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Southern Arkansas and the Timberlands region are renowned for magnificent forests, wildlife reserves, natural hot springs, glittering diamonds and historic state parks. Visit this tree-studded region to find welcoming communities and busy towns. Visit the hometown of former U.S. president Bill Clinton, learn about the blacksmithing trade and take a dip at a 19th-century bathhouse.
Pine Bluff is the largest town in the Timberlands region. This commercial center contains the Arkansas Railroad Museum, the Delta Rivers Nature Center and the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame. Stop by the little town of Hope to see Bill Clinton’s birthplace and experience the town’s annual watermelon festival in August. El Dorado and Smackover offer a fascinating insight into the region’s oil boom in the 1920s and 1930s.
Near to El Dorado is the breathtaking forest preserve of Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge, a favorite recreational spot for locals and visitors. Check out the hands-on forging workshops dating back to the 1830s at Historic Washington State Park.
Discover Southern Arkansas’ reputation for glittering minerals at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro. This diamond-producing site is the only one of its kind open to the public. Dig for diamonds at the same place where America’s largest diamond was unearthed and keep your lucky strike. Mount Ida is also dotted with glimmering quartz mines that are open to visiting prospectors.
See a unique range of plant and animal species in the Ouachita Mountains. The Ouachita National Recreational Trail carves a path through the mountain scenery for over 220 miles (350 kilometers). While here, be sure to stop by Hot Springs National Park and its famous Bathhouse Row after a day’s adventuring to soak your muscles in one of the 19th-century hot spring baths. The area also contains a local brewery, restaurants and luxury accommodation.
Catch a plane to South Arkansas Regional Airport or the Billy Free Memorial Airport. Southern Arkansas and Timberlands are best explored by car, so that you can make the most of the region’s destinations and mountain scenery at your own pace.