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Old 09-08-2015, 08:40 PM   #21
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First Info center you can pick Arkansas State Parks and Recreation book.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:36 PM   #22
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About 1/2 block from the Fort Smith National Historic Site is the locally run Fort Smith Museum of History. Admission is just $5, and it is well worth seeing. The Trolley Museum is also adjacent to the National Historic Site.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:43 PM   #23
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We lived in Little Rock for 10 years, have kids in LR and Bentonville that we visit regularly (next month, in fact). Some suggestions for you:

1. Petit Jean park is a must. Spend an entire day if possible. Kids? Check out the Bear Cave and a Turtle Rocks. Nice trails, beautiful! Don't miss Petit Jean's gravesite and overlook.
2. If kids, there's a great hands on museum in Hot Springs. Forget the name, Discovery maybe?
3. Around Mt. Magazine, we always liked Cove Lake. Small and very quiet.
4. When you go to Branson, detour a bit and eat at Lamberts - Home of the Throwed Rolls. You will not regret it!
5. A little south and west of Bentonville you'll find a safari park at Gentry, AR. Best we've ever been to. Take the grandkids every time we visit. Fantastic!
6. History museum just across the line in OK. Harbor Village Museum in Grove, OK. Nice and lots of neat, old stuff. Not a typical museum but has around 100 display areas.
7. If in Bentonville on a Saturday, check out the farmers market in the square.
8. Art museum is nice, also tour the Peel Mansion, Rogers History Museum and the Lowell Museum.
9. Several civil war battlegrounds, including Pea Ridge. Driving tours are very nice at those.
If you need other campsites on your trip, check out CoE's Maumelle Park at Little Rock. Right on the river, very quiet and clean. No sewer at the sites but really nice. In Bentonville, we stay at The Creeks in Cave Springs, just outside of town. Small but nice. No bath houses there, though, so you're stuck with your own showers.

Have fun. You picked the right time of year to visit there. Summers are beyond brutal in AR (and we live in FL now!). Stay safe.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:03 PM   #24
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I think Mount Magazine is the the highest point between the Black Hills and the Appalachians. It's about an hour east of Fort Smith and there's a nice state park and campground. Also, one of the most scenic stretches of road I've been on is called the "Pig Trail". You can get there by going east from Fort Smith about an hour on hwy. 40, then go north on hwy 23. It will take you all the way to Eureka Springs which is not too far from Branson. I'll warn you though, it's 2-lane all the way and very hilly and curvy with a few 20mph hairpin switchbacks.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:10 PM   #25
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If you do make it to Mountain View, they still have a family run drive in theater. Louisiana hasn't had an operational drive in for many years. I took my daughter up there so she could experience one.

Its called the Stone drive in theater. They may still be in season in October.

http://www.stonedrivein.net/
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:15 AM   #26
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Would agree with all the aforementioned places. Also, might checkout the Daisy air gun museum in downtown Rogers. Also, in Southwest Missouri near Cassville, is Roaing River state park. Great trout fishing, or we just camp there for a relaxing couple days. Very nice campground with a pool, etc. I enjoy the Crater of Diamonds, with the grandkids, but a day of "mining" is about all I want at a time. Also, downtown Bentonville is the Sam Walton museum. South of Eureka Springs is Turpentine Creek Wildlife big cat Refuge.

Enjoy your trip,
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:53 AM   #27
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Last October/November we spent an month staying in Arkansas state parks. Everyone of them was great, no complaints. The weather was perfect, although it started getting pretty cool in November (down to the 30's at night). Central/Northern part of Arkansas is prettier, people very friendly. Going north and east this year. It will be hard to find parks to beat Arkansas.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:56 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldothegeek View Post
I think Mount Magazine is the the highest point between the Black Hills and the Appalachians. It's about an hour east of Fort Smith and there's a nice state park and campground. Also, one of the most scenic stretches of road I've been on is called the "Pig Trail". You can get there by going east from Fort Smith about an hour on hwy. 40, then go north on hwy 23. It will take you all the way to Eureka Springs which is not too far from Branson. I'll warn you though, it's 2-lane all the way and very hilly and curvy with a few 20mph hairpin switchbacks.
FIY- Hwy 23 about 20 miles north of I-40 to Eureka Springs was closed a couple weeks ago. We had to make a couple hours detour to get back on track to get home from Crater of Diamonds. Might want to check with Arkansas hwy dept. for closures.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:22 AM   #29
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If crossing the Mississippi River at Greenville. Lake Chicot has a state park. There are other CG along the road think pecan grove.

If you are south of the crater there is good BBQ place at Hope. Think it's JT.

Best to look at gems in the park after a rain which you will get muddy and dirty. Enjoy and have a good time.


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Old 09-09-2015, 04:46 PM   #30
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While at Crater of Diamonds SP take a day trip or two to Hot Springs.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

If you are so inclined you can fish for trout on the Little Missouri River behind Narrows Dam just north of Murfreesboro. I'm on that part of the river about once a week during October. Ouachita National Forest offers a lot of trails and other outdoor activities. Lake Greeson is formed by Narrows Dam for water activities.
Another thing about Quachita mts. is they are the only mountains that run east and west in the world. Alot of planes would crash into them coming up from the south. This was before planes had radar.
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