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Arkansas's National Parks

Arkansas National Parks: Hot Springs, Mountain Trails, and American History

Discover rich historical sites and untamed natural beauty at Arkansas’ National Parks. Start at Hot Springs National Park, home to historic Bathhouse Row. Go boating and swimming at Buffalo National River in the Ozark Mountains. Learn about an American icon at the President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site.

Imagine what life was like for early settlers at the Arkansas Post National Memorial, the original capital of the Arkansas Territory. See a Civil War battlefield at Pea Ridge National Military Park, and set foot on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail at the Fort Smith National Historic Site. Visit the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, the location of the Little Rock Integration Crisis. History is alive in Arkansas.

Hot Springs National Park

Unwind in steaming, mineral-rich waters that have attracted vacationers seeking rest and relaxation for well over a century. Hot Springs National Park is named for the soothing spring waters that bubble out at Bathhouse Row, a National Historic Landmark. Bring your swimsuit and choose between traditional and modern bathhouse experiences at Quapaw, Buckstaff, and Fordyce Bathhouses. Share a hot tub with friends or opt for a private bath.

But the hot springs are just the beginning. The park is also home to 26 miles of hiking trails, from short walks to all-day excursions. Peer over the forested Ouachita Mountains from the 216-foot Hot Springs Mountain Tower. Picnic along Gulpha Creek picnic spots, cruise along curving mountain roads, and go boating on sunny Lake Ouachita.

Buffalo National River

Seek out adventure on this much-loved river, a refreshing bluff-lined waterway that travels through the Ozark Mountains. The 135-mile Buffalo National River is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Float down the river by canoe, kayak, raft, tube, or flat-bottomed jon boat. Book a guided sightseeing tour or arrange rentals and explore on your own. Go fly-fishing for trout or simply swim and cool off.

You’ll also find over 100 miles of peaceful trails, including a hike to the 209-foot Hemmed-In-Hollow Falls – the tallest waterfall between the Rockies and the Appalachians. Saddle up for horseback riding and take advantage of exceptional hunting for white-tailed deer. From wildlife photography to waterfront picnic spots, discover a true natural treasure at the Buffalo National River.

Ozark-St. Francis National Forest

Established in 1908, the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest preserves over one million acres surrounding the Ozark Mountains and Ozark Highlights Trail. The forest is comprised of both the Ozark National Forest and the St. Francis National Forest in northwest Arkansas.

Forest visitors can enjoy nearly 400 miles of hiking trails, endless stream fishing, swimming areas, and exploring the five designated wilderness areas. Other highlights include Mount Magazine and Blanchard Springs Caverns.