Pinnacle Mountain State Park

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Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Arkansas State Parks
20150224 1644 Pinnacle Mountain.png
Lake Maumelle from Pinnacle Mountain (February 2015)
Named for: Pinnacle Mountain
Country United States
State Arkansas
Region Ouachita Mountains
County Pulaski County
Coordinates 34°50′29″N 92°29′09″W / 34.841416°N 92.485815°W / 34.841416; -92.485815Coordinates: 34°50′29″N 92°29′09″W / 34.841416°N 92.485815°W / 34.841416; -92.485815
Highest point Pinnacle Mountain
 - elevation 1,013 ft (309 m)
Area 2,356 acres (953 ha)
Biome Temperate broadleaf and mixed forest
Founded 1977 [1]
Management Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Pinnacle Mountain State Park is located in Arkansas
Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Location of Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Arkansas
Website: Pinnacle Mountain State Park

Pinnacle Mountain State Park is a 2,356-acre state park located in Pulaski County, Arkansas just outside of Little Rock.[1] The main attraction is Pinnacle Mountain, an iconic landmark surrounded by the bottomlands of the Big Maumelle and Little Maumelle rivers.

History[edit]

The first people to settle the area referred to Pinnacle Mountain as "Mamelle", the French name for a breast-shaped hill.[2] "Mamelle" eventually became "Maumelle", which is the name used for the Big Maumelle and Little Maumelle rivers, as well as the nearby city of Maumelle.[2] A trip to Pinnacle Mountain was a popular activity in the 1800s.[2] Climbing became even more popular with the construction of the local railroad in the 1890s and common use of the automobile in the 1900s.[2]

Quarrying for sandstone and shale within the modern park began in about 1920.[2] The eastern slope of Pinnacle Mountain was a major source of material for the construction of the Lake Maumelle dam in the 1950s.[2] Located immediately northwest of Pinnacle Mountain, Lake Maumelle is a high-quality raw water supply serving a population of almost 398,000; the reservoir went online in 1958, at least two years after the Big Maumelle River was impounded.[3] In the 1960s, extensive quarrying of sandstone took place at the modern visitor center, the result of which can be see by the quarry pond.[2]

The idea for a park had been considered for many years, but did not get off the ground until the 1970s.[2] In 1973, the Arkansas General Assembly approved the creation of Pinnacle Mountain State Park.[2] Since then, 2,356 acres have been set aside for various purposes including environmental education, outdoor recreation, and preservation.[1]

Hiking[edit]

Ouachita Trail sign at Pinnacle Mountain State Park

Pinnacle Mountain State Park features a number of hiking trails.[4]

Trails that start at the West Summit parking lot are the 0.5-mile Kingfisher Trail, which passes by the Little Maumelle River, and the 1.5-mile West Summit Trail (marked by yellow blazes).[4] The West Summit Trail is the standard route up Pinnacle Mountain and is easily one of the most trafficked trails in Arkansas.[4]

Trails that start at the East Summit parking lot are the 1.5-mile East Summit Trail (marked by red and white blazes), which also ascends Pinnacle Mountain, and the 2.5-mile Base Trail (marked by light green blazes).[4] The Base Trail loops completely around the base of Pinnacle Mountain and connects the East Summit trailhead to the West Summit trailhead.[4]

Trails that start at the visitor center are the 2-mile Rocky Valley Trail (marked by green blazes) and the 1-mile East Quarry Trail, a spur of the Rocky Valley Trail.[4] The 223-mile Ouachita Trail (marked by blue blazes) also starts at the visitor center, crosses Pinnacle Valley Road at the East Summit parking lot after 1.5 miles, and overlaps a 0.5-mile section of the Base Trail before continuing west towards Lake Maumelle.[4]

The 0.75-mile Arkansas Trail is located near the center of the Arkansas Arboretum, a 71-acre site exhibiting native Arkansas flora.[4]

Camping[edit]

Camping is not allowed inside Pinnacle Mountain State Park, however, it is allowed at Maumelle Park, a nearby public campground operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Pinnacle Mountain State Park". Arkansas State Parks. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Pinnacle Mountain State Park". Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  3. ^ "Lake Maumelle" (PDF). Central Arkansas Water. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Trails of Pinnacle Mountain State Park" (PDF). Arkansas State Parks. Retrieved 2017-10-31.