Below is a list of Arkansas and Missouri's National Historic parks, riverways, sites, memorials, monuments, battlefields, and trails.
ARKANSAS NATIONAL MEMORIAL
Located at the confluence of two rivers, Arkansas Post has served as a gathering place for many cultures throughout human history - it represents cultural cooperation, conflict, synthesis, and diversity.
ARKANSAS NATIONAL RIVER
Harrison and St. Joe, AR
Established in 1972, Buffalo National River flows freely for 135 miles and is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 states. Once you arrive, prepare to journey from running rapids to quiet pools while surrounded by massive bluffs as you cruise through the Ozark Mountains down to the White River.
ARKANSAS NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAILS
1) Butterfield Overland
MO, AR, OK, TX, NM, AZ, CA
In 1857, businessman and transportation entrepreneur John Butterfield was awarded a contract to establish an overland mail route between the eastern United States and growing populations in the Far West. What became known as the Butterfield Overland Trail made an arcing sweep across the southern rim of the country. Stagecoaches left twice a week carrying passengers, freight, and mail.
2) Trail Of Tears
AL, AR, GA, IL, KY, MO, NC, OK, TN
Remember and commemorate the survival of the Cherokee people, forcefully removed from their homelands in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee to live in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. They traveled by foot, horse, wagon, or steamboat in 1838-1839.
ARKANSAS NATIONAL HISTORIC SITES
1) Fort Smith
Fort Smith, AR, OK
Explore life on the edge of frontier and Indian Territory through the stories of soldiers, the Trail of Tears, scandals, outlaws, and lawmen who pursued them. From the establishment of the first Fort Smith on December 25, 1817, to the final days of Judge Isaac C. Parker's authority over Indian Territory in 1896, Fort Smith National Historic Site preserves eighty (80) years of history.
2) Little Rock Central High School
Little Rock, AR
In 1957, Little Rock Central High School was the epicenter of confrontation and a catalyst for change as the fundamental test for the United States to enforce African American civil rights following Brown v. Board of Education. Learn how the sacrifice and struggle endured by the Little Rock Nine have provided opportunities and opened doors for those seeking equality and education around the world.
3) President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home
Named for the father who died shortly before his birth, William Jefferson Blythe III later became the 42nd President of the United States. In this place, the experiences shared with his mother & grandparents in rural Arkansas developed the broad views on race relations, social justice, and public service that defined his presidency and life after the White House. For Bill Clinton, "Hope was home."
ARKANSAS NATIONAL PARKS
1) Hot Springs
Hot Springs, AR
Hot Springs National Park has a rich cultural past. The grand architecture of our historic bathhouses is equally matched by the natural curiosities that have been drawing people here for hundreds of years. Ancient thermal springs, mountain views, incredible geology, forested hikes, and abundant creeks – all in the middle of town – make Hot Springs National Park a unique and beautiful destination.
2) Pea Ridge
Pea Ridge, AR
On March 7-8, 1862, over 23,000 soldiers fought here to decide the fate of Missouri which was a turning point of the war in the Trans-Mississippi. This 4,300-acre battlefield honors those who fought and died on these hallowed grounds. Pea Ridge was the most pivotal Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River.
MISSOURI NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAILS
This trail covers several states - CA, CO, ID, KS, MO, NE, NV, OR, UT, WY
During the 1840s and 1850s over 250,000 emigrants traveled over 5,000 miles (covering ten (10) states) in search of gold and rich farmlands of California. This is the largest mass migration in American history. The California National Historic Trail covers more than 1,000 miles of ruts and traces from travelers and their wagons. Prior to the great migration, California was merely a province of Mexico, ignored by Americans, and travel to and from the province was primarily by sea. In May 1841, the Bidwell-Bartleson party met near Independence, Missouri and blazed their way west. At Fort Hall, in present-day Idaho, about half of the party opted to take the Oregon Trail, but the rest vowed to reach California. They abandoned their wagons in eastern Nevada. On horseback and on foot, the party staggered across the Forty-mile Desert and entered California by way of Walker River. The group was starved and naked when they finally reached the Central Valley in November. In 1846, the infamous Donner-Reed party, crossed western Nevada but the Sierra snows forced the party to halt near present-day Truckee, California where they endured suffering and several months of starvation, death, and cannibalism until rescuers could reach the survivors.
2) Lewis & Clark
This trail covers sixteen states - IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MO, MT, NE, ND, OH, OR, PA, SD, WA, WV
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail meanders 4,900 miles through the homelands of more than 60 Tribal nations. It follows the historic route(s) of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the Pacific Ocean.
Travel to St. Charles, Missouri, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the early 19th century. St Charles served as the temporary state capital of Missouri (from 1821-1826) and is filled with living history. The Lewis & Clark Boat House and Museum is located along the Missouri River in St. Charles (about 25 miles northwest of downtown St. Louis) and is the highest ranked attraction in St. Charles, Missouri.
Located in the states of - ID, KS, MO, NE, OR, WA, WY
Thousands of immigrants headed west for Oregon in search of promises of lush farmlands and a new beginning. The Oregon National Historic Trail extends more than 2,000 miles and covers six states. Ruts and traces can still be seen along the trail and serves as a reminder of the sacrifices and triumphs of early American settlers.
4) Pony Express
Located in several states - CA, CO, KS, MO, NE, NV, UT, WY
It is remarkable that men once rode horses to carry the mail from Missouri to California and did this in the unprecedented time of only 10 days. This system along the Pony Express National Historic Trail in eight states was the most direct and practical means of east-west communications before the telegraph.
5) Santa Fe
Located in the states of - CO, KS, MO, NM, OK
Follow the Santa Fe National Historic Trail through five states to discover adventure and evidence of past travelers who made this remarkable journey. Trail hands would hitch their oxen to freight wagons carrying cargo to travel from western Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
6) Trail Of Tears
Located in several states - AL, AR, GA, IL, KY, MO, NC, OK, TN
Remember and commemorate the survival of the Cherokee people, forcefully removed from their homelands in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee to live in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. They traveled by foot, horse, wagon, or steamboat in 1838-1839 through some of the harshest weather conditions.
MISSOURI NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARKS
1) Ste. Geneviève, Missouri
Consist of parts of the whole area of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
Ste. Geneviève was the first permanent European settlement in Missouri, established in the 1750s. French Canadian settlers were drawn here by the rich agricultural land known as Le Grand Champ (the Big Field). After the flood of 1785, the town relocated to its present location on higher ground which is located approximately three miles to the northwest of its original site.
2) Gateway Arch
St. Louis, Missouri
The Gateway Arch reflects St. Louis' role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth (19th) century. The park is a memorial to Thomas Jefferson and his role in opening the West, to the pioneers who helped shape its history. The museum reminds visitors that Jefferson’s dream was a dream for some but not for all. The Old Courthouse is a short walk from the Arch through the park’s new trail network and memorializes two (2) landmark cases which argued for African American equality and women’s rights.
MISSOURI NATIONAL MONUMENT
1) George Washington Carver
As a young child, George Washington was known as the "Plant Doctor”. He tended his secret garden while observing the day-to-day operations of a 19th century farm. His love for care for nature influenced him and set George on a quest for education and to be a renowned agricultural scientist, educator, and humanitarian.
MISSOURI NATIONAL SITES
1) Harry S Truman
Independence and Grandview, Missouri
President Harry S. Truman took America from its traditional isolationism into the age of international involvement. Despite his power, he never forgot his roots. Today, visitors can experience the surroundings that influenced Truman as a young man to his rise from modest ambitions to his political career and finally, the former president of the United States.
2) Ulysses S Grant
St. Louis, Missouri
The Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site is a 9.65-acre site known as White Haven and commemorates his life, military career, and presidency. Ulysses S. Grant is known for his victories in the Civil War and as the general who saved the Union. Grant would later become the eighteenth (18th) President of the United States. He first met his wife, Julia Dent, at her family’s home, named White Haven. From 1854 to 1859 the Dents, the Grants, and an enslaved African American workforce lived on White haven, the property that years later would become a National Historic Site.
NATIONAL SCENIC RIVERWAYS
Van Buren, Eminence, Salem, Winona, Missouri
Ozark National Scenic Riverways is the first national park area to protect a river system. The Park encompasses over 80,000 acres around The Current and Jacks Fork, two (2) of the finest floating rivers you'll find anywhere. Both spring-fed rivers, with their cold and clear waters, are perfect for canoeing, swimming, boating, or fishing. Both rivers and the park are home to hundreds of freshwater springs, caves, trails, and historic sites such as Alley Mill.
MISSOURI NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD
1) Wilson’s Creek
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield hosts over 200,000 visitors annually and is one of the three (3) best preserved and most pristine Civil War battlefields in the National Park System. Wilson’s Creek is the site of the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River, and the death of Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union general killed in action. The costly Southern victory on August 10, 1861, focused national attention on the war in Missouri. Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield commemorates and interprets the battle within the context of the war in the Trans-Mississippi West.