Arkansas – State of Nature and History
The state of Arkansas may be most well-known for its most prominent son, former US president Bill Clinton, who served his native state as governor before ascending
to the Oval Office in Washington. He was born in Hope in the southeastern portion of the state. Arkansas was part of the Louisiana Purchase which doubled the US territory
in 1803. An official territory from 1819, Arkansas was admitted to the Union in 1836. Today, the state has a population of roughly 2.6 million. Arkansas played an important
role in some of the nation’s most important eras like the civil rights struggle. The state also invites visitors to explore its many crystal-clear lakes, myriads of
caverns and scenic mountains.
Geography / Climate
Many mountains, hills, and valleys characterize Arkansas’ landscape. The state lies in the US Interior Highlands region. But there are also the lowlands, such as the
Arkansas Delta, a flat often-flooded region adjacent to the Mississippi River which runs along the state’s eastern border. Both the Delta and the other major plains region,
the Grand Prairie, have very fertile soil.
Like most southern states, Arkansas has a humid subtropical climate. Generally it may be said that the summers in Arkansas are hot and humid while the winters are mild
and slightly drier. Average highs in August are beyond the 90s and they rarely drop beneath the 50s even in the coldest months.
Arkansas is called “The Natural State” and it certainly lives up to this name. One of the most picturesque regions are the countless limestone caves and caverns of the
Ozarks. The caves form their own underground landscape and often have fascinating stories to tell. And most of them are still constantly changing due to the stalagmitic
formation which is continuously happening. The Ozark Mountains in the northwestern region are worth a visit not only because of the caves. Fishing, a popular pastime throughout
Arkansas, meets especially good conditions here. On many rivers trout are floating. Bass and panfish are included in the fish habitat. The numerous lakes and streams are also
great for canoeing, rafting or swimming.
The region’s largest city Fayetteville is an ideal basis to discover the surrounding nature. The metropolitan region is fastly growing and attracts more and more people every
year, visitors and long-term residents alike. The campus of the University of Arkansas is situated here. In the summer months, the farmer’s market on the town square is a sight to
see. Near Fayetteville, a spectacular botanical garden is being created, which will add even more charm to this already rich region.
Little Rock, the state’s largest city and capital, is located in Arkansas’ heart. The city has a population of more than 180,000 people and boasts a variety of cultural and
historical attractions. The Arkansas Art Center houses a world-renowned collection of drawings. For those interested in the state’s most prominent politician, the Clinton Presidential
Center and Park is the place to go. The Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site reminds visitors of the nationwide importance of the city during the civil rights era.
In 1957, over the controversy of integrating the high schools, President Eisenhower sent federal troops to protect black school children. Another historic site, the Old Mill, attracts
many Hollywood fans since it featured in the opening scene of the classic movie “Gone With the Wind.” Throughout and around Little Rock, accommodation of all kind is offered.
Between Little Rock and Fayetteville, the Arkansas River Valley or Tri-Peaks Region can be found. The region has been producing some of the finest wines ever since the late 19th
century. Places like Paris, Ozark, and Altus are known for their excellent blends. Local wineries offer tours and tastings. The region’s name stems from the three major mountains,
Mount Magazine, Mount Nebo, and Petit Jean Mountain, each of them hosting a state park. Scenic highways and byways as well as a rich array of lakes and streams make the region one
of the most popular in Arkansas.
Trail of Tears
In many of the state parks throughout Arkansas, visitors can follow the paths of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. It commemorates one of the darkest chapters in US history,
the forceful removal of the Cherokee tribes to the western US territories, resulting in the deaths of more than 4,000. Participating parks include the Village Creek, Pinnacle Mountain,
Mount Nebo, and Lake Dardanelle State Parks.
Hot Springs, located close to Lakes Hamilton and Ouachita, also houses Oaklawn Park, where the Arkansas Derby and many other popular horse races take place. The name of the park and
the region stems from the hot thermal waters that break ground here. The nearby Ouachita mountains boast a magnificent natural beauty. Hot Springs is located in the Diamond Lakes Region.
The five diamond lakes are Lakes Ouachita, Hamilton, Greeson, Catherine, and DeGray. Their name bears a double meaning, extending both to the crystal-clear waters as well as the
diamond-bearing soil of the region.
Where To Stay
Various modern and historic renovated accommodation facilities can be found throughout the state, especially in the cities and along the lakes and rivers. These are suited to both
business and vacation travelers. Romantic and rustic getaways like mountain cabins are spread throughout the state parks as well as the mountainous regions. Spacious condos for rent are
especially available around the lakes regions. Whether you want to stay in a simple or fully-modern environment really only is up to you. Arkansas offers something appropriate for all
kinds of visitors.