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Arkansas River Valley

Arkansas River Valley

The Arkansas River Valley is a forty mile wide stretch between the Ozarks and the Ouachitas.  It is characterized by uplifted plateaus, folded ridges and unique mountains with steep sides and flat tops (mesas).  Most of the river valley is rolling upland with wide bottomlands and deep, fertile soil along the Arkansas River, which is the largest river in the state.  There are bands of pine and hardwood, areas with pure hardwood or expanses of prairie grasses, and extensive bottomland forests and swamps.  This is an important migration corridor for birds and other animals. 

Carved by the Arkansas River, the River Valley can be viewed from state parks located on three prominent peaks - Mt. Nebo, Petit Jean Mountain and Mt. Magazine.  Mt. Nebo, with an elevation of 1,350 feet, is located near Dardanelle.  Petit Jean lies in a unique area between the Ozark and Ouachita Mountain ranges in west-central Arkansas.  The mountain received its name from the legend of Petit Jean, the story of a French girl who disguised herself as a boy and secretly accompanied her sweetheart, a sailor, to America.  Mt. Magazine, the state's highest peak, stands 2,753 feet above sea level.  It is located 17 miles south of Paris, Arkansas.



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