Lake Frierson State Park
Lake Frierson State Park provides a variety of recreational activities on the shores of 335-acre Lake Frierson, which fronts the western slopes of picturesque Crowley’s Ridge in northeast Arkansas.
Constructed in the 1970s by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, Lake Frierson is one of ten reservoirs—not all of them state parks—along Crowley’s Ridge managed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism has a lease agreement with the Game and Fish Commission for the park’s 114 acres. The lake was named for Charles Frierson, a Jonesboro (Craighead County) attorney who played a major role in securing the property.
Funding for Lake Frierson State Park came from legislative appropriations in 1975, and construction started in 1978. The park, which occupies the lake’s eastern shoreline, was built for day use only and originally offered picnic sites, a boat launch, and restrooms. Since its early years, the park was known for fishing—channel catfish, black crappie, bream and some bass—and a bountiful spring display of blooming dogwoods.
By 1982, park facilities included a fishing pier, paved parking, camping, a hiking trail, and playground. During the 1990s, the park received a new visitors’ center, four campsites with water and electric services, an enclosed pavilion, and an upgraded nature trail. Rentals of fishing boats, kayaks, and pedal boats also became popular with visitors.
Lake Frierson is only six miles from Crowley’s Ridge State Park, and some exchange between the two parks takes place, with overnight visitors or campers at Crowley’s Ridge spending the day fishing at Lake Frierson, for example.
Annual events in the park include an Earth Day celebration and a children’s fishing derby in the spring, and the Great Arkansas Clean-Up event in late summer. Approximately 65,000 people a year visit the park.
For additional information:
Arkansas Delta Byways. http://www.deltabyways.com/ (accessed June 4, 2014).
Arkansas State Parks–Lake Frierson. http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/lakefrierson/ (accessed June 4, 2014).
Staff of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
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What this entry does NOT tell is that the composition of the soil underlying the lake does not allow the sediment to settle. Hence, at all seasons of the year the water is as “dirty” as the Mississippi River. In consequence, boating is risky because of unseeable trees and fences located throughout the shallow lake. And it is a graveyard for underwater lures, which once tossed are often never seen again.