Two events figure prominently in the formation of this park. One was the routing of a railroad through the area run by the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad. Many of the investors were Dutch so when they built a luxurious lodge here they named it the Wilhelmina Inn after Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands who was to be crowned in September of 1898. When the state park was formed, it too was named for the queen. There is a large train engine on display at the park and two G-16 smaller trains that run a 2 mile circuit through the park. The building that serves as the train depot is also where you go to get a campsite, play mini-golf, and has a gift shop and snack bar.
Queen Wilhelmina State Park is perched high in the Ouachita Mountains. I was there in June and the park was a welcome relief from the high 90 degree weather in the lowlands. The park was much cooler and the views were spectacular.
When I visited the park warning signs like this were posted at several locations throughout the park, changing my plans for a nice hike. These signs remind us that the animals we see at parks like this, no matter how tame and friendly they seem, are still wild animals. Normally, if you do not bother them they do not bother you. Do not feed, pet or otherwise bother them. If an animal is acting sick or strangely report them to the park rangers immediately, and stay away from them.
I am sure some golf purists will say I should not list mini-golf as actual golfing but it is a fun family activity. There is a nice mini-golf course at Queen Wilhelmina State Park.
Equipment: You can rent the equipment there.
There are some nice scenic hiking trails in the park. Unfortunately, I was not able to take any of them when I visited because there was an angry black bear spotted on them and they were closed. All I got to see was the trailhead.
Equipment: Good walking shoes, sunscreen, a hat, plenty of water. Don't forget your camera for the beautiful scenery!!