Civilian Conservation Corps
The men of the CCC used native stone and timber to build the Yellow Rock Overlook at Devil's Den State Park.
Within five Arkansas state parks are cabins, pavilions, bridges, trails, a mountain lodge, and other works built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Each one of these works connects you to the craftsmanship and conservation legacy of the CCC, the "Tree Army" of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. Recognized today as National Register of Historic Places components and National Historic Districts, these were the first facilities built in Arkansas's and mirroring the rugged natural beauty of their surroundings, you, too, will understand why theses are among America's most beloved park facilities.
One of Arkansas's first state parks, Crowley's Ridge is home to log and stone structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, structures that set the mood for this park's rustic warmth. You'll see several cabins of a group area, a large and impressive two-story pavilion, and an amphitheater designed to seat 1,000. The trail around CCC-built Lake Ponder features exhibits about the park's CCC works.
This National Historic District holds what has been called the most complete example of CCC park architecture. Selected as a park site in the 1930s, Lee Creek Valley provided the native wood and stone that the Civilian Conservation Corps used to craft the park's CCC/Rustic-style buildings including a native stone dam, a unique pavilion/restaurant, cabins in several styles and sizes, roads, trails, stone walls, bridges, and the iconic Yellow Rock Overlook.
Seven of the 20 cabins in this park, plus the nature center, are beautiful examples of log and stone CCC construction from the 1930s. Established in 1935, Lake Catherine was one of Arkansas's first state parks.
Rising 1,350 feet, Mount Nebo offers sweeping views of the Arkansas River Valley. Logs and native stone from Mount Nebo were used by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s to construct many of the park's bridges, trails, rustic-style cabins, and a grand pavilion overlooking the valley below.
Arkansas's first state park features three National Historic Districts containing more than 80 buildings, trails, and bridges. The focal point is Mather Lodge, the park's rustic-style, mountain lodge on the bluff overlooking scenic Cedar Creek Canyon. Petit Jean Moutain's natural beauty and ancient geology including bluffs and waterfalls inspired the establishment of Arkansas's state park system. The CCC works here are outstanding examples of CCC park architecture that mirrors this legendary mountain's rugged natural beauty.