• Rifle Regiment arriving at Belle Point, 1817. Artwork by Michael Haynes

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK


Although a variety of wildlife can be seen on your visit to the Fort Smith National Historic Site today, the historic landscape, prior to and during the early period of European settlement, contained a greater amount and diversity of animals. Black bear, bison, elk, and the now extinct Passenger Pigeon were all common residents of the area where the Fort Smith National Historic Site is now located.

While walking the grounds keep and eye out for one of the park's many Fox Squirrels. These playful critters thrive on the park's abundant acorns, walnuts, and pecans. They also provide nearly constant entertainment to visitors. Please don't feed the wildlife.

This IS a Beaver!


Cheryl Reynolds, Worth A Dam

Other mammals you might see include:

Pocket Gopher
Coyote (rare)
Red Fox (rare)
Eastern Cottontail (rabbit)

The City of Fort Smith is a bird sanctuary and Fort Smith National Historic Site is an ideal place for birdwatchers.

Every fall, monarch butterflies migrate through the park on their way to Mexico.

Did You Know?

foundation remains of first fort overlooking Arkansas River

The U.S. Army selected a spot overlooking the confluence of the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers for the site of a fort. Soldiers from the Rifle Regiment arrived in 1817 and named the site Fort Smith after their commanding officer, Thomas A. Smith.