Entries - Entry Category: Recreation - Starting with H

Hampson Archeological Museum State Park

Hampson Archeological Museum State Park houses and exhibits the archaeological collection from a Mississippian era ceremonial complex and village known as the Nodena Site, located in Wilson (Mississippi County) and originally uncovered by Dr. James K. Hampson. This remarkable collection is accompanied by graphics and written material describing the lifestyles of the artistic people who lived here from AD 1400 to 1650. As a boy, Hampson (1877–1956) was fascinated by arrowheads. His interest in archaeology was rekindled in the early 1920s, when he returned to the family plantation, Nodena, to set up a successful medical practice. In 1927, he began a painstaking study of the physical remains of the people who inhabited the Nodena Site. Hampson, his wife, and his …

Happy Hollow

aka: McLeod's Amusement Park
McLeod’s Amusement Park, more commonly known as Happy Hollow, served as one of Hot Springs’s most popular tourist attractions from the late 1800s until the 1940s. It was located at the head of Fountain Street, just off Central Avenue, and north of Hot Springs Mountain. Photographer Norman McLeod owned and operated Happy Hollow from the time of its founding through 1908. McLeod, who was born in Georgia, became a wanderer after his college days, when he came to Hot Springs (Garland County) in 1888 and established his business. Happy Hollow began as a picture studio. The amusement park complex gradually developed from McLeod’s vision. He owned Happy Hollow until 1908, when he sold the property to Dave Anselberg. T. E. …

Herman Davis State Park

Herman Davis State Park at Manila (Mississippi County) in northeast Arkansas honors Private Herman Davis, a native of Manila who is considered one of the top heroes of World War I. The one-acre park surrounds a monument to Davis. Davis distinguished himself with unusual feats of bravery on more than one occasion during the time he served in World War I. He was listed fourth on U.S. General John J. Pershing’s list of the100 greatest heroes of World War I and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Croix de Guerre, and the Medaille Militaire by the American and French governments. Soon after Davis died in a Memphis hospital on January 5, 1923, two campaigns were launched to raise funds …

Hiking

Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in Arkansas. Hikers can choose from over 250 trails to meet a range of objectives—casual strolls, exploration of history, nature appreciation, scenic beauty, vigorous day hikes in rugged terrain, or backpacking. Trails range in length from less than a mile to over 200 miles and range in difficulty from the easiest, handicapped accessible trails to rugged and extremely difficult trails. The largely rural state has an estimated 1,800 miles of trail, taking advantage of two mountain ranges, 600,000 acres of lakes, 9,700 miles of streams and rivers, and varied terrain. Each of the six geographic divisions of Arkansas has hiking trails. The large extent of public lands in Arkansas is …

Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash

aka: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home
When the Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash opened in 2014, it became the fourth heritage site established by Arkansas State University (ASU) to preserve the history and culture of eastern Arkansas. The site consists of two main structures in Dyess (Mississippi County): the Dyess Administration Building, located at 110 Center Drive, and the Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash, located at 4791 W. County Road 924. The museum allows visitors to explore the construction of one of America’s first and largest New Deal agricultural resettlement colonies, see what it was like to live in the colony, and learn how colony life influenced and helped shape legendary musician Johnny Cash as well as music promoter Gene Williams. The white, …

Historic Washington State Park

Historic Washington State Park, originally called Old Washington Historic State Park, is one of fifty-two state parks operated by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. This park primarily exists to preserve and interpret the history of the town of Washington (Hempstead County), emphasizing its political, cultural, and architectural history in the nineteenth century. Washington was a major stopping point on the Southwest Trail that connected St. Louis, Missouri, to Fulton (Hempstead County) on the Red River. Many pioneers and settlers traveled this route on their way to Texas and the Southwest. Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, and Jim Bowie each traveled separately through Washington before they fought for Texas’s independence. While in Washington, Bowie commissioned local blacksmith James Black to …

Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area in northwest Arkansas offers outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, boating, and fishing, as well as sites of historical interest. In addition, it is the only Arkansas state park where hunting is allowed. The property was once the home of the first lumber magnate of northwest Arkansas and contained the largest sawmill in the state. The three state agencies that technically manage the property are Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, and Arkansas Game and Fish. The addition of “Conservation Area” to the name of the park was added to represent the work of Arkansas Natural Heritage and Arkansas Game and Fish. Starting in the 1840s and continuing throughout his life, Peter Van Winkle, who …

Hope Watermelon Festival

Hope (Hempstead County) annually celebrates its claim as the home of the world’s largest watermelons with a yearly watermelon festival. The event first originated in 1926 and has been ongoing, though not continuous, since 1977. There is no admission fee for the four-day event scheduled for the second week in August at Hope Fair Park. It is sponsored by the Hope–Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce. Activities include watermelon-eating and seed-spitting contests, fiddling, arm wrestling contests, as many as 200 vendors displaying their wares, and much more. The competition for growing big melons was a creation of John S. Gibson, who, in 1916, began to offer modest prizes for the largest vegetables and watermelons. Hugh and Edgar Laseter, local farmers, developed …

Hot Springs Country Club

Hot Springs Country Club is home to Arkansas’s first golf course and is considered one of America’s oldest country clubs west of the Mississippi River. Plans for the course in Hot Springs (Garland County) were announced in November 1897, and construction began the following January. Local hotel interests came up with the idea to provide entertainment and recreational activities for their ever increasing numbers of guests. Play formally commenced on March 19, 1898. World Hall of Fame golfer Willie Park Jr. is credited with the original layout of the 2,465-yard, nine-hole course. An existing two-story frame dwelling on the northwestern corner of the property was renovated to become a clubhouse. Officers of the club included many of the city’s prominent …

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (HSDFF)

The internationally recognized ten-day Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (HSDFF) takes place each October in Hot Springs (Garland County). It also maintains a year-round schedule of film-related activities. Since its inception in 1992, sponsored by the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute, the HSDFF has become renowned as a prestigious venue for showing documentary films and attracting celebrities, filmmakers, and audiences from around the world. It bills itself as the oldest nonfiction film festival in North America. The festival has been awarded grant funding by organizations including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Deltic Timber, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. It also receives sponsorships from local businesses. The festival is a qualifying event …

Hot Springs Music Festival

The Hot Springs Music Festival is a non-profit organization whose dual mission is, first, to provide exceptionally talented young musicians with intensive mentoring to prepare them for the early stages of their professional careers, and, second, to have them share the music they make with people in central Arkansas. To fulfill its mission, the festival organization produces a two-week annual event by the same name every June in the historic downtown district of Hot Springs (Garland County). The festival was founded in 1995 by Richard Rosenberg, an orchestra conductor and music educator, and Laura Rosenberg, an arts administrator. Prior to founding the festival, Richard Rosenberg had been acting director of orchestras at the University of Michigan, associate conductor of the …

Hot Springs National Park

When the United States acquired the “hot springs of the Washita” as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the practice of medicine was still in its infancy, but the therapeutic benefits of hot mineral spring water had been well established worldwide for millennia. Over the next twenty-nine years, a few local settlers worked to turn the springs into a privately owned health resort, while others petitioned the federal government to make them accessible for everyone. The latter group prevailed. On April 20, 1832, the United States Congress set aside the area now known as Hot Springs National Park to preserve the springs for public benefit. As the “Government Spa” evolved, it continued to operate for the benefit of the …