Lake Cruise (Days for this event are listed in the schedule below.) –Explore the wonders of Lake Dardanelle and the Arkansas River aboard the state park tour boat. Enjoy abundant wildlife, amazing history, and astounding views of the river valley throughout this 1 hour cruise. There is no fee for the tour, but space is limited. You must register for the tour. Call 479-967-5516 to register for a seat. We will begin boarding 15 minutes before the tour, at the boat dock near the south boat ramp. (Weather permitting)
Tuesdays & Saturdays at 1:30p.m. – What’s for Lunch? –We have 8,000 gallons of aquariums, filled with many of the fish species found in Lake Dardanelle. Join park staff in the visitor center as they feed the fish live food. See for yourself, what’s for lunch?
Saturdays at 1:45p.m. – Critter Crunch – Lake Dardanelle’s diverse habitats provide homes for many creatures large and small. Join a park interpreter in the kid’s corner of the visitor center as she tells you about some of the smaller creatures. She will also be feeding these creatures; so come discover the small native wonders we have around us.
Friday, September 5th
Saturday, September 6th
11:30a.m. – Marsh Mystery – As the Arkansas River journeys through Lake Dardanelle, it continually shapes the land and creates opportunities for people like you. We have to be careful when enjoying these opportunities that we don’t affect others. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and help her solve a marsh mystery. Discover how you can help protect our natural areas.
3p.m. – Beavers: Nature’s Engineers – Lake Dardanelle offers diverse habitat that allow many different and unique animals to live here, including the beaver. Everyone is familiar with the phrase, “busy as a beaver”, but how did they get the reputation of being such hard workers? Meet a park interpreter on the Dardanelle side of the park near the playground to learn more about these water-loving mammals.
7p.m. – Fish Prints – Lake Dardanelle’s fishery is healthy and diverse. We’ll be using the fishery as inspiration to make some beautiful creations. Meet a park interpreter at the amphitheater to create some fishy art.
Sunday, September 7th
4p.m. – Game Scene Investigation: G.S.I. – When you walk around in nature and you see a track, do you take the track at face value as just a foot print, or do you look around to see what the big picture holds? Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and see what you can determine about the game scene in the area.
Friday, September 12th
7p.m. – Awesome Opossum – You can explore nature at this park because Lake Dardanelle’s diverse habitats sustain many living creatures. One of these creatures is the Virginia Opossum. Join us at the amphitheater to learn about and discover a misunderstood marsupial, the Virginia Opossum, of Arkansas.
Saturday, September 13th
10a.m. – Soft Walk – Learning about the diverse habitats and the many living creatures they support at Lake Dardanelle doesn’t have to include a lot of lecture or books. Sometimes just being in nature and looking at things that someone points out can teach you a lot. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater as we walk softly and immerse ourselves in nature and take in new experiences.
2p.m. – Wetland Address – Wetlands are one of the many areas of opportunity that the Arkansas River provides as it journeys through Lake Dardanelle and continually shapes the land. We will talk about why wetlands are a great place to live and who lives there. We will discover how well you know the animals that live in and around the wetlands surrounding Lake Dardanelle. Meet a park interpreter on the Dardanelle side of the park near the playground.
4p.m. – Wonderful Wildlife – Lake Dardanelle State Park is home to a lot of unique wildlife both on land and in the water. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater to explore what wildlife you can discover during your visit here at Lake Dardanelle State Park.
6:30p.m. – Noticing Nature Scavenger Hunt – There is great diversity in habitat and animals at Lake Dardanelle, making it easy to explore and enjoy nature here. We will see how many of the nature items on our list you can find. There will be some interesting things on her list, so bring your thinking cap, be ready to get creative with your answers, and let’s go nature hunting. We will meet in front of the visitor center.
Sunday, September 14th
9a.m. – Birding Basics – Bird watching is a hobby for all ages. To get started you only need the 3 B’s: Binoculars, a Bird book, and Birds. Lake Dardanelle has plenty of birds, so come out and meet a park interpreter at the amphitheater and learn just how easy bird watching can be.
11a.m. – Who goes there? – There are many creatures that call Lake Dardanelle home. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater to discover who they are and what clues they leave behind as they move about. After looking through the clues we will head down the trail and see if we discover any new clues and find out, who goes there?
1p.m. – What’s the buzz – Honeybees are very intelligent insects that work together in a complex society to make the sweet treat that humans have learned to love. Meet a park interpreter in the visitor center Orientation Room to learn how these busy bees do their jobs. Honey bee Helpers?
2p.m. – Grab Bag Adventures – The diverse habitats around Lake Dardanelle create many opportunities for discovery and exploration. Meet a park interpreter in the visitor center Orientation Room to find out what is in her magic bag! We’ll play a little game to let you touch and feel your way around. Hints will be given, but you’ll be testing your sense of wildlife!
Wednesday, September 17th
Friday, September 19th
7p.m. – Creatures of the Night – Lake Dardanelle is home to many creatures. Discover some of Lake Dardanelle State Park’s nocturnal residents. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater and learn what animals come out when we go to sleep. We will be outside so dress for the weather.
Saturday, September 20th
4p.m. – Fun with fur – You can learn a lot about an animal just by looking at its fur. Join a park interpreter on the Dardanelle side of the park near the playground to examine animal furs and learn about some of the mammals that make Lake Dardanelle State Park their home.
7p.m. – Sunset Hike – You can explore nature at this park because Lake Dardanelle’s diverse habitats sustain many living creatures. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater as we explore the Meadowbrook Trail and watch the sun set on beautiful Lake Dardanelle.
Sunday, September 21st
10a.m. – Crumble watershed – The watershed surrounding Lake Dardanelle is the backbone for the Arkansas River as the river journeys through the lake creating opportunities for people like you. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater to learn about Lake Dardanelle’s vast and wide watershed. Then make your own watershed and see how the water rolls through your land!
11a.m. – “Little Brother” – Have you ever thought about how people survived before there were stores to buy what they needed? Come to the amphitheater to learn about how the Cherokee used parts of a deer to get what they needed to survive.
2p.m. – The Stories of Lake Dardanelle – Exploration, opportunity, and progress forged the culture you find here today. Meet a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center to hear some stories of the past that create the wonderful and unique culture in the River Valley. Bring blankets and chairs to sit on the grass, as you see these stories come to life right before your eyes!
3:30p.m. – What is it? – Come on down you’re the next contestant for “What Is It?” Park interpreters have been busy exploring the minute details of Lake Dardanelle State Park. Test your knowledge of Lake Dardanelle State Park by looking at obscure photos of the natural world and figure out “What Is It?” Join a park interpreter in the Lakeview Room at the visitor center to begin the challenge.
Thursday, September 25th
Friday, September 26th
8:30p.m. – Fireside Stories – Telling stories is a centuries old tradition created for pleasure, as well as to pass down the history and oral traditions of an area or group of people. Meet a park interpreter at the amphitheater to hear some stories, share some stories, and enjoy the fire light. Bring something to sit on.
Saturday, September 27th
8a.m. -12p.m. – National Public Lands Day/ Great Arkansas Cleanup – Join us in cleaning up our public lands in Russellville. We will have a cleanup in the morning followed by a recognition ceremony, free lunch for participants, and activities for the family. If you would like to participate you can contact the visitor center at 479-967-5516, or come by the visitor center the morning of the event and sign up at 7:30a.m.
2p.m. – Slithering Snakes – Join a park in the visitor center Orientation Room as we discover some fun facts about our snake friends that we can find slithering across our forest floor. Discover how to tell the difference between a venomous and non-venomous snake and what to do if you get snake bit. Then don’t miss out on the chance to meet a few of our snake residents here at Lake Dardanelle State Park.
3p.m. – Pioneer Play –You will discover what pioneer kids did to pass the time while the exploration and progress of their parents forged the culture you find here today. Meet a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center for some pioneer play.
4:30p.m. – Unclean Scene – The Arkansas River journeys through Lake Dardanelle, creating opportunities for you and providing habitat to many wildlife. Caring for our water resource is a challenge for each of us, but through conservation we can learn ways to protect our precious water. Join a park interpreter in the field across from the swim beach to discover solutions in preventing water pollution.
6p.m. – Eagles Measure Up – The winter months give us the opportunity to see more eagles than normal, as we get migrating eagles in from the north. These amazing birds are incredible not only for their beauty and speed but for their size as well. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater and discover how you measure up to an eagle.
Sunday, September 28th
10a.m. – Wetland Metaphor – Wetlands are a vital part of the ecosystem. They are beneficial to wildlife and humans alike. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater and discover what these benefits are.
1p.m. Fishy Dental Discoveries – Ever feel there is something fishy about the mouths found in Lake Dardanelle? Join a Park Interpreter at the visitor center Orientation Room to discover how fish mouths are similar to yours and why not all fish fall for the bait hook, line and sinker.
Borrow a Park Adventure & Creativity Kit – (P.A.C.K.) you get all the tools you need for adventure and creativity neatly packaged in a backpack along with an adventure guide full of ideas on what to do with all the items. Our P.A.C.K.’s can be checked out at the visitor center for a $ 10 fee. You keep the pack for 24 hours and get to keep many of the items for future adventures.
Remember that all our programs count toward earning your State Park Explorer Certificate. If you would like more information on this program ask one of our Park Interpreters.