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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

Lake Dardanelle State Park

Two park locations on 34,000-acre lake: Russellville (main park) and Dardanelle. Bass fishing, boat ramps, hiking trails, lake tours, pavilion, state-of-the-art visitor center with interactive exhibits, campground, marina, miniature golf

Russellville, AR State Parks

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

Arkansas River Valley Arts Center

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

Russellville, AR Arts


World's Largest Spinach Can

Alma is the Spinach Capital of the World and commemorated this by painting its water tower to be the "world's biggest can of spinach."

Alma, AR Uniques

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

Center for Art & Education

Housed in circa 1912 St. Michael'

Van Buren, AR Arts


Logan County Museum

Small museum of local history is housed in the old jail where the state's last hanging took place;

Paris, AR Museums

Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway

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. 16

Clarksville, AR Scenic Byways

Byrd's Adventure Center of the Ozarks

Canoeing and kayaking on the Mulberry River, hiking on the Ozark Highlands Trail, mountain biking, rock climbing for all levels of experience, motorcycle trails and races, horse trails, four-wheel drive obstacle course and competitions

Ozark, AR Visitors Centers

Explore Arkansas River Valley