Searcy has several parks and greenspaces. They play a central role in the community, as gathering places, sports fields, natural learning, and recreation.
Spring Park, located in the heart of downtown, is a 7 acre greenspace home to the White County Library. It is popular for its strategic location, beautiful landscaping, and the many community events held there. The park is so named for the seven springs that originally flowed there, named the White Sulphur Springs (Searcy's original name was Sulphur Springs). The springs brought the first settlers that founded the town, who were convinced they had magical healing properties (similar to the hot springs still present in Hot Springs, AR). The springs eventually became unstable and ceased a regular flow, so they were capped. They still flow occasionally today into the stone passages cutting through the park. The small pavilion next to the library is the original site of the largest spring, the other 6 located in various locations within the park and under downtown.
The park is divided into different management types, with about 50% landscaped forest with paved and unpaved trails, 30% open grass, and 20% structures and playgrounds. The landscaped forest section is home to old trees at least 100 years old, beautiful native landscaping managed by the White County Master Gardeners, and peaceful walking trails, several laid with old red brick pulled from the court square during a 2018 restoration. There are several sections of open grass, often used for sports and community gatherings, such as Bark in the Park. The park is home to the library, but also two historic pavilions, and a play area added in 2018.
Berryhill Park, is a triangle-shaped greenspace located in the east-central part of town. It is just under 8 acres, with an expansive open field, seven tennis courts, a volleyball court, basketball courts, and a large shaded playground. This park is primarily used for sports, recreation, trail running, and picnicking at the park's two large pavilions. Families occasionally wade in the scenic Gin Creek, a clear creek that runs northward on the park's western border. The popular paved 12 mile Searcy Bike Trail runs through this park as well, offering longer, more secluded nature excursions. There are occasional community gatherings on the park's grounds, the largest of which is usually the Christmas Lighting Ceremony, where the whole park is lit up with many large Christmas light displays, centering around a large 30 foot electronically lit tree.
Yancey Park is a small 5 acre recreational park servicing the west side of town. It is composed of primarily a large playground and field, basketball and tennis courts, and a walking trail following the perimeter of the property. This park is a quick escape, an island of green next to the bustling Beebe-Capps Expressway.
Harding Park is a 8.5 acre greenspace managed by Harding University. It contains no amenities, and is managed as a large field, surrounded by a residential area. While this park is not managed by the city, it is open to the public for picnicking and field sports.
Harding Quadrangle & Front Lawn
Harding University's Quadrangle and Front Lawn are a greenspace located at the heart of the campus. Combined, they equal about 10 acres of managed lawn and landscaping. They are popular for many activities and are often bustling with college students and citizens. Harding University has more smaller greenspaces, but this is the largest and most popular of them all.
Riverside Park is the largest city-managed park, harboring over 150 acres of scenic forest and trails. This park is managed primarily in a wilderness style, with only one road running through the forest and several primitive foot, biking, and horse trails. The park land is rimmed with large and tall 100-60 foot cliffs, looking over the beautiful blue-green waters of the Little Red River.
There are many recreational opportunities in the park, including an extensive trail system, a newly constructed playground, overlooks, geocaching, and much more. For more information, visit the dedicated Riverside Park page.