Recognized nationally as one of America's most intact Civil War battlefields, Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park protects the battle site and interprets the Battle of Prairie Grove, where on December 7, 1862, the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi clashed with the Union Army of the Frontier in a day of fierce fighting resulting in about 2,700 casualties. This marked the last major Civil War engagement in northwest Arkansas.
Here you can walk over hallowed ground where history happened. Walk along the ridge and in the valley where the heaviest fighting took place. Follow the one-mile Battlefield Trail or travel the park's five-mile Driving Tour. Tour the historic structures in the Ozark village.
Begin your park visit at Hindman Hall, the park's battlefield museum and visitor center. Interactive exhibits interpreting and detailing the Battle of Prairie Grove bring that history alive. They share stories about the battle, how the landscape affected and shaped the strategic decisions made by both armies, and the Civil War's devastating local effect.
The park hosts Arkansas's largest battle reenactment biennially in even-numbered years during the first weekend of December. Activities include guided tours through Union, Confederate and civilian camps; military drills conducted by reenactors; cooking, spinning and lace-making demonstrations; and living history programs. Beginning at 1:00 p.m. each day, battle demonstrations feature charges and counterattacks by Union and Confederate infantry and cavalry on the actual battlefield near the historic Borden House.
More information on the Civil War in Arkansas can be found on the Arkansas History Commission website
Visit the park's online calendar of events for specially-scheduled programs. The park's daily offering includes:
Enjoy this self-guided, 15-point virtual cache tour of the park grounds. Total walking distance is just over one mile. This tour may take 45 minutes to two hours to complete, depending on your experience level with geocaching. The first point coordinates are N 35° 58.988, W 094° 18.631. By policy, geocaches may only be placed by park employees at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park.
Driving Tour (self-guided):
Explore the Prairie Grove grounds from your vehicle during a five-mile driving tour. You may purchase an audio tour on compact disc. The 55-minute CD leads you through 14 stops along the tour. It contains a narrator providing a description of events, and directions to each stop which are also marked by signs. Other voices reading material from historical papers such as letters represent soldiers or settlers who lived through the battle. Contact the park visitor center for details.
Battlefield Guided Walking Tour:
Take a walk along the Prairie Grove ridge from the Latta Barn to the Borden House, where the heaviest local fighting occurred during the Civil War. A guide will offer details of the conflict, point out where significant events happened, and answer questions along the way. Daily guided tours are offered beginning at Hindman Hall Museum, and each lasts about an hour. You may also opt to take a self-guided walking or driving tour.
Historic House Guided Tour: Every day that the park is open, you can enjoy a guided tour along the historic Morrow and Latta houses. Daily guided tours are offered beginning at Hindman Hall Museum, and each lasts about an hour. The Morrow House was a Confederate headquarters prior to the Civil War battles of Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove. The Latta House belonged to John and Jane Latta, who arrived in Arkansas Territory in 1834 and raised 12 children.
Virtual Tour and History of the Battlefield:
Visitors can explore the battle before their visit through a presentation website by the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies at the University of Arkansas by either watching the battle video
or by exploring a series of interactive maps
. The information presented includes audio segments, 3D rendered images of the historic structures, tactical troop movements, and historic accounts. This innovative website presentation coincides with exhibit renovation at the park museum. Content from the website has been integrated into the park's new interactive exhibits.
For more information about Arkansas State Parks historic, heritage and cultural parks, and museums, go to: www.HistoryStateParks.com
The park is on U.S. 62 in Prairie Grove.
- Picnic Area and Restrooms open daily at 8:00 a.m. and close one-hour after sunset.
- Visitor Center/Hindman Hall museum, historic buildings, and tours are closed News Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Eve through Christmas Day.
Visitor Information Center and Exhibit Gallery: Free
Guided Tour of Historic Buildings:
Adult: $5 each
Child (6-12): $3 each
Adult Group Rates (15 or more with advance notice): $.50 off above fees
Bona Fide School Groups (with advance notice): $3/person