Park Week starts tomorrow (April 21) and lasts until the 29th. During this time entry to
all 397 national parks in the nation is free with special activities offered
Park Service sites in Arkansas include:
Post National Memorial
semi-permanent European settlement in the lower Mississippi Valley region,
Arkansas Post became part of the United States during the Louisiana Purchase of
1803. By 1819, the post was a thriving river port and the largest city in the
region and selected the capital of the Arkansas Territory. The park contains
the January 11, 1863 Arkansas Post battlefield. The
battle, as well as the rest of Arkansas Post’s rich history, is interpreted at
the park museum. The Arkansas Post National Memorial is located at 1741 Old Post Road in Gillett.
heart of the Ozarks, the Buffalo River was America’s first national river in
1972. The 150-mile-long free flowing Buffalo offers both swift-running and
placid stretches, sand/gravel bars, towering limestone bluffs,
woodlands, protected wilderness areas and nature watching opportunities,
including deer and elk. Fishing is also available along the river. Over 100
miles of trails have been blazed for public use. Designated horseback riding
trails are located in each district of the river, under the auspices of the
National Park Service. Resorts and outfitters are located throughout the river
region. Camping is available at most access points and primitive camping is
allowed along the stream. The Tyler Bend Visitor Center, off U.S. 65 north of Marshall, provides
exhibits and materials to the public. Other centers/ranger stations are located
at Buffalo Point and Pruitt. The Ponca Elk Education Center is another
interesting stop located in the area.
Smith National Historic Site
Smith National Historic Site embraces the remains of two frontier forts, plus
the Federal courtroom of the Western District of Arkansas. Hanging Judge Isaac
C. Parker’s court and jail have been restored as reminders of 80 turbulent
years in the history of the government’s Indian policies (1817-1896). The
museum exhibits illustrate the court’s impact on the Indian Territory
(Oklahoma), U.S. Marshals, outlaws and regional history. The park is located at Third and Garland Street in Fort Smith.
Springs National Park
natural features of Hot Springs National Park were first protected when
Congress declared the area a “reservation” in 1832, some 40 years
before Yellowstone became the world’s first national park. While preserving an array of 47 hot springs and their watershed, the park provides hiking opportunities scenic drive, and camping. The park is located in and around downtown Hot Springs.
Little Rock Central High School National
of a major test in 1957 of the Civil Rights act where nine (the Little Rock
Nine) African-American students integrated the all-white school. The museum
across the street depicts the struggle through exhibits and photos. This is
still a working high school, one of the top schools in the state. The school is located at 2120 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive in Little Rock.
Pea Ridge National Military Park
National Military Park preserves the site of an 1862 Civil War battle that gave
the Union total control of Missouri and led directly to the federal occupation
of Arkansas. During the Battle of Pea Ridge, some 26,000 soldiers clashed
during the two-day battle, with Confederates under Gen. Benjamin McCulloch and
Union forces under Gen. Samuel R. Curtis. The Confederate army also included
about 800 Cherokees. Today, the Pea Ridge Military Park the park encompasses
4,300 acres and features a reconstructed Elkhorn Tavern, visitors center,
museum, self-guided tours and a 2.5-mile segment of the “Trail of
Tears.”The park is located at U.S. 62 East in Pea Ridge.
William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site
where the 42nd president spent the first four years of his life with his
widowed mother and grandparents. This historic site preserves President Clinton’s home and tells the story of his early life in Hope. The home is located at 117 South Hervey Street in Hope.