Things To Do

There are many exhibits, features, and other noteworthy items/places available to view and experience at Fort Smith National Historic Site, but depending on your schedule and interest, you may only have time for a brief visit. Based on experience from both current and past visitors, as well as front desk employees and Rangers, this guide could help you see everything you want to see in the time you have available.

If you have less than one hour:

If you have one to three hours:

  • Take a free walking tour using Audio Wands. Available for free at the Front Desk. Tours are in English and Spanish.
  • Walk the grounds and read our Wayside Information Panels.
  • Take a short walk up to Belle Point and see the foundation of first Fort Smith.
  • Walk along the Arkansas River.
  • Enjoy a picnic under one of the many shade trees or on one of our picnic tables located next to the main parking lot.
  • Kids can earn their Junior Ranger badge by completing activities in our fun and educational workbooks.
  • Visit the Commissary, Fort Smith's oldest building.
  • Watch the beautiful sunset on Belle Point overlooking the confluence of the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers.
  • Watch It Took Brave Men Deputy U.S. Marshal Video.
  • See what is growing in the Historic Officer's Garden.
Aerial view visitor center entrance, jail wagon, garrison flag flying over the parade ground, and commissary in background
The Park's Visitor's Center is located in the historic barracks/courthouse/jail building.


The main entrance to the Visitor Center is located on the south end of the Barracks/ Jail/ Courthouse building. Exhibits in the visitor center focus on Fort Smith’s military history from 1817 – 1871, western expansion, the federal court’s impact on Indian Territory, Federal Indian policy, and Indian Removal.

Located on the grounds are the foundation of the first Fort Smith (1817-1824), the Commissary building (circa 1838) and a reconstruction of the gallows used by the federal court. The trail along the Arkansas River includes wayside exhibits on various parts of the history of Fort Smith.

Check the calendar to see if the park has special programs or activities scheduled during your visit.

If you are bringing children, you can learn about our Junior Ranger program in the For Kids section.

There are other historical places of interest near Fort Smith National Historic Site. Nearby Attractions provides links to those sites.

Last updated: December 19, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

301 Parker Ave
Fort Smith, AR 72901


(479) 783-3961

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