Camping in Crawford County near Van Buren along the Arkansas River

Admin | October 10, 2023 @ 12:00 AM

Attractions in the Area

The main street historical district provides a fascinating glimpse into the extensive history of the riparian city of Van Buren. From meticulously restored Victorian-era structures to century-old opera houses, this city, with a median population, offers a unique window into the rugged American topography our forefathers sought to settle. Van Buren boasts majestic architecture of the era, setting it apart from cities of similar size. With Cedar's country club, the Field of Dreams Athletic Complex, and the Lee Creek Recreation Center just a stone's throw away, this city is perfect for everyone, even those without a substantial interest in surrounding history. Additionally, being voted 2023's best community for music education, Van Buren becomes an attractive destination not just for individuals but for families as well.

Local History

Van Buren's journey commenced as a trading post during the gold rush of 1849, and it has always held a significant place in history. It was not only the site of the first federal court but also witnessed a civil war battle, making this Arkansas city prominent since its inception. Early on, Van Buren heavily relied on railroad commerce and river traffic to establish its reputation as a mercantile hub. Among the emerging industries, farming became essential to the local economy, with crops such as potatoes, corn, cotton, and peanuts becoming staples of the area. This continued for nearly a century until the eventual transition to a tourism and manufacturing hub. Nowadays, Van Buren is home to corporations like Tyson Foods, the Allen Canning Company, and Summit Medical Group, all supporting the 21st most populated city in all of Arkansas.

Family-Friendly Campgrounds

Nestled in the heart of Arkansas, Van Buren is undeniably an excellent choice for families seeking a memorable and wholesome vacation experience. Camping in Crawford County is not just a vacation—it's an opportunity for families to create cherished moments, strengthen bonds, and foster a deep appreciation for the natural world. It's a place where generations can come together to laugh, explore, and create stories that will be passed down for years to come. If your family prefers a more laid-back approach to their vacation, consider a leisurely day of picnicking by the crystal-clear lakeshores or an afternoon of paddle boating, where the gentle rhythm of the water will lull you into a state of pure relaxation. For the adventurous souls in your family, Crawford County offers a range of outdoor pursuits. From guided nature hikes that introduce youngsters to the wonders of the local flora and fauna to exhilarating zip-lining experiences that are sure to get hearts racing, the region's recreational opportunities are boundless. As you set up camp beneath the starlit skies, you'll find that the camping experience in Crawford County extends far beyond pitching tents and building campfires. It's a chance for families to reconnect with each other and with the natural world around them.


From the moment you set foot in this charming city, you'll find yourself surrounded by an array of fascinating creatures, each contributing to the area's vibrant ecosystem. Among the enchanting residents of Van Buren, you'll discover the graceful Fox Squirrel, known for its distinctive rusty-red fur and playful antics. These squirrels have been calling Van Buren home for centuries, and their presence adds a touch of the wild to the city's landscapes. The Purple Martin, with its iridescent plumage and melodic songs, graces the skies of Van Buren throughout the year. Birdwatchers and ornithologists alike can revel in the joy of spotting these elegant birds as they soar gracefully above the Arkansas River and its surrounding areas. Another iconic inhabitant of the region is the Wild Turkey, a symbol of resilience and adaptability. These magnificent birds have roamed the hills and forests of Van Buren long before human settlement, making them a testament to the region's rich natural history. The Arkansas River's waters play host to some truly remarkable creatures, including the American Coot. This waterfowl species, with its striking black plumage and distinctive white bill, is not only a sight to behold but also represents a conservation success story. In the Van Buren area, dedicated efforts have been made to protect and preserve this threatened species, ensuring that future generations can witness their beauty. Venture further into the river's environs, and you may be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of the Greater Prairie Chicken, a ground-dwelling bird that once faced the threat of extinction. Thanks to conservation endeavors, these birds are making a remarkable comeback in Van Buren, showcasing the region's commitment to preserving its natural heritage.

Recreational Activities Outdoors

The river's diverse topography offers an exciting playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Its challenging terrain, characterized by rugged cliffs, tranquil meadows, and serene forested areas, beckons those who crave both physical exertion and breathtaking scenery. Whether you're an experienced outdoor aficionado or just beginning to explore the wonders of nature, the Arkansas River has something to offer everyone. Angling along the Arkansas River is an experience that transcends the ordinary. The river's pristine waters are teeming with a variety of fish species, making it a paradise for anglers of all levels of expertise. From the thrill of reeling in a trophy-sized bass to the tranquil solitude of fly-fishing for trout, the Arkansas River promises unforgettable moments for those with a passion for casting lines. For those seeking a more immersive experience on the water, kayaking down the Arkansas River is an exhilarating adventure. The gentle current of the river provides an ideal setting for paddlers to explore its winding course while soaking in the scenic beauty that surrounds them. Whether you're a novice looking for a leisurely float or a seasoned kayaker seeking the rush of white-water rapids, the Arkansas River accommodates all skill levels.