Places To Go in Arkansas

The Trail of Tears Arkansas Interactive Map

Zoom in to find a location in Arkansas, then click on the yellow balloon of your choice to see the site name, address, access, image, and website. You'll find museums, interpretive centers, and historic sites that provide information and interpretation for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.

Please contact each site before you go to obtain current information on closures, changes in hours, and fees.
 
 

(Updated December 1, 2016)


Arkansas Post National Memorial (National Park Service)

Location: this 389-acre park unit is located at 1741 Old Post Rd in Gillett, Arkansas County

Telephone: (870) 548-2207

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: This park unit commemorates a fur trading and military post that was active between the late 17th and early 19th centuries. Although inactive during the Cherokee migrations of 1838-1839, the site witnessed the upstream passage of four Cherokee detachments on their way to Indian Territory. The site was later active during the Civil War, when the Confederates built Fort Hindman, only to have it destroyed a few months later by a Union naval bombardment.

Exhibits: Passport stamps for the trail can be obtained at this office.

To learn more: www.nps.gov/arpo


Arkansas River Visitor Center/Old Post Road Park (US Army Corps of Engineers)

Location: 1598 Lock and Dam Road (State Highway 7), near Russellville

Telephone: (479) 968-5008

Access: Open to the public; call for hours or check the website listed below

Historical Significance: The visitor center is located near the midpoint of the Arkansas River's navigation system, which begins at its Mississippi River confluence and follows 445 miles of navigation channel through a series of 17 locks and dams to Tulsa, Oklahoma. During 1838-1839, the Bell Detachment traveled just north of the center, while other removal tribes passed through Old Post Road Park before crossing the Arkansas River.

Facilities: The center was designed to acquaint visitors with the Arkansas River, its history and culture, and its transformation into the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. It overlooks the Dardanelle Lock and Dam.

Exhibits: Interpretive exhibits tell the story of the development of the River Valley from the time when American Indians were the sole occupants of this area to the present. A mural painting, artifacts, and interpretive recordings depict American Indian life in the river valley. Additional exhibits illustrate life for the early settlers along the river and the introduction of the steamboat era and its impact on the river valley. Old Post Road Park has some interpretation of historical activities during the removal era.

To learn more: www.swl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/ArkansasRiver/Dardanelle/RecreationActivities/VisitorCenter.aspx



Bell's Route Segment, Village Creek State Park, outside of Forrest City

Location: Village Creek State Park is located in Cross and St. Francis counties, northeast of Forrest City. The Bell's Route segment in the park is part of the old Memphis to Little Rock military road. Today, the east-west "military road trail" segment - located approximately one mile south of the park's visitor center and just south of Lake Austell - is used as a recreational trail.

Telephone: (870) 238-9406 (Village Creek State Park)

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance:The Memphis to Little Rock Road was completed in 1829 and provided the first improved route between Memphis and Little Rock. During the early to mid-1830s, this trail witnessed the removal of Creek and Chickasaw Indians. In the late fall of 1838, John Bell led a detachment of some 650 Cherokee along this route on the way from eastern Tennessee to the Arkansas-Indian Territory border. Due to the easily erodible soil along this route, the present trail is between 6 and 10 feet lower than it was during the period of the various Native migrations.

To learn more: www.arkansasstateparks.com/villagecreek/default.aspx



Cadron Settlement Park (US Army Corps of Engineers)

Location: this site, which has been leased out to the City of Conway in recent years, is located on State Highway 319W, about 2 miles west of Highway 64 near Conway. The park’s physical address is 6200 Highway 319.

Telephone: (501) 329-2986

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: The site is on the National Register of Historic Places because of its French trading post roots; it has a reconstructed trading post on the property. The site witnessed the upriver passage of four Cherokee detachments during the winter of 1838-1839.

Exhibits: Several historical interpretive waysides, pertaining to the Trail of Tears and other themes, are located within the park boundaries.

To learn more: http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2013/jun/20/visitors-cadron-settlement-park-experience-history/?f=rivervalley
or http://www.arkansas.com/attractions/detail/cadron-settlement-park/23961


Delta Cultural Center, Helena

Locations: 141 Cherry Street and 95 Missouri Street, both in downtown Helena.

Telephone: (870) 338-4350 or (800) 358-0972

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: Helena, located along the Mississippi, witnessed the forced migration of thousands of Cherokee along the "water route" to Indian Territory during the summer of 1838.

Available Facilities: The cultural center has two main facilities: the visitor center (on Cherry Street) and the depot (on nearby Missouri Street)

Exhibits: The depot contains two major permanent exhibits. One of these, called "A Heritage of Determination," depicts the Arkansas Delta from prehistory to the present. Included are two exhibits that interpret the Indian removal period, specifically as they impacted the local Quapaw.

To learn more: www.deltaculturalcenter.com



Fitzgerald Station and Farmstead, Springdale

Location: 2327 Old Wire Road, northeast of Springdale

Telephone: private property

Access: closed to the public

Historical Significance: John Fitzgerald and his family moved to this site between 1828 and 1833. Soon afterward, they built an inn and tavern along the so-called military road that ran in front of their property; these businesses were well known by the late 1830s. Approximately 8,000 Cherokee passed by this site along the Northern Route during 1838-39. This tavern was mentioned in the diary of B.B. Cannon, who with a contingent of 365 Cherokee passed by here in December 1837; it was also noted in the diary of William Morrow, a doctor with the Taylor Detachment who camped here in March 1839. Later, the barn was built as a stage stop. Fitzgerald's Station was a stage stop for the Butterfield Stage line in the late 1850s to early 1860s.

Available Facilities: The original barn that was built for the stage line is still standing, and it is one of the very few original buildings that still exist along the historic Butterfield Stage route. The property also holds a house that was built in the 1870s. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 29, 2003.

Exhibits: Two historical markers are situated at the entrance to the property.

To learn more: www.uark.edu/campus-resources/archinfo/fitz.html



Fort Smith National Historic Site (National Park Service)

Location: the park unit, and its visitor center, are located on the south bank of the Arkansas River at 301 Parker Ave. in downtown Fort Smith.

Telephone: (479) 783-3961 (visitor center)

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: The US Army built and maintained a fort here between 1817 and 1825, and again from 1838 to 1871. This site witnessed the passage of various Cherokee water route detachments during the winter of 1838-1839; in addition, other southeastern tribes such as the Creeks, Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Seminoles were forcibly moved through this area at other times during the 1830s and 1840s.

Exhibits and Facilities: The park’s visitor center has a major display illustrating the Cherokee and other Indian migrations; several interpretive waysides focusing on this theme are located on the park grounds.

To learn more: www.nps.gov/fosm

Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge (US Fish and Wildlife Service)

Location: This 7,000-acre refuge is located eight miles downriver from Dardanelle, in Pope and Yell counties. The refuge headquarters is located at 10448 Holla Bend Road in Dardanelle.

Telephone: (479) 229-4300.

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance: This site witnessed the passage of various Cherokee water route detachments during the winter of 1838-1839. In addition, the Creeks, Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Seminoles were forcibly moved through this area at other times during the 1830s and 1840s.

Exhibits: The refuge has a kiosk that discusses the Trail of Tears.

To learn more: www.fws.gov/hollabend/


Lake Dardanelle State Park, Russellville

Location: The park's address is 100 State Park Drive in Russellville, Pope County. The park is located at 2428 Marina Road, which is four miles west of Russellville, off State Highway 326.

Phone: (479) 967-5516

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance: The Western Cherokee settled near here in the late 1700s, and established towns, plantations, and the Dwight Mission School. Almost 50 years later, the Trail of Tears brought all five tribes through here by water or land. The park is an NPS-certified site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. This is one of the few locations where stories of all five tribes can be told.

Available Facilities: Lake Dardanelle State Park offers a wide range of recreation opportunities, including fishing, swimming, picnicking, boating, and camping. A visitor center offers interpretive displays. The park is operated by the Department of Parks and Tourism, Arkansas State Parks Division. Lake Dardanelle is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Exhibits: The Trail of Tears is interpreted in visitor center exhibits and one outdoor exhibit. The lake includes the historic and modern channels of the Arkansas River, which are part of the water route of the Trail of Tears.

Special Programs: Interpretive programs include guided hikes, nature talks, demonstrations, and evening slide shows and movies. Off-season programs and hikes are available, and groups may request special programs in advance.

To learn more: www.arkansasstateparks.com/lakedardanelle or www.historystateparks.com/trail-of-tears



La Petite Roche (“The Little Rock”)

Location: in the vicinity of Junction Bridge and at the foot of Rock Street, Little Rock

Telephone: (501) 371-4770 (Julius Breckling Riverfront Park)

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance: La Petite Roche, the namesake for the city surrounding it, was a natural landmark near the city’s early day boat landing. The rock itself is greatly reduced from its former size. To commemorate the importance of the rock, the landing area, and various early historical events, a number of markers have been installed nearby; some decades ago, others recently.

Available Facilities and Exhibits: The Julius Breckling Riverfront Park, within which La Petite Roche is located, stretches eleven (11) blocks on the south bank of the Arkansas River in the downtown area. Riverfront Park provides large areas for outdoor events, leisure activities, and a glimpse of the state's history.

To learn more: www.littlerock.org/parksrecreation/parks/details.aspx?id=13



Mount Nebo State Park, near Dardanelle

Location: 16728 West State Highway 155, four miles west of Dardanelle.

Telephone: (479) 229-3655

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance: Scenic overlooks at Sunrise Point and Sunset Point provide dramatic vistas of the Arkansas River, the water route of the Congressionally designated National Historic Trail of Tears. It also overlooks the area where the Western Cherokee settled in the late 1700s.

Available Activities: camping, cabins, trails

To learn more: www.arkansasstateparks.com/mountnebo or www.historystateparks.com/trail-of-tears



North Little Rock Riverfront Park, North Little Rock

Location: North bank of Arkansas River between Main St. Bridge and Interstate 30 Bridge, North Little Rock.

Access: unrestricted

Historical significance: The site is located in the immediate vicinity of a large number of (north-south) land migration routes and (east-west) water migration routes for the Cherokee and other southeastern tribes during the 1830s and 1840s.

Available Facilities: On the path of the Arkansas River Trail (pedestrian and bicycling path)

Exhibits: Seven interpretive panels commemorating the Cherokee Trail of Tears and similar forced migrations by the other Four Civilized Tribes

Website: none.


Pea Ridge National Military Park (National Park Service)

Location: 4 miles east of the town of Pea Ridge, in Benton County; the address is 15930 E. US Highway 62, Garfield

Telephone: (479) 451-8122

Access: Open to the public; call for hours

Historical Significance: Although the park is best known as the site for a major Civil War engagement in March 1862, the park was also located astride the main (Northern) route of the Trail of Tears, along which 11 Cherokee detachments moved during the winter of 1838-1839. The route passed by the Elkhorn Tavern, toward the northern end of the park, then headed south to the vicinity of today’s park visitor center.

Exhibits: Displays in the visitor center help interpret the Trail of Tears; both interpretive waysides and signage along the park road also helps tell the Trail of Tears story.

To learn more: www.nps.gov/peri


Petit Jean State Park, Morrilton

Location: 1285 Petit Jean Mountain Road, Morrilton.

Telephone: (501) 727-5441

Access: unrestricted

Historical Significance: Overlooks at the east and west ends of Petit Jean Mountain provide dramatic vistas of the Arkansas River, the water route of the Trail of Tears, a Congressionally designated national historic trail.

Available Activities: cabins, camping, hiking, overlooks, swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking

To learn more: www.petitjeanstatepark.com/history or www.historystateparks.com/trail-of-tears



Pinnacle Mountain State Park, Little Rock

Location: 11901 Pinnacle Valley Road, Little Rock (park is 15 miles west of Little Rock)

Telephone: (501) 868-5806

Access: sunrise to sunset; call for hours

Historical Significance: This 1,011-foot peak has been a landmark overlooking the Arkansas River for centuries. Native Americans undoubtedly saw it as they moved up the river by boat. Overlooks at the park visitor center provide spectacular views of the water route of the Trail of Tears, a Congressionally designated national historic trail.

Available Activities: hiking, wildlife observation, picnicking, arboretum

To learn more: www.arkansasstateparks.com/pinnaclemountain or www.historystateparks.com/trail-of-tears

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

National Trails Intermountain Region
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
PO Box 728

Santa Fe, NM 87504

Phone:

(505) 988-6098

Contact Us