At first glance, Oark may seem like just a sleepy, small, rural town. But it’s not just worth a stop, it’s a destination.

Its main draw is Oark Cafe. Established in 1890, it’s the oldest continuous-operation store in Arkansas. People drive for miles to eat the home cooking - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus it sells groceries, convenience items, picnic and camping supplies, gas, hunting and fishing licenses, and is a game check station. The building has its original floors, walls and ceiling.

The cafe is a great start or end to an outdoor adventure in the area. The community of Oark is surrounded by the Ozark National Forest and the National Wild and Scenic Mulberry River is nearby.

The river is a draw for camping, canoeing, and fishing. Hiking and off-road trails are also plentiful in the region. Wolf Pen Recreation Area & Campground is a popular stop to take advantage of the area’s outdoor activities.