Lake Cruise –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. Dates and times are listed within the schedule below. (Weather permitting)
Trash to Treasure Tuesdays –Cardboard boxes, cereal boxes, paper egg cartons, and magazines, everyone has at least a few of these lying around their home. Lake Dardanelle State Park has creative ways to turn these items from trash to treasure. Join us in the month of June as we dedicate these Tuesdays to up-cycling common household trash that might be lying around your home. The workshop is open to all ages but some crafts may require adult assistance for common household trash that might be lying around your home. The workshop is open to all ages but some crafts may require adult assistance for children 13 and younger. Workshop registration is $5 per person for each session. Pre-registration is required for 12 participants. Call the visitor center at 479-967-5516 to sign up for the workshop. The workshop will be held in the Lakeview Room at the Visitor Center.
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.
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.
Sunday, June 1st
11a.m. – Lake Cruise
3p.m. – All Tied Up! – By learning basic knot tying skills, you can learn to set up your campsite quickly and efficiently. Meet a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the Visitor Center.
Wednesday, June 4th
10a.m. – Lake Cruise
Friday, June 6th
4p.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.
7:30p.m. – Focus on Fish – Why does Lake Dardanelle have such a healthy bass population? The health of this fishery is partially, due to the good conservation practices of the staff at Lake Dardanelle State Park. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater, she will talk about fish and how we can better care for them by learning about and understanding their habits.
Saturday, June 7th
9a.m. – Hiking Stick Workshop – Kick off the summer season with an outdoor hiking adventure in Arkansas State Parks as we celebrate National Trails Day! What better way to embark on your next hiking adventure after creating your own hiking stick at Lake Dardanelle State Park. The workshop begins at 9 a.m. in the visitor center’s Lakeview Room with the selection of the “perfect” stick. During the morning you will be decorating your own hiking stick. While your hiking stick dries we will hike Lake Dardanelle State Park’s Meadowbrook Trail, earning your first hiking stick medallion. The workshop has limited space, so please register and pay the $20 fee for the workshop by May 22, 2014. You may sign up at the visitor center.
2p.m. – Wildlife Hike – You can explore nature at this park because Lake Dardanelle’s diverse habitats sustain many living creatures. Meadowbrook Trail is home to many of these creatures. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center to celebrate National Trails Day and discover what animals call this area home. Then head down the trail to see how many creatures you can see or what traces of them we can find.
3p.m. – Forest Excursion– Explore the forest; we will look at some of the many products that come from the forest. We walk past trees every day, but we don’t always realize how much we depend on them. We aren’t only ones who need trees though. Trees are important to numerous creatures in the forest as well. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater and take a forest excursion to celebrate National Trails Day.
4p.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 on the Dardanelle side of the park in the grassy area across from the playground and discover how you measure up to an eagle.
7p.m. – Evening Kayak Tour– As the Arkansas River journeys through Lake Dardanelle, it continually shapes the land and creates numerous opportunities for people to enjoy from fishing to kayaking. We’ll be paddling our kayaks through some seldom closely seen shoreline of this beautiful 34,000 acre lake. Sign up at the visitor center (479-967-5516) at least one day in advance. The fee is $12 for adults, $6 for children 6-12 years old, 5 years and under ride free. We will meet at the visitor center front desk.
Tuesday, June 10th
9:30 a.m. – Lake Cruise
1-4p.m. – Trash to Treasure Tuesdays
Friday, June 13th
6:30 p.m. – Call of the Wild– Some animal calls are very familiar while others are rather vague and when they’re all mixed together, it can be difficult to pick them out. Meet a park interpreter at the amphitheater to learn the difference between many of the animal calls you hear in Arkansas.
Saturday, June 14th
10a.m. – Lake Cruise
3p.m. – Dutch Oven Rewards – Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center to learn some of the basics of cast iron care, Dutch oven use, and a few new recipes. This is an introduction the outdoor cooking to celebrate National Get Outdoors Day. Cost is $2/person, children under 6 free. Please sign up 2 days ahead of time at 479-967-5516.
6:30p.m. – Packing Primer –Tonight we will learn some of the necessities for hiking and backpacking. We will learn basic safety measures. There are so many wonderful places to hike and see amazing sites in this great state. A backpacking trip is a great and inexpensive way to spend the day. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater for your packing primer, to wrap up out National Get Outdoors Day activities.
Tuesday, June 17th
1-4p.m. – Trash to Treasure Tuesdays
Thursday, June 19th
4p.m. – Lake Cruise
Friday, June 20th
7p.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.
Saturday, June 21st
2p.m. – Animals Play Too! – Animal children like to play. Their games teach them how to take care of themselves in the tough world they live in. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater to discover some of these playful animals and how you can get a better glimpse of animal playtime.
4p.m. – Hidden Creatures– We humans wear camouflage on a daily basis to blend in while hunting, and sometimes just for style. But, animals have to use camouflage to survive in the wild. Meet a park interpreter on the Dardanelle side of the park in the grassy area across from the playground to see some pictures of these animals doing what they do best, blending in with nature, and see if you can spot all the hidden creatures in the pictures!
7p.m. – Native American Games– This area historically was inhabited by Native Americans. They settled this area before the removal. They made decisions here that changed their lives. Have you ever thought about what their daily lives were like? Have you ever wondered how Native Americans spent their free time, back in history, way before this area was a state park? Are you curious about how their hunting skills were perfected? Meet a park interpreter at the amphitheater to learn some of the games Native Americans developed, played, and perfected. All ages welcome!
Sunday, June 22nd
10a.m. – Candle Making – Exploration, opportunity, and progress forged the culture you find here today. Families made their own yearly supply of candles in the fall to provide the only light in their homes. Learn how to make candles the old- fashion way. This time-honored tradition of candle dipping will give you the skills to make them in your very own home. Meet a park interpreter in the Lakeview Room at the visitor center.
11a.m. – In-seine Adventure – The Arkansas River creates many opportunities for enjoyment as it journeys through Lake Dardanelle. What all lives in the Lake besides fish and turtles? Well, here is your chance to find out. We will seine for macro-invertebrates and see who is living in the lake. Come prepared to get wet and wear water shoes, we will meet at the kayak beach near the visitor center.
2p.m. – Kayak Tour – As the Arkansas River journeys through Lake Dardanelle, it continually shapes the land and creates numerous opportunities for people to enjoy from fishing to kayaking. The weather is warming up, and we’re going to see what’s emerging on the banks of Lake Dardanelle. We’ll be paddling our kayaks through some seldom closely seen shoreline of this beautiful 34,000 acre lake. Sign up at the visitor center (479-967-5516) at least one day in advance. The fee is $12 for adults, $6 for children 6-12 years old, 5 years and under ride free when with an adult. Please specify when you sign up if you want a tandem (2 person) or solo kayak. We will meet at the front desk of the visitor center.
3p.m. – Lake Cruise
Tuesday, June 24th
1-4p.m. – Trash to Treasure Tuesdays
Thursday, June 26th
3p.m. – Lake Cruise
Dusk – Sunset Cinema- Monsters University – As the sun sets on beautiful Lake Dardanelle, enjoy the lights rising on a big-screen outdoor movie. Bring your family and some lawn chairs and blankets, or plop right down on the lush green grass. This event is sponsored by the Russellville Advertising and Promotions Commission, the fee is $1 per person over 12.
Friday, June 27th
4p.m. – Grab Bag Adventures– The diverse habitats around Lake Dardanelle create many opportunities for discovery and exploration. Meet a park interpreter at the amphitheater 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!
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. Make sure to wear insect repellent and bring a flashlight.
Saturday, June 28th
11a.m. – 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 her 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. Start your scavenger hunt at the front desk in the visitor center.
4p.m. – Trail of Tears– Native Americans, removed from their homes, made decisions here that changed their lives. For this reason, Lake Dardanelle State Park is a registered Trail of Tears site. Meet at the front desk at the visitor center to get a glimpse of what life on the trail was like for those who traveled it. The new video “Trail of Tears” is wonderfully made video about a truly dark time in Cherokee history as well as U.S. history.
9p.m. – Stargazers Challenge – Lake Dardanelle provides a great setting for viewing the night sky. Join Master Naturalist Debra at the swim beach to learn stories and uses of the night sky objects as we explore the sky. We will see how many objects we can identify. There will be Stars, moon, and planets.
Remember that all of the park’s programs count toward earning your State Park Explorer Certificate. If you would like more information on this program ask one of the Park Interpreters.
The Lake Dardanelle State Park is located at 100 State Park Drive in Russellville. For more information, phone (479) 967-5516 or visit the Arkansas State Parks website.