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Arkansas River Valley. Natural Beauty. The Arkansas River. The headwaters are in the Rocky Mountains in Lake County Colorado The River is 1,469 miles long and stretches from the Rockies to it’s outlet in the Mississippi River

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Arkansas River Valley

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the arkansas river
The Arkansas River

The headwaters are in the Rocky Mountains in Lake County Colorado

The River is 1,469 miles long and stretches from the Rockies to it’s outlet in the Mississippi River

It is the 6th largest River in the U.S. and the 45th largest River in the World.

There are a number of dams on the river making it navigable by large river craft such as barges.

The upper section is a popular spot for kayaking and white water rafting

It was first explored by the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto in the 1540s.

petit jean state park
Petit Jean State Park

The area around Mount Petit Jean was explored in the 1700s by the French

It was Arkansas’ first State Park

Home to Cedar Creek Canyon, Bear Cave, and the Seven Hollows

Camp Mitchell is also located on the top of the mountain which is an Episcopalian Youth Camp


The Legend of Petit Jean

In the 1700s the King of France granted permissions for a young Frenchman named Chavet to explore the area around Petit Jean. Chavet, however, was engaged to a maiden named Adrienne Dumont and they were to be married before he left for the new world. Fearing for her safety in the New World Chavet refused to marry until after he returned. Heartbroken but determined, Dumont disguised herself as a boy, calling herself Jean. She then applied to the captain of Chavet’s ship to be the cabin boy for the journey. After her request was granted she boarded the ship with Chavet and his men and made the long voyage across the Atlantic.

Legend says that her disguise was so good that even Chavet did not recognize her. She was well liked on the ship and the men gave her the nickname Petit Jean “Little John”. When Chavet sailed up the Arkansas River to the Petit Jean area, they came in contact with local Indians who invited them up to the mountain. They spent all summer on the mountain exploring the area. Before they were to return to France, however, Jean became gravely ill. During her sickness her true identity was discovered. Her dying request was that she be buried on top of the mountain they spent the summer on. Her grave still stand today.


Riverfest is a Large music and art festival held in Little Rock each May

In 2008 the festival attracted over 250,000 people

Toad Suck Daze is another large festival in the River Valley

It’s a 3 day festival in Downtown Conway

It includes, food, games, music and a carnival

The event is held each year to help raise money for charity


The Arkansas Art Center is located in Little Rock

The AAC includes a gallery, a children’s theater, a museum, and a restaurant

They also offer demonstrations and art classes


The River Valley boasts many institutions of higher education

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

University of Arkansas-Little Rock

University of Central Arkansas

Arkansas Tech University

Hendrix University

University of the Ozarks

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

  • Arkansas was admitted to the Union in 1836
  • Little Rock is the State Capital
  • It is the location of the Governor as well as the legislature
  • The Legislature is a bicameral body made up of 35 State senators and 100 State representatives
abf freight
ABF Freight

ABF Freight Systems is headquartered in Fort Smith AR.

It was founded 1923 and has grown into one of North America’s largest commodity carriers.

In just 30 years, from 1977 to 2007 ABF’s revenues have grown from approx. $103 million a year to over $1.7 billion dollars!

alltel corp
Alltel Corp.

The Alltel Corp. is headquartered in Little Rock, AR

In 2008 Verizon Wireless purchased Alltel for $28.1 billion.

Until Alltel’s recent acquisition by Verizon it was the 5th largest telecommunication company in the nation.

Alltel has over 14 million customers nationwide

Alltel formed from a merger between Allied Telephone Co. and Mid-Continent Telephone Co.

Allied Telephone Co. was founded here in Arkansas in 1943.

arvest bank
Arvest Bank

Arvest Bank is a bank brokerage firm with branches in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

It was founded here is Arkansas

It has assets of over $9.7 billion and employs over 4,500 people

It operates over 200 branches and 300 atms

The Chairman of the Board of Arvest is Jim Walton, son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton

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