Interstate 40 Exit 178
Currently there are no Visitor Services at Parks
Just off I-40’s exit 178 is the small, quiet community of Parks. First established as Rhodes, Arizona, in 1898, it was really nothing more than a railroad depot with a post office to support the growing lumber industry.
By 1906 a sawmill was in production and its first real business, the Pines General Store opened. When the General Store was built, the post office was moved from a box car into the store. Soon after the store’s doors opened, the community was renamed Parks in honor of the store owner.
As automobile transportation grew in popularity, so did Parks which eventually had the general store, a gas station, restaurant, school, and campgrounds with beautiful views of the San Francisco Peaks. Today the General Store is the only business still open.
For Route 66 enthusiast who like to explore the old alignments, Parks has remnants remaining from the 1921 and 1931 Route 66 alignments. Just east of Parks is a walking trail that was once the 1931 alignment. Along this trail can be seen an old springhouse that provided water to a tourist camp located here several decades ago.