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USA Parks
Arkansas
Ouachitas Region
Crater of Diamonds State Park
CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK
CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK
209 State Park Road
Murfreesboro, Arkansas   71958

Phone: 870-285-3113
Email:
Arkansas, The Natural State, is blessed with an abundance of geological wonders. Crater of Diamonds State Park, the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public, stands out as a unique geological "gem" for you to explore and enjoy.

Here, you are invited to prospect in the park's diamond search area, a 37 1/2-acre plowed field that is the eroded surface of an ancient volcanic pipe that 95 million years ago, brought to the surface the diamonds and some of the semi-precious stones lucky visitors find here today.

Diamonds of all colors of the rainbow can be found here at Crater of Diamonds, but the three most common colors unearthed by park visitors are white, brown and yellow. Crater of Diamonds State Park is a rockhound's delight since, along with diamonds, more than 40 types of rocks and minerals can found here, too. These rocks and minerals include lamproite, amethyst, banded agate, jasper, peridot, garnet, quartz, calcite, barite, and hematite.
Nature of the Area
One of the newest park offerings is a wildlife observation blind. A gravel walkway leads visitors through a secluded woodland setting to this blind, offering a perfect vantage point to view and photograph deer, turkey, squirrels, a variety of birds and other wildlife in their natural setting. The parking lot just inside the park entrance is adjacent to the observation blind's walkway.
History of the Area
In 1906, John Huddleston, the local farmer who owned this property then, found the first diamonds near Murfreesboro, Arkansas, and started the diamond mining rush. According to the history of Crater of Diamonds State Park, after a series of ill-fated diamond mining ventures, followed by tourist attractions, the diamond mine site became an Arkansas state park in 1972.

Within the park boundary, many remnants of old mining ventures remain, including the Mine Shaft Building, the Guard House, mining plant foundations, old mining equipment and smaller artifacts. Nowhere else is North American diamond mining history as evident or as well preserved as here.

Along with the diamond search area, the park has hundreds of acres of natural forest featuring a diversity of flora and fauna and offering visitors interesting things to do. Arkansas's natural and cultural diversity -- the geology, history, plants and animals -- makes Crater of Diamonds State Park a unique Arkansas attraction unlike any other in the world. You are invited to visit this one-of-a-kind attraction and experience the thrill of digging for diamonds in the rough. Our park staff will identify your finds for you. And unlike other diamond mines, our park has a policy of "finders keepers." Any diamonds, semi-precious stones, rocks or minerals you unearth are yours to keep, regardless of their value.
Camping
The park offers 59 Standard B campsites, picnic sites, a cafe, standard pavilion that includes restrooms, laundry, gift shop, hiking trails and interpretive programs.


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Trails
Little Missouri River Trail

Length: 1.2 miles

Time: 1 hour

Difficulty: Easy

Description: The trail winds its way through the woods from the campground to the scenic Little Missouri River. The trail then loops back through the forest to the trailhead. This trail provides a relaxing one hour hike over level terrain. Half of the trail has paved barrier-free access, and is the longest wheelchair accessible trail in southwest Arkansas. The unpaved left-hand section of the trail is easily walked.

Location: Two miles southeast of Murfreesboro on Hwy. 301

Prospector Trail

Length: 1.2 miles

Time: 3/4 to 1 hour

Difficulty: Easy

Description: This easily traversed trail offers visitors a first-hand view of the park's unique geological features. The rock outcroppings along the west side of the trail are uncommon for this geographical area.

Location: Two miles southeast of Murfreesboro on Hwy. 301

Wildlife Observation Blind Trail

Length: .2 mile

Time: 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Description: This short and easily traversed trail leads visitors to a wildlife observation blind. Whitetail deer, gray squirrels, armadillos, numerous bird species, and other wildlife may be observed from the blind

Location: 2 miles southeast of Murfreesboro on Hwy. 301
Nature Programs
Park interpreters present a wide variety of programs about diamonds, the geology of this gem-bearing diamond pipe, the park's history, and its diversity of plant and animal species.

The park's new interpretive facility, the Diamond Discovery Center, serves as a gateway to the diamond search area and an in-depth introduction to the adventure of searching for diamonds. Here you will learn about diamonds and how to search for them. The exhibits include the diamond hunters' hall of fame, and feature information about the many notable diamonds that have been unearthed at this site. Along with the exhibit gallery, the two level barrier-free building features a refreshment facility, digging equipment rental and restrooms/bathhouse/changing rooms, office. The upper level features a 1,600-square-foot classroom.
Area Attractions
Mining

The park features a 37 1/2-acre field of diamond bearing soil plowed approximately once a month when weather allows. Historic structures, old mining equipment, washing pavilions, and sun shelters are located on the field. Rock and mineral identification is provided at the Diamond Discovery Center.

Diamond Springs Water Park

A 14,700 sq. ft. mining-themed aquatic playground opened at the park in the summer of 2004. The facility features a 4,166 sq. ft. wading pool with spray geysers, sprayers, water jets, animated waterspouts, cascades, two water slides and waterfall hideaways along with a spacious deck and pool furniture.

Diamond Springs's 2009 hours of operation are: Open daily May 23 through August 15 from 12 noon to 6:00 p.m., and open weekends only during August 16 through September 7. The water playground will only be open from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. on Labor Day. Admission to this facility is for persons 42 inches or more in height; for persons less than 42 inches in height. Children under age 2 are admitted free, limited to three children per paying adult. Non-swimmers entering the water park are required to purchase a chaperone wrist ticket. A 20-admissions' special pass can be purchased. Children ages 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult age 18 or older.

The water playground may be rented for private pool parties after normal closing hours (no rental after dark). The park will furnish lifeguards. Minimum rental will be for two hours and per swimmer for groups over 20 persons. Rates vary according to size of the party. To receive a refund in the event of a cancellation, you must contact the park at least seven days in advance of the scheduled event's date. Contact the park for more information on group rentals.

Diamond Discovery Center

At the Crater of Diamonds State State, you will dig for diamonds in a 37 1/2-acre plowed field, the eroded surface of an ancient volcanic pipe. This is the eighth largest,diamond-bearing deposit in the world surface area.

You'll pass through the park's Diamond Discovery Center on your way to the diamond search area. This fascinating interpretive center serves as your gateway to the search area by offering an in-depth introduction to the unique adventure of searching for diamonds. Tour the exhibits. Visit with the park interpretive staff. Here, you'll learn to recognize diamonds in the rough. You'll be taught the three different search methods used here at the Crater of Diamonds. And, you'll be introduced to the diamond hunters' hall of fame featuring photographs of the faces of successful diamond prospectors that you might recognize on the search area while you hunt for diamonds here, too.

Watch the on-demand 'Diamond Hunting 101' video or one of the diamond searching demonstrations by a park interpreter.

In this building you'll rent the digging tools and screens for your diamond prospecting. And, here is where you will return later to have your material identified by a park staff member. If you've found a diamond, it will be certified, too.

Along with the exhibit gallery, this two-level, barrier-free building includes vending machines and restrooms/changing rooms for the adjacent Diamond Springs water playground. The upper level features a 1,600-square-foot classroom where the park gift shop is located temporarily while the park visitor center is under renovation in 2009.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 3 Great memory by Audrey
I went here with my dad when I was about 12 and it was an adventure- we had a great time- no diamonds but plenty of other amazing stones. A dirty, muddy, fantastic good time! Kids will love it.
August 19 Great Place by Diamondcutter
Best kept secret in America!


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USA Parks
Arkansas
Ouachitas Region
Crater of Diamonds State Park
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