Arkansas River Valley

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Photo of the Delta Cultural Center in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas
Top: Arkansas River Valley as seen from atop Petit Jean Mountain
Bottom: Livestock grazing in a flat, flowering pasture near Mulberry

The Arkansas River Valley (usually shortened to River Valley) is a region in Arkansas defined by the Arkansas River in the western part of the state. Generally defined as the area between the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains,[1] the River Valley is characterized by flat lowlands covered in fertile farmland and lakes periodically interrupted by high peaks. Mount Magazine, Mount Nebo, and Petit Jean Mountain compose the Tri-Peaks Region, a further subdivision of the River Valley popular with hikers and outdoors enthusiasts. In addition to the outdoor recreational activities available to residents and visitors of the region, the River Valley contains Arkansas's wine country as well as hundreds of historical sites throughout the area.[2]


The most populous city within the River Valley is Fort Smith, the principal city of the Fort Smith metropolitan area that includes Van Buren and Alma as well. Moving east, Clarksville, Russellville, and Morrilton serve as other population centers within the River Valley.[3]


The United States Forest Service operates both the Ouachita National Forest and the Ozark National Forest within the region, offering trails, camping, and fishing over thousands of acres of public land. The state operates four parks within the region: Lake Dardanelle State Park, Mount Magazine State Park, Mount Nebo State Park, and Petit Jean State Park.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Arkansas Tour Guide. Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. 2013. p. 142. 
  2. ^ Arkansas Tour Guide. Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. 2013. p. 141. 
  3. ^ Arkansas Tour Guide. Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. 2013. p. 4. 
  4. ^ "State Parks". Arkansas River Valley Tri-Peaks Association. 2011. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 

Coordinates: 35°22′N 93°22′W / 35.36°N 93.37°W / 35.36; -93.37