12 Parks in Jonesboro, Arkansas

Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Jonesboro is a city in Craighead County, Arkansas, United States. With a population of over 77,000 residents, Jonesboro serves as a cultural, economic, and educational hub for northeastern Arkansas.

The city has over 60 parks ranging from small neighborhood playgrounds to larger community parks with various amenities like walking trails, sports fields, pavilions, and more. The abundance of parks and open green space make Jonesboro an ideal place for families and nature lovers.

This article highlights 12 of the best parks in Jonesboro that offer recreational opportunities, beautiful scenery, and a chance to connect with nature. From the 58-acre Crowley’s Ridge State Park showcasing the unique hills and diverse wildlife of the region to Craighead Forest Park with over 6 miles of scenic trails, Jonesboro’s magnificent parks have something to delight everyone.

Crowley’s Ridge State Park

Established in 1934, Crowley’s Ridge State Park is one of the oldest parks in Arkansas spanning over 704 acres with various trails, a picturesque lake, educational center, campgrounds and Civilian Conservation Corps structures and remnants.

The park includes displays on the unique geological history of Crowley’s Ridge and some of the oldest soil deposits in North America dating back 80 million years.

Some top reasons to visit Crowley’s Ridge State Park include:

  • Hiking and biking on 8 diverse trails spanning over 17 miles showcasing unique ecosystems
  • Canoeing, fishing and paddle boarding at 78-acre Lake Ponder
  • Spotting over 20 mammal species and over 200 bird species that call the park home
  • Visiting park facilities built by the Civilian Conservation Corps like pavilions, bridges and recreational areas
  • Attending special events like Pioneer Days, Trails Day, Night Sky parties and more

Joe Mack Campbell Park

Opened in 1980, Joe Mack Campbell Park spans 75 acres of gorgeous open green space with a playground, walking trail, disc golf course, fitness equipment, basketball courts, and peaceful woods perfect for picnics. The park has open play areas, baseball, softball and soccer fields with bleachers as well as concession and restroom facilities.

Visitors of all ages can enjoy leisurely walks through tranquil wooded paths that include scenic landscaping and unique vegetation. Joe Mack Campbell Park also has a reservable event pavilion with a removable stage, restrooms, and outdoor commercial kitchen suitable for hosting events and gatherings of up to 200 people.

Some key features of Joe Mack Campbell Park include:

  • One mile walking trail looping through scenic woods, pond and open space
  • Challenging 18-hole disc golf course with alternate tees and baskets for varying the course
  • Playground, basketball court, fitness clusters and sand volleyball pit
  • Baseball, softball and multipurpose athletic fields and concessions
  • 200 person capacity event pavilion with stage, kitchen and restrooms
  • Natural environment observation areas with interactive educational signage

Craighead Forest Recreation Area

Established in 1970, the Craighead Forest Recreation Area consists of over 378 acres of forests, wetlands, and open space nestled at the southern edge of Jonesboro. Major features include 8 scenic ponds stocked with fish, 1.5 miles of trails, disc golf course, archery range, fitness course, and reservable pavilions for picnics and gatherings of up to 60 people.

The hiking trails here vary in difficulty from easy boardwalk access around ponds to more challenging wooded paths. Sportsmen enjoy recreational opportunities like fishing, archery events, and hunting during season. Birdwatchers have spotted many species including mallards, wood ducks, northern flickers, Carolina wrens and screech owls.

Park highlights include:

  • 8 scenic ponds stocked with fish and 1.5 miles of hiking trails
  • Challenging 18-hole disc golf course with multiple tees
  • Archery range and wooded 3D walk-through archery targets
  • Fitness course with equipment exercise stations along paths
  • Area for archery and firearm shooting practice
  • Picnic pavilions and open space with barbecue grills

Walking Parks

With over 6 miles of scenic paved trails meandering through 75 acres of serene woods and ponds, WalkingParks is one of the top ranked outdoor recreation facilities in Jonesboro and the region. The park offers something for all interests and abilities from leisurely strolls and walks to vigorous jogging or running.

The park also has a fitness course along the trails with 25 exercise stations with specialized equipment like chin-up bars, parallel bars, leg stretchers, balance beams and more that people can integrate into their workouts. Picnic tables, benches, and pavilions offer spots to relax, enjoy packed lunches or read a book while taking in the peaceful surroundings. WalkingParks hosts popular annual events like 5K charity races, Easter egg hunts and a haunted trail around Halloween.

Park features:

  • Over 6 miles of paved multipurpose trails with mile markers
  • 8 scenic ponds with fountains, bridges and ducks
  • 25 station outdoor fitness course
  • Picnic pavilions and children’s playground areas
  • 8 restroom facilities conveniently spread around the park
  • Host site for many community events like 5Ks, Easter egg hunts and more

Spring Park

Centrally located in Jonesboro near the historic downtown area, Spring Park offers stream-fed scenic ponds, water features, walking paths, tree-covered picnic areas, and a memorial garden honoring military veterans. Visitors of all ages can enjoy feeding the ducks, having a picnic lunch, or taking leisurely strolls admiring the flowers, landscaping and wildlife at the park.

An outdoor amphitheater hosts community events like Movies in the Park nights, family game nights, yoga in the park and free concerts. Spring Park is also a popular wedding and event rental with backdrops of the ponds, waterfall features and landscaped greenery.

Top features of Spring Park include:

  • Walking paths circling scenic ponds with ducks, turtles and fountain features
  • Outdoor amphitheater hosting free events like Movies in the Park and concerts
  • Memorial garden with flags, plaques and monuments honoring veterans
  • Tree-lined open areas and picnic shelters ideal for family gatherings
  • Rental venue for weddings, proms, parties and corporate events
  • Trail connections to adjoining Paul Eells Park and Jonesboro Sculpture Park

Rotary Centennial Park

Dedicated in 2013 in honor of Jonesboro Rotary Club’s 100 year anniversary, the Rotary Centennial Park is an inclusive playground and recreational area catered to visitors of all ages and abilities to socialize, connect and enjoy outdoors. The 14 acre park includes a barrier-free playground with specialized equipment like a Liberty Swing and Merry Go All Round accessible to wheelchairs and walkers.

Other amenities include walking trails, picnic pavilions, an amphitheater, Gaga ball pits, restrooms, and fitness stations. The adaptive playground promotes inclusion, acceptance of differences among children, and opportunities to improve motor skills while having fun.

Rotary Centennial Park features:

  • Barrier-free playground with mobility/accessibility enhanced elements
  • Walking trails circling around the park with distances marked
  • Outdoor amphitheater able to host events and performances
  • Game areas like horseshoe pits, checkers/chess tables and GaGa ball
  • Picnic pavilions and BBQ grills available for gatherings
  • Inclusive community environment integrating children and families

Canterbury Park

Centrally located within one of Jonesboro’s major shopping and entertainment districts, Canterbury Park offers picnicking facilities, walking paths and open play fields adjustable for various sports like soccer, football, frisbee and more.

As a newer park opened in 2018, Canterbury park is continuously expanding with plans to add more amenities over time to meet the community’s needs. Current features at the 8-acre park include:

  • Open multipurpose field space for sports, games and free play
  • Walking trail circling the park perimeter lined with timber borders
  • Children’s playground area with slides and climbing equipment
  • Shaded picnic tables and bench swings dotted throughout
  • Water fountain stations for people and pets
  • Location adjoining The Mall at Turtle Creek shopping center

Heritage Park

Paying homage to Jonesboro’s rich railroad and cultural heritage in the historic downtown area, Heritage Park is an urban 1-acre green space with vintage railway artifacts, interactive displays, walking paths and artistic design elements. The park grounds showcase an assortment of historic train cars, cabooses, vintage rail tracks, crossing signs and signals highlighting how integral the railroad industry was in connecting communities and facilitating Jonesboro’s growth over the past century.

Visitors can walk through train cars to view historical images showcasing how travel, commerce and life in Jonesboro evolved since the early 1900s arrival of rail lines and the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad. Interpretive signs and reproductions of archival photos depict the important role trains played in local agriculture, festivals, transportation and more.
Key highlights of Heritage Park include:

  • Vintage train cars, railroad artifacts and replicas showcasing local history
  • Interpretive displays outlining Jonesboro’s origins/development connected to rail lines
  • Replica train depot acting as visitor’s center for historic info
  • Wide walking paths linking exhibits laid with historic railroad track gravel
  • Benches made from old railcar seats and artistic metalwork details
  • Green space for events plus a performance stage and pavilion

Emerald Park

Emerald Park is a beloved 78-acre community park conveniently located right off the interstate accessible to visitors across the region in addition to local residents. The large picturesque park spans both sides of Greensboro Road linked by a unique underground pedestrian tunnel decorated with painted nature murals.

Top attractions at Emerald Park include the Train Depot with an elaborate model train exhibit, WalkingPaws dog park, 18-hole disc golf course, batting cages, tennis courts, sand volleyball pits, playgrounds, pavilions, walking trails and sport fields. The park also offers equipment rentals for tennis, pickleball and disc golf plus concessions and restrooms available. Emerald Park hosts several annual events like disc golf tournaments, dog shows and community celebrations.

Some key amenities at Emerald Park include:

  • Elaborate model train exhibit open weekends in historic replica depot
  • Large fenced acreage at the WalkingPaws off-leash dog park
  • 18-hole disc golf course through wooded and open terrain
  • Youth baseball/softball fields and multipurpose sports fields
  • Children’s playground areas plus a spray pad water park
  • Sand volleyball courts and outdoor tennis/pickleball courts
  • Paved walking trails encircling ponds and tree areas

Jonesboro Skatepark

The Jonesboro Skatepark offers 20,000+ square feet of smooth concrete skating surfaces catering to skateboarders, inline skaters, freestyle BMX and scooter riders of all ages and skill levels. Designed by leading skatepark builders, the park flows seamlessly with a wide central area linking self-contained zones dedicated to street terrain and transition-style elements.

For street plazas, the park features stairs, rails, ramps, banks and gaps enabling riders to perform technical flip tricks and precision grinds. The transition area provides users progression from smaller to taller ramps including facets like quarter pipes, fly ramps, half pipes, cradles and bowls enabling airs, grabs and lip tricks. Located adjacent to the Joe Mack Campbell Park, the skatepark also has shaded seating, public art murals and periodic demo events.

Jonesboro Skatepark highlights:

  • Over 20,000 square feet of smooth concrete across interconnected areas
  • Street zone with rails, banks, gaps and stairs for flip tricks/grinds
  • Transition zone with quarter pipes, half pipes and bowls for airs and lip tricks
  • Modular design enabling progression from basic to advanced features
  • Shaded spectator seating and retro neon wall art
  • Host location for visiting pro demos, camps and competitions

Youth Sports Complex

The Jonesboro Youth Sports Complex is a 58 acre athletic facility featuring sports venues to support youth recreation leagues, school competitions, camps and tournaments. The complex contains eight 300′ lighted baseball/softball fields constructed to provide multipurpose function for youth football, soccer, lacrosse and other sports.

Each field has covered dugouts, bleachers, perimeter fencing, scoreboards and press boxes with the complex having centralized concessions, playground, picnic pavilions, walking trail, lake and fountain features. Supporting infrastructure enables hosting events like regional and state tournaments which provide economic impact to Jonesboro from visitor spending.

Complex amenities and benefits:

  • Eight 300-foot baseball/softball fields supporting multiple sports
  • Lighting, scoreboards, bleachers and concessions at each field
  • Multipurpose interior area for sports like football, soccer, etc
  • Playground, walking trails and fountain/lake features
  • Regional tournament hosting capabilities benefiting local economy
  • Synergies serving both competitive athletics and community recreation

Nettleton Sports Complex

The Nettleton Sports Complex contains a cluster of baseball, softball, football facilities and multipurpose green space supporting youth and adult recreational sports for Jonesboro and Craighead County residents.

As home fields for Nettleton High School and Nettleton Raiders youth baseball/softball, the complex hosts games, practices and sports camps for over 500 area athletes. Located on School Drive adjacent to Nettleton Junior High, the complex is readily accessible to students and parents across the community.

Major amenities at the complex include:

  • Reggie McClendon Field – varsity baseball field with covered stands
  • Sandra Kennedy Field – girl’s softball field with covered stands
  • Junior Raider multi-use fields supporting adult leagues and camps
  • Multipurpose interior grassy space for soccer, football, etc
  • Playground, walking trail, pavilion and concessions building
  • Benefits both student athletes and youth/adult community recreation

Paul Eells Park

Named honoring the late “Voice of the Razorbacks” sports announcer Paul Eells, this small scenic park adjacent to Spring Park memorializes Eells’ upbringing in Jonesboro with interpretive displays outlining his award-winning broadcasting career.

The focal point is a bronze statue featuring a young Paul Eells clutching a microphone representing his early days honing his sports reporting skills on local radio in Jonesboro. Visitors can sit on benches nearby overlooking the College of Communications building named after Eells at Arkansas State University which is also his alma mater.

Park features celebrating Eells’ life and legacy include:

  • Bronze statue of Paul as a young broadcaster from his Jonesboro roots
  • Plaque summarizing Eells’ accomplishments calling major sports games
  • Backdrop view of A-State’s Paul Eells Communications building
  • Connecting trails to Spring Park, Sculpture Park and downtown
  • Benches encouraging reflection along a tree-lined pond
  • Holiday lighting events involving the Eells statue

Conclusion

Jonesboro offers over 60 parks ranging from small playgrounds and pocket parks to larger recreational facilities with diverse amenities, athletics, trails, aquatic features and open green space. The 12 parks highlighted in this article represent some of the top ranked outdoor recreational attractions in Jonesboro catering to a broad range of ages and interests from sports to nature walks to cultural heritage.

These beautiful parks encourage connecting with nature, public gatherings/events, celebrating history and architecture, appreciating arts, as well as health/fitness activities. Jonesboro’s high quality and quantity of magnificent parks consistently ranks among the city’s top assets contributing to an enjoyable quality of life for residents and visitors.

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