Plan Your Visit
A visit to the Fort Smith National Historic Site begins at the Visitor Center, located in the former barracks/ courthouse/ jail buildings. Plan on spending at least 45 minutes touring the exhibits on the military, Trail of Tears, and the federal court, including two jails and the courtroom of Judge Parker.
On the grounds of the park you can see the site of the first fort, the Trail of Tears Overlook on the Arkansas River, the Commissary building, and reconstructed gallows. Paved, handicap accessible paths makes walking to the sites easy, but plan on spending up to an hour to tour the grounds of the park.
Did You Know?
The Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, (Muscogee) Creek and Seminole Indian tribes were forcibly moved to Indian Territory on what became known as the Trail of Tears. The Arkansas River served as a water route to Fort Smith where they received supplies before crossing the river into Indian Territory.