Just north of Rogers, Arkansas is The Pea Ridge National Military Park. Civil War buffs will love to visit this 4,300-acre park which has been called one of the most intact Civil War battlefields in the United States according to the National Parks Service. The park was created back in 1956 and features a visitor’s center, a bookstore, and a museum. The park, which gets its name from the wild peas that grow in the area, is where the American Civil War Battle of Pea Ridge was fought on March 7th and 8th in 1862.
The Pea Ridge National Military Park is located off Hwy 62 and is open various hours throughout the year. From April 1st to October 31st, they are open from 6:00am to 9:00pm. November 1st through March 31st, their hours change to 6:00am to 6:00pm. Their visitor’s center is open from 8:30am to 4:30pm, 7 days a week. Outside, there is a 7-mile road tour with 28 exhibits to stop and read along the way. There are also 9 miles of horse trails and 7 miles of hiking trails. Entrance is $10.00 per vehicle and $5.00 for motorcycles. The pass is good for 7 days. An annual pass is $20.00. Don’t forget to stop by the bookstore on your way out for a souvenir. Items to be found include books, cd’s, postcards, and shirts. The bookstore is open during regular hours.
Not only is the military park a great opportunity for learning about the battle and reading about the history of the area, kids will love their Junior Ranger Program. Children ages 4-18 can pick up a junior ranger guide at the visitor’s center, follow the clues and earn a ranger badge. Be sure to mark your calendars for this September as a Battle of Pea Ridge reenactment is scheduled for the 24th through the 27th at Webb Farm. There will be 4 reenactments over the four days. It’s an event the whole family will enjoy.
The Elkhorn Tavern on the battlefield is a replica that was built back in 1865 after the original was burned down. The house served as a hospital during the Battle of Pea Ridge. Joseph and Lucinda Cox rebuilt the house on the original foundation. Francis Cox Scott, the daughter of Joseph and Lucinda, lived in the house until 1959. While in the area, be sure to take advantage of the other National Parks within driving distance from Pea Ridge including Buffalo National River, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield and Fort Smith National Historic Site.
When your travels bring you to Arkansas, your trip wouldn’t be complete without a stay at Arsenic and Old Lace in Eureka Springs. Arsenic and Old Lace is just a short 26-mile drive from the military park in Garfield, AR. You’ll find our beautiful Queen Anne Victorian style mansion tucked away just 2 blocks from the Historic District in downtown Eureka Springs. There are 5 spacious guest suites each unique in their views and décor. Relax each evening on the wrap-around porch or in the comfort of your room by the fireplace. For reservation information, please call 479-253-5454.
Photo courtesy of Matt Turner