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Arkansas River Valley, Arkansas

Arkansas - Arkansas River Valley Region

Old World charm, unsurpassed scenic beauty, modern sophistication - it's all here in the Arkansas River Valley.

You'll find pretty little towns such as Ozark and Russellville on the Arkansas River, and you'll find European flavor in the Altus area, the heart of Arkansas Wine Country. Three family-owned wineries dating back to the 1800s and one new one in the area offer tours, tastings and insight into the art of viticulture. You'll find another winery at nearby Paris.

Throughout the valley, the Arkansas River provides exceptional recreation. Lake Dardanelle in the Russellville-Dardanelle area is one of the most popular lakes in the state.

The unsurpassed beauty is best viewed from one of "The Tri-Peaks" that dominate the valley - Nebo, Petit Jean and Magazine. Atop the first two, you'll find state parks that proudly proclaim their Civilian Conservation Corps heritage with 60-year-old-plus housekeeping cabins at both parks and a lodge at Petit Jean. Also at Petit Jean is spectacular Cedar Falls, the park's trademark. Another lofty state park is under development for Magazine, where some of the state's most unspoiled landscape can be found. Currently, you can sightsee and hike, with new facilities opening this fall. These include 18 campsites with water, electric and sewer hookups; a bathhouse; a pavilion and a visitor center with exhibits.

Modern sophistication blends nicely with Old West history at Fort Smith. The state's second largest city is also one of its most historic. At the Fort Smith National Historic Site, you can discover what life was like on the lawless frontier.

And across the river, the refinement of the Victorian era is preserved in all its glory in venerable Van Buren, a mecca for arts, crafts and antiques.

Explore Arkansas River Valley

Cove Lake

In the Ozark National Forest, 160-acre scenic Cove Lake features swimming, hiking, camping, and fishing. There are 28 family-unit campsites, 24 family-unit picnicking sites, restrooms with hot showers, drinking water and boat launching ramp. Boating and jet skis are allowed on Cove Lake. A "no wake"

Paris, AR Recreation

Arkansas River Valley Arts Center

Visual arts displays by well-known artists; a local artists' gallery;

Russellville, AR Arts


Fort Smith Art Center

Housed in the Vaughn-Schaap House, a Victorian Second Empire structure, the center presents changing exhibits and permanent collections.

Fort Smith, AR Arts

Darby House Museum

The boyhood home of General William O. Darby, leader of Darby's Rangers in World War II; contains personal military memorabilia of the general; also has tributes to Darby and artifacts from Cisterna, Italy, Fort Smith'

Fort Smith, AR Museums


Mount Magazine State Park

Mount Magazine State Park, the highest peak in the state at 2,753 feet, provides commanding views; impressive visitor center with interactive exhibits; camping, all sites have water, electric, and sewer hookups; new bathhouse with hot showers; rappelling, hang gliding, hiking;

Paris, AR State Parks

American Bonsai Nursery

Directions: From I-40 take Exit 7 to I-540 South, then Exit 3 at Van Buren to Ark. 59. Go left for one long block, turn left into the Industrial Park, then go three miles to 5141 Industrial Park Rd Browse "finished"

Van Buren, AR Gardens

Center for Art & Education

Housed in circa 1912 St. Michael'

Van Buren, AR Arts

Arkansas & Missouri Railroad

Three train trips are available on this historic train: round trip from Springdale to historic Van Buren; round trip from historic Van Buren to Winslow; excursion from Fort Smith to Winslow on Sundays, April through September. You'

Van Buren, AR Railroad History

Creekmore Park Train Rides

Train runs Wednesday thru Sunday plus holidays, from Memorial Day to Labor Day; weekends only September 8-October 28

Fort Smith, AR Excursions

John Paul McConnell Exhibit

Memorabilia of John Paul McConnell, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff from 1965 to 1969, is on display.

Booneville, AR Exhibits

Explore Arkansas River Valley