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National Parks In Arkansas

Arkansas is a treasure trove of natural wonders. Its breathtaking rivers, parks, and trails make it perfect for you to travel and enjoy. There are 8 national parks and historical sites/trails/military parks in Arkansas that are steeped in rich natural scenery and cultural history.

These national parks preserve everything from colonial outposts, Civil War battlefields, and the most scenic wild rivers of America. The experience in one word is unparalleled.

Arkansas (also called The Natural State) boasts of rich history (including monumental Native American and Civil Rights landmarks) tucked between the outcroppings, foothills, and bustling river cities. You can visit these national parks around the year because there is something for everyone and in every season.


Arkansas National Parks Map

Arkansas National Parks Map prominently marks the diverse locations of the places where these parks are located. The National Park Services of Arkansas provides all possible guidance to the tourists. Among many others, the Hot Springs National Park is considered to be one of the oldest ones that are believed to have been established 200 years back. Situated on the northern part of Arkansas Hot Springs National Park provides such facilities as hiking park trails, Fordyce Bathhouse, historic districts, and camping. The other famous National Parks of Arkansas state include Arkansas Post National Memorial, Pea Ridge National Military Park, Fort Smith National Historic Site, Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail, Buffalo National River, and Central High School National Historic Site.

Buffalo National River provides the tourists an opportunity to unearth the perennial appeal through canoe, boating, rafting, or kayaking. Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail is another interesting park of Arkansas that takes the travelers to the era of 1840s when the people of the Cherokee community were forcibly evacuated from their birthplace. All the National Parks of Arkansas state are associated with some or other relevant historic, political, socio-cultural, or natural features. The Arkansas state map offers comprehensive locational references regarding the National Parks of the place.

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Description:Map showing the locations of national parks in Arkansas state. Disclaimer
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List of National Parks in Arkansas

S. NoNameAreaEstablishedLocation
1Pea Ridge National Military Park4,300 acres (1,700 ha)20. Jul. 1956Sugar Creek Township / Garfield Township, Benton County, Arkansas, USA
2Buffalo National River150 miles (240 km) long. The lower 135 miles (217 km)1. Mar. 1972northern Arkansas
3Hot Springs National Park5,550 acres (8.67 sq mi; 2,250 ha; 22.5 km2)4. Mar. 1921Garland County, Arkansas, USA

US National Parks in Arkansas


  1. Hot Springs National Park (Hot Springs, AR)

    The Hot Springs national park is the only designated national park in Arkansas. It is located just outside the limits of Hot Springs city. It not only offers you breathtaking views but also helps you get a first-hand account of the rich cultural history of the place.

    Visit the grand architecture of the historic bathhouses, ancient thermal springs, enjoy the spectacular mountain views, forested hikes, incredible geology, and abundant creeks. The natural curiosities are drawing people from all across the world to this place for hundreds of years. Either take a deep breath in the fresh air while hiking through the trail of the Ouachita Mountains or camp at the Hot Springs Gulpha Gorge Campsite.

    It was Thomas Jefferson, who first ordered the Dunbar-Hunter expedition in 1804. The expedition was meant to explore the southern region of the Louisiana Purchase. All the hot springs were discovered during this expedition. These hot springs later led to the construction of bathhouses. The visitors visit this place to enjoy the healing benefits of the hot springs.


Best National Memorial in Arkansas


  1. Arkansas Post National Memorial (Gillett, AR)

    This National Memorial is located at the confluence of two rivers. Arkansas Post has become a gathering place for many cultures since 1686. The first European establishment took place in the Arkansas Post in the lower Mississippi River Valley. Arkansas Post represents the confluence of cultural diversity, cooperation, conflict, and synthesis.

    It officially became a part of the US in 1803 after the Louisiana Purchase. In 1819, the place was selected as the capital of the Arkansas Territory. Arkansas Post, since its establishment, has played important roles throughout American history. Whether it is the Revolutionary War conflict or the destruction of a Confederate fort by the Union, it all happened in Arkansas Post.

    If you want to learn about the past of Arkansas Post, get a guided tour and historic weapons demonstrations of the Visitor Center and Museum. You can enjoy the beautiful and rich diversity of flora and fauna while you enjoy and learn about the place’s history.

    Late summer to early spring is the best time to visit the place. Get envy-worthy photos of the sceneries, American Lotus, and lily pads. The magnificent wildlife you can catch a glimpse of include bald eagles and alligators. You may also become a sort of expert by participating in their Junior Ranger program. If you are looking for a place to explore and relax, you can use the paved and unpaved trails and also enjoy fishing.


Best National River and Military Park


  1. Buffalo National River (Harrison and St. Joe, AR)

    Buffalo National River is one of the few rivers in the lower United States that still doesn’t have any dam. It flows freely for 135 miles (217 km), offering you everything from running rapids to quiet pools. Cruise through the Ozark Mountains down to the White River to experience the majestic Buffalo River, which is the first National River of America. Explore and relax on this river by renting canoes, kayaks, or tubes.

    Get wet by engaging in watersports and settle down in any one of the campsites of the Buffalo. Right from rugged tent-camping to sites with electric and water hookups for the RV enthusiasts and backcountry camping, you’ll get everything you crave for.

    You can either wander on the over 95,000 acres of land surrounding the river or gaze at the mesmerizing show of the stars from the Buffalo National River (which is also an International Dark Sky Park). You can also take your pet with you but please check the guidelines of the designated areas of the Buffalo River park.

  2. Pea Ridge National Military Park (Pea Ridge, AR)

    Pea Ridge National Military Park serves as a monument honoring over 23,000 soldiers who fought on March 7-8, 1862, to decide the fate of Missouri. This park is spread over 4,300 acres and honors those who fought and died on the battlefield. Pea Ridge is situated in Northwest Arkansas and is one of the most important battles of the Civil War. In this battle, the Union took control of Missouri. Pea Ridge National Military Park is one of the best-preserved Civil War battlefields in the United States.

    You can drive up to the Ozarks, visit the visitor center and museum of Pea Ridge, and take a driving tour throughout the 4,300 acres of the battleground. Check out the pre-Civil War Old Telegraph Road, the restored battlefields, the restored Elkhorn Tavern, and 2 ½ miles of the Trail of Tears. Get emersed in the varied history of the US. Don’t forget to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art at Bentonville, a 15-minute drive from Pea Ridge.


Best National Historic Sites in Arkansas (H2)


  1. Fort Smith National Historic Site (Fort Smith, AR, OK)

    Fort Smith National Historic Site brings almost 80-years of history, well preserved for you to dig in. You can witness the well-preserved history, starting with the establishment of the first Fort Smith on December 25, 1817. It continues till 1896 during Judge Isaac C. Parker's final days of jurisdiction over Indian Territory. This historic site gives you the stories of soldiers, lawmen, outlaws, scandals, and the Trails of Tears. Explore life on the edge of frontier and Indian Territory by witnessing the history closely.

  2. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site (Little Rock, AR)

    Little Rock Central High School was the hotbed of confrontations and catalysts surrounding the civil rights of African Americans in 1957. Know the sacrifice and struggle of those bygone years of struggle following Brown v. Board of Education from, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. It will give you the opportunity to dig in and see closely the struggle they fought for a more equitable society.

  3. President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site (Hope, AR)

    William Jefferson Blythe III (most commonly known as Bill Clinton) was the 42nd President of the US. As the name of the site suggests, this historical site is the birth home of Bill Clinton. His father died just before his birth. It is in this rural Arkansas birthplace where Bill developed his broad views on social justice, race relations, and public service. All these qualities defined Bill Clinton’s presidency and life after the White House. As he said: "Hope was home."


Best National Historic Trail


  1. Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail (AL, AR, GA, IL, KY, MO, NC, OK, TN)

    Arkansas is a treasure trove of beautiful sceneries and landscapes. However, it comes with a complex history with some heartbreaking realities. It includes the unpleasant history of forceful removal of the native Indians, which left its mark on the Land of Opportunity.

    The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail tells the heartbreaking story of the forcible removal of 17 different groups of Cherokee people from their homelands in the 1830s and their consequent movement along this trail. Trail Of Tears is a 5,043-mile (8,116 km) trail that stretches westward from the southern Appalachian mountains and passes through 9 US states.

    Cherokee people traveled by foot, horse, wagon, or steamboat in 1838-1839 to reach their new home in the Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. They were removed from their homelands in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.

    Arkansas shares this national trail with many other states including Missouri and Oklahoma. There are 20 different sites in Arkansas along the historic trail that includes museums and interpretive centers. This enables you to engage with the Trail of Tears’ historical and cultural significance. You can remember the lives lost by traveling along the historic path and also celebrate Cherokee people’s strength and resilience.

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