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Ozarks History and Points of Interest

Ozark National Forest

Some of the most beautiful, historic and rugged country in the South is protected by the vast Ozark National Forest in Arkansas.

The national forest covers 1.2 million acres and is home to a wide array of historic sites, ecotourism opportunities and points of interest. Accessible from a number of points across much of the northern half of
Arkansas, the forest features stunning Ozark mountain scenery, waterfalls, hiking trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, lakes and a variety of other natural and historic features.

For The Trees An Illustrated History of the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests 1908-1978

"The first white explorers came to the region in 1541 when Hernando DeSoto and his force of 400 men arrived near Helena, establishing Spanish influence in this part of the New World. [4] More than 100 years later, in May 1682, Rene Robert Cavelier Sieur de la Salle claimed all lands west of the Mississippi River for France. La Salle granted to one of his lieutenants, Henri de Tonti, land near the mouth of the Arkansas River, and here de Tonti established the settlement of Arkansas Post in 1686. During the next 75 years, further exploration of the Arkansas River continued, but there was not much in the way of land development or settlement. One French explorer of this period was Bernard de la Harpe, who is often credited for naming the site of the future state capital—Little Rock, la petite roche, referring to a small outcropping of green schist and sandstone. [5]"

Oark General Store

The Oark General Store, listed in the Arkansas Register of Historic Places, was opened in 1890 in response to demand for groceries and supplies in the isolated community of Oark, in northern Johnson County.  The store has served the community ever since.  It has the distinct recognition of being the oldest continually-operated store in Arkansas.

Ozark Highlands Trail

"For the hiker, a great way to explore the Ozarks is on the Ozark Highland Trail, often rated one of the top 10 trails in America by hiking experts. White Rock Mountain, Little Mulberry Creek, Haw Creek Falls, Ozone Camp, Salt Fork and Potato Knob are some of the intriguing places on the route. Most of the trail meanders through the one-million-acre Ozark National Forest, created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908."

CCC in Arkansas

"When the CCC began in 1933, Arkansas only had three state parks, Petit Jean, Mount Nebo and Arkansas Post, and these parks were still undeveloped. From 1933-1942, the CCC built cabins, lodges, trails, roads, and more to develop Devil’s Den, Crowley’s Ridge, Lake Catherine and Buffalo Point (now under the Buffalo National River), as well as Petit Jean and Mount Nebo."

White Rock Mountain

This Ozark National Forest Recreation Area features three unique and rustic natural stone cabins and a large natural stone lodge all built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  Each features a stone fireplace and original wood furniture handcrafted by the CCC.  Wind, rain and natural elements had caused the deterioration of the buildings over the years.  In 1987 a volunteer group, Friends of White Rock, began a project to renovate the historic structures. With a lot of commitment and hard work, the lodge and cabins were restored to their original state in 1991.

Post Winery

Post Winery is the largest winery in Arkansas and the first commercial vineyard to produce here, and the first to bring you 100% Muscadine Juice and that famous Muscadine Wine. Post Familie Vineyards is our sustainably managed farm in the foothills of the Arkansas Ozarks, altitude 780 feet, straddling the first plateau above the Arkansas River valley.

Wiederkehr Wine Cellars

Discover the Swiss winemaking heritage of Wiederkehr Wine Cellars. The oldest and largest winery in mid-America, Wiederkehr Wine Cellars is located on the southern slopes of the Ozark Mountains. Here atop St. Mary's Mountain is where the Wiederkehr family carries on a tradition begun in 1880. Lovingly tended vineyards surround the winery, designed in the Swiss alpine style overlooking the Arkansas River valley. Learn more about the history of our family, our winery, and our winemaking philosophy.

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