River Market Dist.
Arguably, one of the best public parks in the country, Little Rock’s Riverfront Park offers an abundance of outdoor activity. Riverfront Park stretches eleven blocks on the south bank of the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock. The Park provides 33 acres of urban parkland for outdoor events, leisure activities and a glimpse of the state's history. Notable attractions include:
Clinton Presidential Park Bridge
The long-awaited Clinton Presidential Park Bridge is the epitome of urban renewal. The former Rock Island Railroad Bridge, built in 1899, has been renovated into a ramped pedestrian pathway to compliment President Clinton’s vision for his Presidential Center – a veritable “Bridge to the Future.” The project closes the loop to the 14.2-mile Arkansas River Trail, which runs along both the north and south banks of the Arkansas River and makes Little Rock the only city in the country with four pedestrian bridges that stretch over a navigable body of water. The loop is a must-see for visiting cyclists, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Little Rock Civil War Marker
The location where the main body of Steele’s army entered Little Rock on September 11, 1863 with the 3rd Minnesota Regiment in the vanguard, crossing the river on a pontoon bridge at the approximate location of the present day Main Street Bridge.
Riverfront Park History Pavilion
The current city skyline makes it difficult to imagine the area as it appeared to early explorers. Today we can only envision it through their drawings and maps, their descriptions of geographic characteristics and the natural landmarks they noted. The History Pavilion takes you on a trip back in time. It is also home to an Indian Head statue which was carved by Peter Toth in 1975. This statue was one of approximately sixty Native American likenesses that he carved in all 50 states. The statue represents a tribute to Native Americans.
As an integral part of the Six Bridge skyline and riverfront development in both Little Rock and North Little Rock, the Junction Railroad Bridge for pedestrian and bicycle use, links both sides of the Arkansas River Trail. Access to the bridge is via a walkway (handicap accessible) directly behind the River Market pavilion on the Little Rock side and from Washington Street near the arena on the North Little Rock side.
La Petit Roche Plaza
Benard de la Harpe, who is believed to have traveled about 50 miles above the present sites of Little Rock and North Little Rock, described the area when writing about his journey. He noted a landmark on the north bank of the Arkansas River, which he referred to as the "French Rock" (now known as "big rock"). The first outcropping of rock along the riverbanks above its mouth on the south bank came known as the La Petit Roche - "Little Rock." The plaza provides views of the actual “Little Rock” as well as historical panels that detail the history and photography of the La Petit Roche.
Medical Mile, a 1,300 foot section of the Arkansas River Trail showcases a three dimensional mural wall designed to inspire visitors to make wellness-oriented lifestyle changes.
Peabody Splash Park
Located west of the Junction Bridge in Riverfront Park, Peabody Splash Park is a unique play environment, designed with help from children; it encourages imagination, exploration and discovery. Some of its many wondrous features include several outdoor and underground tunnels, large native stones for climbing, a spray pad, large slide, and the Ozark Pavilion.
First Security Amphitheater
The First Security Amphitheater is Arkansas's premiere outdoor concert venue. It plays host to multiple concerts & events each year, from the annual Riverfest on Memorial Weekend, to the 4th of July special, national tours, and local celebrations. This outdoor stage has a magnificent view located right along the Arkansas River.
Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden
This dynamic garden is located at the west end of Riverfront Park. It features natural terraces and walkways along the Arkansas River, showcases more than 80 dynamic sculpture pieces intersected by ripples of walkways and eddies. The sculpture garden is a wonderful addition to the more than a dozen other large sculptures in the park and along President Clinton Avenue. Outside of the sculpture garden, you can find 24 additional works throughout the park.
William E. “Bill” Clark Presidential Park Wetlands
Made up of 13 acres along the Arkansas River adjacent to the Clinton Library, the preservation of this important ecosystem provides public access to conservation, tourism, educational, environmental and wildlife opportunities. It consists of pedestrian trails, an elevated walkway and two bridges offering awe-inspiring views of the Arkansas River.
Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center
An indoor and outdoor public center showcasing the diversity of native fish and wildlife associated with the Arkansas wetlands environment.