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Fort Smith National Historic Site, near the similarly-named town of Fort Smith, is a memorial to the original fort and the soldiers who served there; at the time, it was located in the most distant reaches of the U.S. Territory, making it difficult to receive information or supplies. The purpose of the garrison and its compliment was to create peace between two warring Indian tribes, the Osage and the Cherokee.
The fort was abandoned in 1824 but re-established again in 1838; this second fort remained in effect until 1871. Today the historic site has two of the buildings that were used by the second fort and the remains of a stone wall along with traces of a few military buildings.
Book a motorhome rental near Fort Smith National Historic Site, and you can walk around and explore the park; the former commissary is an exhibit that demonstrates what the building would have looked like at that time; by the time of the second Fort Smith, military troops had been stationed farther west.
Regardless of the time of year that you rent an RV near Fort Smith, you'll find lots to see and do. The park is open to the public year-round, and there are numerous attractions on the outdoor landscape to hold your interest. The historic site has a visitors center with exhibits, information, and well-trained volunteer staff who can answer your questions and make recommendations if you're undecided about where to begin or what to see. The site also has a replica gallows and commissary, which are open during business hours most days (except some holidays).
The site has a Junior Ranger program for young kids that will teach them about all aspects of the historic site, such as the soldiers who staffed the fort and the native tribes they interacted with, the outlaws who came west, and the marshals who chased after them. Outdoor attractions include Belle Point, which was the site of the first Fort Smith, and a short walk from the park entrance. If you're here late in the afternoon, you might want to wait and take in the sunset as it disappears beyond the Arkansas River (the view is equally magnificent during the daytime).
There is an overlook looking down on the historic Trail of Tears, a reconstruction of the original Officer's Garden, and wagons and cannons spaced throughout the fort grounds; the cannon and wagon exhibits have panels that explain the history of the area, helping to put a context to what you will see and experience. You can take your time while you're here to enjoy a picnic; the historic site is also a bird sanctuary, and it has undeveloped areas throughout that provide a habitat for the resident bird species. Photographers will be in heaven with the landscape and birds providing an endless array of photographic opportunities. When you're done for the day, retire to your campervan rental, and relax.
Search for an RV in Sebastian County, and you can choose a rig that's perfectly suited to your RV camping needs and to the Arkansas outdoors. There aren't any RV campgrounds located on or within the national site's borders, but there are quite a few a short distance away. Springhill Park Campground is a scenic RV park with some campsites located on the banks of the Arkansas River and others located between Massard Creek and John Paul Hammerschmidt Lake. The park has a playground for young children, showers, and a dump station; the individual campsites have electrical hookups.
Lazy Acres RV Park and Campground has restrooms and campsites with water and electrical hookups (30/50 amp) for the Fort Smith motorhome rental. The park is not far from East Cedar Creek and is backed by a wooded hillside. The campground has sites designated for tent camping, and all campsites can be rented by the day, week, or month.
Greenwood is a quiet, charming town with shopping outlets and a community park that has playgrounds and a few basketball courts. It has an impressive restaurant scene for its size, with several pizzerias, Chinese and Mexican cuisines, and more. The venues are a mix of locally owned and operated establishments, and commercial chain-style businesses, so there should be something for everyone if you're here with a group.
Barling is a small community with a handful of places you can eat when the dinner bell rings. There are several diners, barbecue joints, and a Mexican restaurant in case you're in the mood for something different.