Queen Wilhelmina State Park
Situated along Talimena Scenic Drive in western Arkansas just 13 miles from the town of Mena, Queen Wilhelmina State Park stands out as one of the state's most scenic areas. The park is perched high atop rugged Rich Mountain nearly 3,000 feet above sea level. The natural beauty of the mountain top and the intriguing history of the park offer the visitor a vacation experience never to be forgotten.
The first lodge, built in 1897 by the Kansas City, Pittsburg & Gulf Railroad, was designed as an unusual resort retreat for passengers on the line. The 3-story lodge became known as the "Castle in the Sky." Since the railroad was largely financed by Dutch interests, the new resort was named in honor of Holland's young Queen Wilhelmina. A royal suite was set aside for her use in vain hopes she would decide to pay an official visit to the area. Only three years later, the lodge was closed and eventually fell into ruin.
In 1957, the area was acquired for development as a state park. The reconstruction of the original lodge was completed in 1963, and was a very popular spot in the State Parks system until destroyed by fire in 1973. The Lodge was immediately replaced using modern construction and safety techniques. Today, it offers a scenic view of the Ouachitas with the aura and elegance of days gone by.
Lodging - Queen Wilhelmina Lodge commands an impressive view of the Ouachita Mountain Range. Located on the highest elevation in the park, the Lodge offers 38 modern guest rooms for year-round comfort, including 2 with fireplaces. Please, no pets in the Lodge.
A wood-burning fireplace in the picturesque lobby lends a cheerful, relaxing atmosphere whether taking in the panoramic view or selecting a gift or memento of Arkansas to take home.
A private meeting room is available upon advance request (accommodates up to 55). Food Services - Dining in the spacious Queen Wilhelmina Lodge restaurant high above the clouds lends an air of serenity and contentment to the enjoyment of a tasty meal. Private dining for up to 60 persons will add that special touch to your travel group, private party, or conference experience.
Camping - The park can accommodate 40 camping units in its conveniently situated campground area. A trailer dumping station is located at the campground entrance.
NOTE: All campers must register at the Lodge before occupying a site. All sites are assigned; limited reservations available.
Other Facilities - The park's tree-shaded picnic areas offer a scenic view of the mountains. Relaxation and enjoyment can be found in many forms at the park from riding on a miniature railroad, to playing a round of miniature golf, to petting the animals at the "animal park" (NOTE: Open April to November at the discretion of the owners.)
Hospitals, stores, and other amenities are located 13 miles away in Mena. A gas station and small grocery store is located 1+ mile from the park.
A seasonal (Memorial Day to Fall Foliage) interpretive program offers guided hikes, nature talks, demonstrations, and evening programs of slides and movies at the park's outdoor amphitheater, plus many other unique activities for all park visitors. A variety of special events are also presented throughout the year. Please contact the park for a complete list of activities.
The park is located 13 miles northwest of Mena, Arkansas, on Hwy. 88. During inclement weather take US 270 to Hwy. 272, then south 2 miles (steep, winding road).
For further information on park hours and fees, contact:
Queen Wilhelmina State Park
3877 Hwy 88 West
Mena, AR 71953
Telephone: (501) 394-2863 or -2864
For reservations ONLY call 1-800-264-2477
For further information on Arkansas' other fine state parks, contact:
Arkansas State Parks
One Capitol Mall, 4A-900
Little Rock, AR 72201
Telephone: (501) 682-1191
All park services are provided on a nondiscriminatory basis. Arkansas State Parks is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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