National Parks in Arkansas


Buffalo National River, Arkansas

Photo by: Wesley Hitt / Getty Images

Wesley Hitt / Getty Images

From Hot Springs to the Ozark Mountains, there's no shortage of things to do and see in Arkansas' National Parks.

Arkansas Post

National Memorial, Gillet AR

Established as a French trading post in 1686 by Henri de Tonti, Arkansas Post was the first European settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley and was a focal point of trade between the European settlers and native Quapaw tribes. Fun Fact: Arkansas Post was the original capital of Arkansas before the title was given to Little Rock in 1821. Learn more about this historic trading post >> 


National River, Harrison and St. Joe, AR

Arkansas, Buffalo National River

Arkansas, Buffalo National River

Flowing nonstop for 135 miles, Arkansas’s Buffalo National River is one of the last undammed rivers in the lower 48 states. It was named the first National River, under the oversight of the National Park Service, in 1972. The river is popular for fishing, canoeing and camping; it’s also a great place to take a summertime plunge.

Photo by: OakleyOriginal, flickr

OakleyOriginal, flickr

A trip down the 135-mile Buffalo National River, one of the only undammed rivers in the contiguous U.S., will take you past gorgeous waterfalls, hidden caves and the towering multi-colored bluffs of the Ozark Mountains. In addition to its array of water-based activities, Buffalo also offers hiking and historic site-seeing opportunities including prehistoric sites, mining sites and historic farmsteads. Learn more about Buffalo National River >>

Fort Smith

National Historic Site, Fort Smith, AR, OK

Established on the edge of Indian Territory in 1817, Fort Smith was an active U.S. military fort that served as a major stop along the Trail of Tears. Learn more about Fort Smith >>

Hot Springs

National Park, Hot Springs, AR

What America's smallest National Park lacks in acreage, it makes up for in amenities. Relax and unwind in one of its historic bathhouses, stroll the scenic sidewalks of nearby downtown Hot Springs or enjoy a stay in one of the many charming bed and breakfast establishments. Plan your rejuvenating trip to Hot Springs National Park >>

Little Rock Central High School

National Historic Site, Little Rock, AR

On September 23, 1957, nine African-American high school students showed up for their first day at Little Rock Central High School. What transpired changed the course of American history and the American education system forever. Learn more about the Little Rock Nine and the prominent role they played in the desegregation of American schools >> 

Pea Ridge

National Military Park, Pea Ridge, AR

One of the most pivotal battles of the Civil War, Pea Ridge secured Union control of Missouri and Northern Arkansas. Today, the 4,300-acre battlefield is one of the best-preserved in the U.S. Learn more about Pea Ridge >>

President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home

National Historic Site, Hope, AR

Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States, spent the first four years of his life in his grandparents' home at 117 South Hervey Street in Hope, Arkansas. The 1917 home was added to The National Register of Historic Places in 1994 and subsequently restored to resemble its appearance during Clinton's occupancy. The home was damaged by fire in 2015 and is currently under repair. Check the National Park Service website for updates and details >>

Trail of Tears

National Historic Trail, AL, AR, GA, IL, KY, MO, NC, OK, TN

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail - Village Creek State Park

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail - Village Creek State Park

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 cast a long shadow on America. By 1837, 46,000 Native Americans had been removed from their homes in the southeastern US. Thousands died along the way from exposure to harsh winters, disease and starvation. Today, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail runs through 9 states, including Village Creek State Park in Arkansas.

Photo by: Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 forcibly removed over 100,000 American Indians from their homes in the eastern United States, relocating them to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. Spanning nine states, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail commemorates the perilous journey endured by these native peoples. Learn more about the Trail of Tears here >>

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