Trip Planner:   USA  /  Arkansas  /  Fort Smith  /  Historic Sites  /  Fort Smith National Historic Site
Fort Smith National Historic Site, Fort Smith
(4.8/5 based on 360+ reviews on the web)
At Fort Smith National Historic Site you can walk where soldiers drilled, pause along the Trail of Tears, and stand where justice was served. The park includes the remains of two frontier forts and the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas. Judge Isaac C. Parker presided over the court for 21 years.
Work out when and for how long to visit Fort Smith National Historic Site and other Fort Smith attractions using our handy Fort Smith family vacation planner.
Create a full Fort Smith itinerary

Plan your trip to Fort Smith

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Fort Smith by other users

View more plans
  • If you have seen the movies Hang 'Em High or True Grit (either the original or the remake), this is a must do. Even if you haven't seen them, its a cool visit. 
  • So much history is such a small area. Worth the walk around to see. Luckily for us we visited on a free museum day, which was a lovely surprise. So many artefacts and much memorabilia, beautifully res...  more »
  • Awesome historical visit! We had a group of 20 people from 5 years to 50 years old and it was a fun and educational tour for all of us. 
  • Fort Smith is probably one of the less known historical sites in the U.S. Fort Smith was founded as a military outpost in the early 1800's. Hanging Judge Isaac C. Parker was a federal judge there for 21 years as part of the Western District of Arkansas. Judge Parker is famously mentioned in the book and subsequent movies True Grit starring John Wayne. A legendary U.S Marshal named Bass Reeves also who also worked for Judge Parker here. Bass Reeves was on the first African-American lawmen west of the Mississippi. Although he had no law enforcement experience, he spoke several Indian languages and knew the territory well. The grounds are well maintained and there are some nice displays at the museum. Because it is not well known, parking and access is easy.
  • Very informative site. Engaging and educational displays. You could easily spend half a day to a day taking it all in. Great collection of historic images and artifacts.The fort pulls all of this together to illustrate the complex and multilateral narrative unfolding in this region during the 19th century. They have a Jr Ranger program for the kids. Be sure to listen to Tom Ames Prayer on the way to the fort (Steve Earl). It'll set the stage for what you're about to take in.
  • Beautiful location on the banks at the confluence of the Arkansas and Poteau rivers. A site that is truly rich with history.
  • I really enjoy getting to visit this piece of history. It's always kept clean whenever I visit too.
  • So interesting and well presented. Walk the grounds and enjoy the views of the river and the history of the place.