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
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
The Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway includes 35 miles of Ark. 21 from the Ozark National Forest southern boundary north of Clarksville in Johnson County to the northern boundary near the Upper Buffalo Wilderness and Buffalo National River in Newton County. Ark. 16Clarksville, AR Scenic Byways
Directions: Downtown Fort Smith, just seven miles east of the Interstate 40 exit in Roland, OK; adjacent to the River Parks Amphitheater and Pavilion buildings; three blocks from the Fort Smith National Historic Site. A restored turn-of-the-century brothel that is now the city's visitor center;Fort Smith, AR Visitors Centers
Directions: Take Hwy. 23 south out of Booneville, then Hwy. 217 east seven miles to the headquarters building A world-class bird dog field trial area that attracts visitors from throughout the United States and several foreign countries;Booneville, AR Wildlife Areas