The Arkansas River Trail offers a multitude of cultural and recreational activities, including 12 museums accessible along the route. These museums showcase a variety of interesting information, exhibits and activities on various topics, including Arkansas maritime and frontier histories, sports, nature and more.
These museums include:
The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum commemorates America’s rich naval and maritime heritage through the preservation and exhibition of historic naval vessels with an emphasis on the era of World War II through the present. The museum is home to the USS RAZORBACK (SS 394) a veteran of World War II, the Cold War and Vietnam. The facility includes a research library, a theater, and a large museum area.
The Museum of Discovery has undergone multiple metamorphoses throughout the years, and holds the title of the oldest museum in Little Rock. Initially focused on history and antiquities, the Little Rock Museum of Discovery has become a hands-on, interactive museum designed to ignite a passion for science, technology and math.
The Old State House Museum is the oldest standing state capitol building west of the Mississippi River, and is now dedicated to showcasing Arkansas history. The museum houses a variety of permanent exhibits that highlight the history of the building, the museum’s collection, and the significant areas of the state’s history.
Heifer Int’l Global Village is an educational ranch that offers a variety of programs from tours to overnight experiences designed to give visitors a first-hand look at the difficulties surrounding hunger and poverty. The facility is experiential, hands-on, interactive and fun, and is also a farm complete with gardens and animals including water buffalo, camels and farm animals including pigs, goats and others.
The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies is a department of the Central Arkansas Library System that was created for the purpose of promoting a greater understanding and appreciation of Arkansas history, literature, art, and culture. The facility houses many historical manuscript collections, an extensive photograph collection and a large collection of maps.
The Historic Arkansas Museum is dedicated to showcasing Arkansas frontier history. The historic grounds include the oldest home still standing in Little Rock and the site where William Woodruff once printed the Arkansas Gazette. The museum features exhibit galleries that showcase Arkansas-made artifacts and art, a contemporary gallery and an interactive children’s gallery. The facility also hosts year-round annual heritage events and festivities, and living history reenactments.
The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is a State-funded museum dedicated to the story of African American life and business in Arkansas. It is dedicated to black-owned businesses, politics and art from 1870 to the present, and serves to educate the public about black achievements – especially in business, politics and the arts. Through special events, education programs, ongoing research and exhibits including the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, the museum celebrates the history of African Americans in Arkansas.
The Arkansas Arts Center is the state’s largest cultural institution, and a museum of art and active center for the visual and performing arts. The facility features a world-class art collection, live theatre productions, art classes, lectures, film screenings, family programs, shopping and dining.
The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History Museum interprets the state’s military heritage from its territorial period to the present. The museum preserves the contributions of Arkansas men and women who served in the armed forces, and features artifacts, photographs, weapons, documents, uniforms and other items that showcase the state’s military history both at home and abroad.
The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum features 20,000 square feet of information, video, photos, documents and artifacts dedicated to the presidency of William J. Clinton, including over 100,000 items that were given to President Clinton during his terms in office.
The Central High Museum and Visitor’s Center celebrates the integration of public schools. This unique museum, located across from the currently active Central High School, allows visitors to explore the events that surrounded the 1957 Integration Crisis and the efforts of the “Little Rock nine.”