Take a Hike: Woolly Hollow State Park

“Take A Hike” is a weekly series that examines diversity in the outdoors. In each installment, we’ll highlight one of the Natural State’s 52 state parks and talk to BIPOC Arkansans about what they enjoy about spending time in nature.

"Fishing and gardening are my favorite outdoor activities. They remind me of time with my grandmother and my aunt."

M Shelly Conner
Photos provided by M Shelly Conner.

Name: M Shelly Conner

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Currently Lives In: Cabot, Arkansas

Occupation:Writer & Professor

Favorite Outdoor Space: Our homestead

M Shelly Conner

What’s one outdoor place you want to explore, but haven’t yet? 

Pinnacle Mountain State Park, but there are so many spaces that we haven’t yet had the opportunity to explore in our new home state.

What do you enjoy about the outdoors? 

The peace and the freshness when I’m not overwhelmed by my allergies.

What is one of your earliest memories of spending time in nature and enjoying it?

I used to spend summers in Memphis fishing with my grandmother.

What’s your favorite outdoor activity and why do you enjoy it?

Fishing and gardening are my favorite outdoor activities. They remind me of time with my grandmother and my aunt. I also enjoy the self-sustainability of harvesting food for my family.


Woolly Hollow State Park
Photo courtesy of Arkansas State Parks.

Woolly Hollow State Park provides a classic state park experience with fishing, boating and swimming on 40-acre Lake Bennett in Greenbrier about 18 miles north of Conway. The lake was built in the 1930s by the Soil Conservation Service as its first watershed project. Today it offers a launch ramp with canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and fishing boats for rent at the park. Bring your own pole, bait and tackle.

A snack bar is open near the lifeguarded swimming beach in the summer. Park facilities also include 30 AAA campsites, 10 tent sites and a bathhouse for hot showers. History buffs will enjoy the Woolly Cabin, an original 1882 one-room family homestead. The 9.4-mile Enders Fault is a mountain biking destination. Hikers have four trails to choose from.

Have you taken a hike in one of Arkansas' state parks? Get featured in the "Take a Hike" series!