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Historic wartime bunkers nestled in family-friendly Maumelle park

This unique park in Maumelle offers multiple playgrounds, a swinging bridge, wildlife, kayaking and bunkers dating back to 1941.

MAUMELLE, Ark. — Over the river and through Maumelle Boulevard, to Lake Willastein we go.

“The park is about 100 acres and 50 acres of that is Lake Willastein," said Assistant Director at Maumelle Parks and Recreation Gordon Borst. Borst has been with the City of Maumelle for almost 30 years. 

“We have three fishing piers at the lake, we have a swinging bridge, we have two playground systems, horse shoe pits, several picnic tables and barbecue grills," Borst said. 

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The park makes the perfect place for wildlife watching as the Discover Arkansas crew spotted dozens of Ducks, Geese and the occasion Pelican. The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission has the lake stocked with catfish, crappie and bass. Anglers are encouraged to visit. Kayaks and boats with trolling motors are allowed. Swimming is not.

The most unique feature to this park is the bunker system. "The U.S. Government came in here about 1941 and built about 21 bunkers in this area. They were for storage for the picric acid that was used for munitions. They built it here because it was a centrally located place and safe from all of the enemies," said Borst. Now, only five bunkers remain. 

Right along the water’s edge, there's a large veterans memorial. It was dedicated on April 8, 2006. Throughout the year, ceremonies are observed at this location for Veterans and Memorial Day.

Also at the park, there is a large event stage, pavilion, gazebo and several walking trails. The park is home to some of Maumelle’s best events – the annual 4th of July celebration, DragonBoat Races, fishing tournaments and music festivals. 

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