At Fort Smith National Historic Site you can walk where Mexican War & Civil War soldiers drilled, pause along the Trail of Tears, and stand where justice was served to some of the most vile outlaws of The Wild West. The park includes:
Belle Point (Site of First Fort Smith): Established in 1817 at an area overlooking the confluence of the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers that had been named Belle Point, French for "beautiful place," by 18th-century French fur trappers. Visitors will enjoy a scenic view of the two rivers and are able to walk the foundation remains of the first Fort Smith (1817-1824).
Trail of Tears Overlook: Walk along the mighty Arkansas River and enjoy exhibit panels that tell the story of the five civilized tribes that were forcibly removed to Indian Territory. The 3/4 mile paved walking trail begins from the parking lot and follows along the Arkansas River to Belle Point.
Commissary, Fort Smith Gallows & Second Fort Smith Grounds: The oldest building still standing in Fort Smith is the Commissary. During the federal court period, Judge Parker's chambers were located upstairs. Today, you can visit it as it looked in the 1850s when it supplied military troops with food items. On the grounds of the park, you can also see a replica of the Fort Smith Gallows where a surprisingly large number of Wild West outlaws met their fate at the end of a rope.
Visitor Center - Historic Barracks/Courthouse/Jail Buildings: The Visitor Center is located in the historic barracks/courthouse/jail building. The barracks was built by the army in 1851 and converted into a courthouse and jail in 1872 by the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas. In 1888 a new jail building was built adjacent to the barracks/courthouse. Visitors touring these buildings can see Judge Parker's restored courtroom, the "Hell on the Border" jail, a partial reconstruction of the jail cells, as well as exhibits and videos on military history, Native Americans, the Trail of Tears, the operation of the federal court and its impact on Indian Territory, and U.S. Deputy Marshals and outlaws.
Free parking is available at the location.