Discover Arkansas: The Timberlands
Timber continues to be a major component of the economy, although papermaking has largely replaced lumber as the principal industry. Paper mills can be found in Ashdown, Crossett and Pine Bluff.
Pine Bluff is the largest town in the region and also the commercial hub of the area. Attractions include the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Railroad Museum and the Delta Rivers Nature Center. The center, run by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, features animals and wildlife native to the region, including fish, snakes, turtles and alligators.
A regional favorite is Hope, best known as the boyhood home of President Bill Clinton. Guests are invited to tour Clinton’s first home, which is now a National Historic Site. Hope is also known for its watermelons – the Hope Watermelon Festival is held each August.
The oil boom in Arkansas, which occurred in the 1920s and ’30s, can be experienced at the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources in Smackover. The Union County seat, El Dorado, also sprung up as a result of the oil boom. Restaurants, shops and history can be found in downtown El Dorado’s historic square. Residents can also experience the arts at the South Arkansas Arts Center and the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, which often holds concerts and events at the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium.
Deer hunters herd to the woods of Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge, a forest preserve between El Dorado and Crossett. The refuge is the region’s top recreational draw.
Other notable cities/towns:
Camden, Fordyce, Magnolia, Texarkana
More can’t-miss attractions:
Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources, Arkansas Railroad Museum, Historic Perot Theatre, Historic Washington State Park, Logoly State Park