural environment and enjoy the gorgeous surroundings.
Craighead Forest Park Information
The history of Craighead Forest Park dates back to 1937 when the Young Men’s Civic Club of Jonesboro started working on the lake to create an attraction for locals to enjoy. The park has seen substantial change over the years and today it covers 692 acres of scenic landscape located on Crowley’s Ridge.
A Distinctive Recreational Park in Northeast Arkansas
The park is open daily from 6:00AM and 10:00PM. All vehicles must remain on the designated roads around the park and since the recent development of the new pedestrian walkways, foot traffic is required to stay on those sidewalks or trails throughout the park.
4910 S Culberhouse Rd,
Jonesboro, AR 72404
Things to Do Inside the Park
There are plenty of opportunities for recreational activities at Craighead Forest Park. Whether you enjoy a relaxing afternoon fishing or perhaps you want to entertain a family picnic, Craighead Forest is home to a myriad of activities.
Let’s take a look at some of the best things to do.
Fishing and Wildlife
The 60-acre Craighead Forest Lake is home to a variety of fish that attracts locals and visitors alike to test their skills. The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission frequently stocks the lake with a combination of bass, bream, catfish and crappie.
Walking around the trail that surrounds the perimeter of the lake, you will likely see local anglers ready to pounce on their next catch.
Several picnic areas can be found throughout the park, offering gorgeous views around the lake and ample space to enjoy a family picnic.
Visitors can also reserve one of the various pavilions that are scattered around the park.
If you looking for a perfect spot in north-east Arkansas with rustic surroundings, Craighead Forest Park is the ultimate location. It’s certainly not five-star luxury but for those willing to entertain the campground experience, this is definitely an option worth considering.
The asphalt camping spaces are all equipped with water, electric outlets, picnic tables and access to a grill. The views across the lake make this a great location for a weekend getaway.
Hit the Best Trails in Jonesboro
Despite recent renovations to create a pedestrian walkway around part of the park, there are numerous trails that intertwine throughout the forest creating a haven for avid mountain bikers.
Rugged terrain provides challenging yet rewarding trails for those brave enough to head off-road. If you are thinking about a leisurely bike ride, Craighead Forest probably isn’t the best idea given the rolling hills of Crowley’s Ridge that provide such an awesome experience for the more experienced riders.
But don’t worry, if hopping on two wheels is a little too adventurous, you can don your hiking boots and head out into the trails and explore the rustic scenery.
Perhaps the most scenic of all the trails at Craighead Forest Park is the 2.4-mile trail around the edge of the lake. The trail is relatively well maintained and easy to walk around.
If you are seeking something a little longer, the trail around the road is paved and with a distance of just under 3 miles, is certainly a great workout, especially when you are faced with a couple of strenuous hills that you have to climb.
Phase one of the community project to develop a brand new walkway around Craighead Forest Park has recently been finished in 2016, characterized by a layer of tarmac that provides a comfortable walking experience for visitors around the park. The installation of outdoor workout equipment is certainly a huge benefit for those wanting to enjoy a complete workout in the open-air.
Craighead Forest Park is one of the highlight attractions in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Ok, so there are not too many reasons to speak of but if you are passing through Jonesboro, be sure to head over and explore everything this beautiful park has to offer.
The walking/biking trails alone make this an attractive location especially with the gorgeous landscapes across the lake. You never quite know what wildlife you will stumble across but if you love the outdoors, Craighead Forest Park is a must-see experience!
Have you spent time in Arkansas? Do you enjoy spending time in parks?