Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas
For Valentine’s Day, like a lot of women, I asked my husband for a diamond.
But not just any diamond.
One we found ourselves!
See, what I really wanted was a weekend getaway to Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro! Yes, I know, this is Having Fun in the Texas Sun, not Arkansas’ sun, and I did feel a little like a traitor! However, the park is only 72 miles from Texarkana, and lots of fun, too!
Know Before You Go
Murfreesboro is a small town, with a little grocery store and Dollar General. For bigger items, stop in Hope at Walmart. While you are there, you can drive by the childhood home of President Bill Clinton.
Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas
We had a great time! But if you are going for the first time, here’s some tips to help you make the most of your visit!
Digging for Diamonds
You can camp, hike and visit the beautiful state park without visiting the diamond field, but why would you do that. If for no other reason than to say, “Yea, I’ve been diamond mining!” There is a seperate fee to go out to the diamond field. Adults $7, Kids 6-12 $4 and under 6 FREE.
Our first visit, we didn’t know what to expect, and it helps to be a little prepared! The large diamond field is rows and rows (from monthly plowing to turn up more diamonds) of dirt. It’s sometimes muddy, so be sure to bring boots! There are few trees, which is why we went in February. If you are visiting during the summer, plan to go to the fields in the early morning or late evenings.
The park store sells or rents everything you need, in case you forget something!
The easiest way to find diamonds requires no tools, and will be a favorite with the kids! Just walk along the rows looking for something that sparkles!
Park Rangers are out and about, for help and to answer questions.
On our first visit, my youngest was only 5 months old. I needed to be able to stay in one place with him, so we found a spot and I dug with a garden trowel, turning over dirt and looking through it. You can also use a screen to sift through the dirt, which the park rents if you do not have your own.
Now that my kids are older, we are able to dig like the pros! Using a wheel barrow and shovel, we pile on the soil and take it to the “wash”, where the soil is washed away, leaving only the small stones (and hopefully diamonds!) I don’t know if this way is any better, but it feels more like “mining”!
The Diamond Discovery Center located inside the Information Center tells you the story of the park, and the diamonds. Each weekend, the park rangers offer a 15 minute instructional class, Diamond Mining 101, at 9:30 and 1:30.
Unfortunantly, we have never found a diamond, although we have found some beautiful stones and gems there. We are a family of rock hounds, and treasure our rocks and together time just as much as we would if we found a diamond…. yeah, right!!!
We will be back, I still want a diamond!!
The beautiful park offers a great camping destination, too! There are 47 campsites, available for RV’s and tent campers. I’m all about the restrooms, and these are clean and nice, with HOT showers! Years of camping in state parks have taught me one thing, ALWAYS take toilet paper and hand soap! Hmmmm, is that two things? The bathhouse also has a coin operated laundry room with a couple of washers and dryers, something I WISH our Texas STate parks would consider!!
There are hiking trails in the park, a wildlife viewing stand, scenic roads for bike riding, and fishing in the Little Missouri River. The park also offers a small waterpark during the summer, for an additional fee.
Diamond Springs Water Park
Keep cool at the water park, located inside the state park! Seperate admission rates apply, open 5/27 – Labor Day!
Things To Do in Murfreesboro
Come ready for adventure. You can rent canoes for the Little Missouri and Caddo River, which if fed by hot springs.
Ride bikes on the Bear Creek Cycle Trail, shop the antique and rock stores in town and learn about the rich history of the area and the Caddo Indians who once lived here at the KA-DO-HA Indian Village.
The DinoDig lets kids dig for and keep dinosaur fossils! Click HERE to visit their website.
Cute shops make sure you have souvenirs of your trip. There are also a couple rock shops where you can even buy diamonds found in the mine!
If camping is not your thing, there are several motels in town to choose from.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
209 State Park Rd, Murfreesboro, AR
Click HERE to visit their website.
Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun!
Having Fun in the TEXAS Sun is on PINTEREST! Use it as a quick resource to find activities in different Texas towns! Click HERE!
© Having Fun in the Texas Sun , 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Having Fun in the Texas Sun with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Please click HERE to read our disclaimer.
Keep Having Fun in the TEXAS sun!