STATE PARKS: Crater of Diamonds
Welcome to Crater of Diamonds!!!!!
Crater of Diamonds State Park is located in Murfreesboro, Arkansas...about an hour west of Arkadelphia. Grab your shovel and start digging, because this is a "finders, keepers," park! That means the diamonds you find are yours to keep and people have unearthed some whoppers including the 15.33-carat Star of Arkansas, The 3.09-carat Strawn-Wagner Diamond, one of the few colorless, internally flawless diamonds found so far in the world, and the largest diamond ever unearthed in the United States...the 40.23-carat Uncle Sam!!
More than 33,000 diamonds have been found by park visitors and it all started in 1906 when John Huddleston, a farmer who owned a portion of the diamond-bearing crater at that time, found two strange crystals on the surface of his 243-acre farm. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to commercially mine the area before it became a tourist attraction in 1952. In 1972, the State of Arkansas purchased the 911-acre Crater of Diamonds for development as a state park and people now come from all over the world to try their luck. The 37 1/2-acre plowed field is actually the eroded surface of an ancient, diamond-bearing volcanic crater...the eighth largest diamond-bearing crater in the world and the only one open to the public.
But how do you know where to look and what you're looking for? The three diamond colors found here at the park are white, brown, and yellow and the staff at the park provide free identification and certification of diamonds found here. Other gemstones, rocks and minerals can also be found at the park, including Amethyst, garnet, jasper, and quartz...a rockhounds dream!
We were told the best time to come is after a rain and the park does plow the field on a monthly basis to loosen the soil and encourage new finds. Make sure you talk to the staff members in the Diamond Discovery Center before you go out to dig so you'll know what you're looking for. There are mining tools available at the center and numerous washing pavilions spread throughout the field, but you might want to bring your own wagon, chair or an umbrella for shade on those hot Arkansas days.
But diamond-mining isn't the only fun to be found here!
The park offers guests 47 hookup campsites and 5 walk-in tent sites with modern bathhouses. There are numerous shaded picnic spots, an amphitheater and an enclosed pavilion available for groups to rent. The Kimberlite Cafe and 14,700 sq. ft. mining-themed aquatic playground Diamond Springs Water Park are open seasonally and there's also a playground for the kids to enjoy in the campground.
Pick up snacks and park gifts in the Visitor's Center and make sure you check out the interactive exhibits, historic structures and interpretive panels spread throughout the park. Along with an exhibit gallery, the two-level, barrier-free Diamond Discovery Center includes a classroom space, vending machines and a bathhouse for the adjacent Diamond Springs water playground.
Now, let's talk about trails...
There's the 1.2 mile Prospector Trail and a .2 mile trail that leads to a Wildlife Observation Blind where you may spot Whitetail deer, gray squirrels, armadillos and numerous bird species.
The 1.2 mile River Trail leads to the Little Missouri River and includes .6 miles of paved ADA accessible walkway and fun exercise equipment to give you some challenges along the way.
And make sure you don't miss downtown Murfreesboro for shopping, stop by the Feed Bin for lunch and pay a visit the areas unique attractions.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look into Crater of Diamonds State Park and we encourage you to get out and experience The Natural State! For more information on the park, visit ArkansasStateParks.com and make sure you follow Arkie Travels on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for more Arkansas adventures!