Woolly Hollow State Park
Tucked away in the foothills of the forested Ozark Mountains in north central Arkansas just 50 miles north of metropolitan Little Rock is Woolly Hollow, one of Arkansas' most picturesque state parks. Driving along the entrance road overlooking the blue waters of Lake Bennett, visitors are impressed with the quiet beauty of this scenic spot and realize they have discovered a place worth visiting. Designated a state park in August of 1973, Woolly Hollow has been developed into a first-class vacation area and has been deemed a prime outdoor hideaway.
Historically, the park features the "Woolly Cabin," a one-room log structure erected on the Woolly family homestead in 1882 by Martin Alfred Woolly, son of William Riley Woolly, the head of a family clan of early pioneers who came to Arkansas in 1851. Martin Woolly took up land in the "Hollow" in 1859. This started the chain of events that led to his namesake being used here over a century later. Originally located less than a mile southwest of the park, the cabin was moved to its present site and restored in 1975.
Of a more recent historical note, clear and cool 40-acre Lake Bennett, in the middle of this 400-acre park, was named for Dr. Hugh H. Bennett, first director of the US Soil Conservation Service. Constructed in 1935 by the CCC and WPA, Lake Bennett was the first SCS watershed project in the United States built for the purpose of making scientific studies of the effects of water run-off, silt, and erosion control from a specific watershed.
Camping - Scattered among the trees near the lake are 20 Class "A" campsites. Equipped with water, dual-electric hookups, table and grill at each site, plus a modern bathhouse nearby, this first-class campground provides year-round camping pleasure at its best. Twelve Class "B" campsites with water hookups are available.
Food Services - Adjoining the beach bathhouse at the entrance to the swimming area, the modern snack bar offers a variety of delicious hot or cold sandwiches, cold drinks, snow cones, ice cream favorites and snack items. Bagged ice is sold at the snack bar to stock the picnic coolers.
Other Facilities - A pavilion, located in the picnic area, may be reserved for family or group outings at a modest fee. A gift shop is located in the park office/snack bar. Shopping facilities, full-service restaurants, medical facilities, service stations, coin laundries and other services to enhance one's stay at Woolly Hollow are located in nearby towns.
Note: Campers must register at the Park Office before occupying a site. All sites are assigned; limited reservations available. The pavilion must be reserved at the Office before being used (deposit required).
Swimming - The sandy swimming beach on Lake Bennett is in a controlled area with lifeguards on duty. A modern bathhouse and the snack bar are adjacent to the beach. The swimming area is open on some weekends in May and every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day (Hours: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.). Note: A nominal fee is charged for swimming.
Fishing and Boating - Fishing in Lake Bennett offers a variety of species including bass, crappie, bream and catfish. In order to maintain the delicate balance of nature in the lake, power boating is restricted to electric motors. These are available for rent at the Snack Bar/Office Building along with flatbottom fishing boats, canoes and pedal boats. The calm waters of Lake Bennett provide an ideal atmosphere for fun boating in canoes and pedal boats. A free launch ramp is available for visitors who own their own boats.
Picnicking - A favorite retreat of picnickers, Woolly Hollow has 13 shaded picnic sites overlooking the swimming beach, plus a conveniently located playground. The sites have tables, charcoal grills and water hydrants.
Trails - The area surrounding the lake is ideal for discovering the natural beauty of these mountains. The 3 1/2-mile Huckleberry Nature Trail winds its way through the beautiful wooded scenery around Lake Bennett. This trail, originally constructed in the mid-1930's by the CCC, was restored in 1981 by the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC).
Programs - A park interpreter offers unique programs (Memorial Weekend through Labor Day) to all park visitors. These range from guided hikes, to recreational activities, to special events on the park's history. Organized groups may request special programs if arrangements are made in advance.
Take Exit #125 off I-40 at Conway, then go 12 miles north on US Highway 65 to Arkansas Highway 285 (just one mile north of Greenbrier); take Highway 285 east 6 miles to the park entrance.
For further information on park hours, fees or services, contact:
Woolly Hollow State Park
82 Woolly Hollow Rd.
Greenbrier, AR 72058
Telephone: (501) 679-2098
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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