Page 1


The Perfect Way to Experience the Ouachitas...

is to stay right in the middle of your vacation destination … and it’s convenient too! Waking up with a panoramic view of the Ouachita Mountains or all of Mena’s downtown shops and restaurants within walking distance is the perfect way to start peeling the layers of stress away. Or maybe you prefer your own private cabin tucked into the woods… we’ve got those too! With a range of accommodations—from elegant hotels with exceptional service to simple cabins—you’ll find the perfect place to settle in, surrounded by beauty second to none and being served with the best in southern hospitality!

QUEEN WILHELMINA ST AT E PARK LODGE The Castle in the Sky words: LeAnn Dilbeck

The crown jewel of the local tourism industry, Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge on the awe-inspiring 2,681-foot Rich Mountain, Arkansas’ second highest peak, reopened her doors on July 1, 2015, following a $9.6 million face lift and renovation. The lodge stays booked months out as people across the country are streaming back for the royal treatment at the “castle in the sky.” Since the extensive renovations, the lodge is breaking its own records and is projected to finish its first year of operation with an occupancy rate of almost 76 percent – that’s a nearly 20 percent increase from before the renovations were made in 2011. Now, visitors get to enjoy larger rooms with modern amenities and even bigger windows to admire the view as did Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and his family experienced on a recent royal visit. “Few experiences can compare to seeing and staying at Arkansas’ beautiful state parks in the springtime. As a lifelong Arkansan, I can attest there’s no better place for a fun, inexpensive, memorable getaway than visiting places like Queen Wilhelmina State Park.” Although the revamping of the Queen took some time, visitors from far and wide have said that it was definitely worth the wait. Assistant Superintendent Sarah Jones told us, “It’s been amazing. We have had lots and lots of visitors and everyone has been happy to see us back open again. We’ve had great feedback on the lodge.” The lodge features all new larger windows that frame the views from Rich Mountain of the surrounding Ouachita Mountains. The panoramic scenery from the mountain is an important part of the Queen Wilhelmina State Park experience. The exterior of the lodge features shingles and stonework. The lodge was expanded from 25,881 square feet to 37,029 square feet to include the addition of a new hearth room with wood-burning fireplace, two additional guest rooms increasing the total to 40, and more space within all the rooms. Two guest rooms on each floor at the west end include gas fireplaces and spa tubs. Three are barrier-free to meet the needs of visitors with disabilities. They include Queen, King, King with spa tub and gas fireplace, and King Suite choices.

continued on page 6

Community Oriented Mena Branch

Locally owned • experienced and knowledgeable employees • innovative financial products • reinvest in our community

Come visit our area... You’ll want to stay! 479-394-2211

Lum & Abner

Jot’em Down Store & Museum

Hwy 88, Pine Ridge, Arkansas The general stores in Pine Ridge were the basis for the Lum & Abner radio programs and movies from 1931 to 1955. They are now on the national register of historic places. Open mid-March to mid-November 870-326-4442


524 Sherwood Ave., Mena, AR 71953 Original Main Street Scene Courtesy of Photographer Michael Cate



continued from page 4

Queen Wilhelmina: The History of It All Today’s lodge is the third hostelry to grace this same setting on 2,681-foot image: Rich Mountain. The first inn, opened in 1898 by the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad (KCPG), was designed as a resort retreat for passengers on the line. The company spared no expense in constructing the luxurious hostelry of Victorian splendor. Since the KCPG was largely financed by Dutch interests, the resort was named in honor of the Netherlands’ young Queen Wilhelmina. Known as the “Castle in the Sky,” the inn closed in only three years. The second Queen Wilhelmina Inn was built by Arkansas State Parks and operated by the state of Arkansas from 1963 until a fire destroyed it in the fall of 1973. Today’s Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge opened in 1975 to carry forward this lodging tradition on Rich Mountain. The completed $9.6 million renovation of this facility has been what greets visitors since the lodge opened on July 1, 2015. To make reservations, visit Queen or call 1-800-264-2477.



The new larger rooms accommodate a multitude of guests and have proven to be a popular destination for large groups, such as family reunions, business retreats, etc. and are able to take advantage of the upstairs meeting facility increased in size and includes a balcony overlooking the gorgeous south view from the mountain. Public restrooms are located nearby. An elevator was added to the lodge, as well as more stairwells. A wrap-around porch on the building’s south side provides visitors with comfortable outdoor space to enjoy a cool breeze in a southern style rocking chair. A new porch was added at the west end and a new fire protection system covers the entire building. In addition to the lodge, the 460-acre park includes a campground with 41 campsites and a bathhouse; picnic areas; trails; and a seasonal miniature train. The campground has been remodeled as well with new electrical wiring and upgraded campsites with 30 and 50 amp hook ups. “We also got a new overlook. It’s brick and concrete, and ADA accessible. We’ve even had weddings on it.” New benches and platforms have been built around the park as well. Jones encourages everyone to enjoy one of the park’s interpretive programs that highlight Rich Mountain’s fauna and unique flora. Their programs range from crafts for kids, to hikes with Park Interpreter Melissa Phillips, and Wonder House tours, creating something for everyone, and the staff has many more ideas they would like to try as well. “Things were shut down for three years and it is great to be back in the swing of things and we have a lot of new programs to offer. We want to bring music back to the mountain. In the historic days, there was a lot of music here. We’d also like to bring the arts back. Being able to showcase local artists will encourage people to travel down to the shops.” Christmas on the Mountain was a huge hit with visitors, and Jones said they will continue that program and hope to bring something new to it each year. “There are families that have been coming here for thirty-something years for Christmas and they were so excited to come back,” smiled Jones. Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce President Tammy Young said, “The Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce celebrates the reopening of the lodge at Queen Wilhelmina State Park and the positive impact it has on the revival of tourism to this county and region. The benefits of this resurgence have been, and continue to be, vital to our sustaining and growing local and regional economy. We are privileged to have the “crown jewel’ of the Ouachitas in our own backyard.”

Mena’s Oldest Real Estate Company Each Office Independently Owned and Operated

1118 HIGHWAY 71S MENA, AR 71953 1-800-394-6521 479-394-6500


Let us show you the beauty of the Ouachitas!


Mountain/River Land


Vicki Agee Sales Associate 479-234-3626

Lana Coogan Sales Associate 479-234-3685

Janet Corcoran Associate Broker 479-394-8541

Eudell Head Sales Associate 479-216-3544

Rachel Lance Sales Associate 479-234-3594

Gary McMellon Sales Associate 479-637-6814

Norma Trammell Executive Broker 479-216-4313

Amanda Warrington Sales Associate 479-234-8114

Donna Yuronka Sales Associate 479-234-3010

Tiffany Lane CRB Principal Broker/Owner

Work with the most experienced team of professionals in the area!

Antiques, Collectibles, Fenton Glass, & much more! 479-394-1149 479-243-6817

519 Sherwood Ave.

Mena, AR, 71953

• Banquet/Event Catering Sun -Thurs. & Carry-out Orders 10 am - 9 pm • Gift Certificates • Meeting Room w/ Projector Fri. - Sat. • Wi-Fi Internet 10 am - 10 pm

479-394-6521 • Fax: 479-394-6461 Owned & Operated by the Sanchez Family

Like us on Facebook Papa’s Mexican Cafe

217 Polk Road 184

5 miles down Holly Springs Road 1897

Come see our Century Farm est. 1897

Com passi onate C are for the Entire Family

just 5 scenic miles down Holly Springs Road towards Irons Fork Lake.

1103 College Dr. | Mena, AR 71953


Fresh Locally Grown Produce

The On-Farm Market • Jams • Jellies • Arkansas Honey • Sorghum & Syrups • Handmade Jewelry • Quilts & Candles • Anazasi & Pinto Beans from Dove Creek, Colorado • Heirloom Seeds • Gardening Supplies • Snacks • Drinks • Gifts & Essential Oils

u-pick Berry farm coming 2017

Have some summer fun at our Kid’s Farm featuring

Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. • Saturday & Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

No appointment necessary!

• Adeline's Mud Pie Kitchen • The Giant TeePee • The Kid’s Pickin’ Garden • LOTS MORE! Spend Birthday parties, play dates, & family time in our picnic area

311 N. Morrow • 479-394-6100 • 8



For hours, harvest dates, special events and admission information call or check out our updates on Facebook.

Holly Springs Homestead, LLC

Janssen Park Place B&B

Sassafras Inn

words: Melanie Buck

Find yourself in a turn-of-the-century Victorian style home when you stay at Janssen Park Place Bed & Breakfast, right in the heart of Mena. The handsome two story home was built for the slower pace of the early 20th century as evidenced by the wraparound front porch graced by eight Ionic columns. The Georgian Revival home was built in 1907 by a Kansas City Southern Railroad conductor. The porch faces Mena’s splendid and historical Janssen Park, which hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year. Your gourmet breakfast awaits as owners John and Jolynn Vacca combine their flare for taste in the kitchen, bringing you a meal you won’t soon forget. The welcoming comfort and style of Janssen Park Place Bed & Breakfast will have you calling it your ‘home away from home’ in just one stay. Offering two rooms and two cottages, it offers a convenient locale with the downtown shops and restaurants within walking distance. Join guests from around the world and enjoy friendly service, great beds, and breakfast with modern conveniences and old world charm, all within walking distance of the area’s unique shops and cafes. Janssen Park Place B&B is located at 511 9th Street in Mena. Make your reservations today by calling 479-234-0645 or 479-234-0646. For photos and more, check out their website:

words: Melanie Buck

Sassafras Inn, located at 1201 Reine Street, is one of Mena’s newest lodging accommodations. The casually comfortable historic inn has all the modern amenities you need, yet offers a taste of charm from 1900, when the colonial home was originally constructed. The magnificent veranda and Sassafras trees welcome you with a warm and inviting ambience. The bed and breakfast offers private rooms with private baths and full kitchen access. Man’s best friend is also welcome at Sassafras Inn. Don’t delay in booking one of their four guest rooms today. To learn more, visit their website at or their Facebook page, Sassafras Inn. To book your stay, contact Sassafras Inn by calling 479-234-1121 or email at

The Carriage House Inn

words: Melanie Buck

Enjoy one of Mena’s oldest and most historical settings when you stay at The Carriage House Inn, built in 1898 by Judge Benjamin Shaver, the son of the famous Confederate hero, Fighting Colonel Shaver. It was later purchased by Dr. Redman and became the first hospital in Mena. Scott and Ashley Vacca purchased the property, located on the curve of Port Arthur and 12th Streets in Mena, in 2005 as a family home and later opened up The Carriage House as their first cottage. Now expanded to include two cottages and two queen rooms, The Carriage House Inn is the perfect place to stay and it’s right in the heart of Mena. You’ll enjoy the local shops and cafes that are within walking distance and historic Janssen Park is just blocks away. The Carriage House Inn offers nightly rates as well as monthly corporate housing rates and their accommodations offer guests all of the conveniences and privacy of home in a private, idyllic, relaxing and luxurious setting. If you would like to learn more about The Carriage House Inn or to book a room, visit their website, or call 479-243-0957.



Board Camp Hideaway

Outback Cabins

words: Melanie Buck Bring the whole family to enjoy the scenic outdoors that surround Board Camp Hideaway. The beautiful private log cabin located in the heart of the Ouachita Mountains offers plenty of space for the entire crew with a queen bed and four twin beds. The large living area is the perfect place to spend quality time. The site also offers modern amenities such as satellite TV, central heat and air, and Keurig coffee maker. The fully furnished kitchen has a new, full size refrigerator and all linens and towels are provided. Take joy in country living and traveling the miles of backroads that surround the property. You can also bring your ATVs to ride the trails nearby. There are also swimming areas nearby in Arkansas’ natural creeks. Your family is sure to enjoy this private and spacious cabin. Rates are $119 per night and if you stay four nights, you get your fifth night free. To reserve your next stay, call 479-234-1150.

words: Melanie Buck

Whether you wish to ride the ATV trails, go canoeing, hunting and fishing, or just simply wish to enjoy the views and fresh mountain air, you will find what you need at Outback Cabins. Located just 11 miles from Mena, Outback Cabins are close to the popular Wolfpen Gap trail system for ATVs. Enjoy mountain top views of the Ouachita Mountains in Dogwood Ridge. The cabin is quite secluded and requires 4-wheel drive to reach the top. Sleeping up to 6, it includes one bedroom downstairs and a loft upstairs. Complete with kitchen appliances, you can also kick back on the deck while you grill dinner and enjoy the heart of the Ouachita Forest. Listen to the sounds of Lazy Branch Creek at the Lazy Branch Cabin. The two-story log home sleeps up to 6 with two bedrooms upstairs. The Lonesome Pine Cabin sleeps 4 and provides a cozy setting surrounded by pines. The cabins are all furnished with an apartment size gas range, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, tub, and shower. Pots and pans, dishes, glasses, cups, silverware, and all paper goods are furnished. Each cabin has a Dish Network Satellite System and linens and towels are also provided. To make reservations, call (479) 394 -3689 and ask for Pam. You can also visit their website at:

Willowbrook Cottage & Cabins

words: Melanie Buck

Willowbrook Cottage & Cabins offer the romantic Victorian-style getaway or bring the kids for a unique experience in the Shady Mountains, just 2 ½ miles from Mena. They offer options of cabins and RV space with their four properties: Willowbrook Cottage Nest, Woodhaven Cabin, Sunnybrook Cabin, or Maple Glen. Willowbrook Nest was built around 1920 and features a private English-style vacation rental with its own separate space and gardens. The Nest is also home to hosts, Tom and Carolyn. Willowbrook Nest offers a charming queen bedroom upstairs, a sunroom with cathedral ceiling, Jacuzzi tub, romantic second story deck, a ‘secret garden,’ old stone BBQ that can be used as a fire pit, and so much more. Woodhaven Cabin offers a large Jacuzzi tub, fireplace, sun porch, deck with table and chairs, and a private wooded setting. Sunnybrook Cabin is also known as ‘Tiny House’ and features one queen bed and two double loft beds. A large private yard, picnic table, BBQ grill, and nearby stream are sure to provide the perfect setting for making memories. Maple Glen offers a lot for your RV or camper in a wooded setting. Water hookup is provided, with both 30 and 50 amp electric. A picnic table and BBQ grill are also included. Kids are most welcome at Willowbrook Cottage & Cabins where up to two kids, ages 12 & under, can stay free! To learn more, visit their website:



Supercenter 67 600 Hwy. 71 North Mena, AR

Casually Comfortable Historic Inn

4 Guest Rooms (2 are dog friendly)

Rates Starting at $79/night Daily Breakfast Bar Please call to inquire about hosting events and whole house reservations.

1201 Reine Street South • Mena, AR Inquiries & Reservations: 479-234-1121 •

Apartments for Rent at our locations in Mena, Hatfield, Cove and Wickes. Our apartments are "Smoke Free" and you will find the following included in the rent you pay. Cooking and Heating are both Natural Gas and this is paid by the housing authority. Your water, sewer and garbage pick-up is also paid by the housing authority. You will be responsible for your own electric, phone and TV service. Rent amount based on income. Lawn mowing service is provided to elderly/disabled residents and the service is available for a fee to all other resident's.

Apartments are equipped with a range, refrigerator and central heat and air conditioning.

Interested??? Contact our office at 479-394-1569 or our website: rest



when you savor the wide variety of cuisine one small southern town can dish out! Traditional southern cooking may be what we’re known for but we’re also home to some of the finest BBQ, burgers, and steaks that you can sink your teeth into. Not to mention unique salads and soups served at quaint bistros that offer outdoor dining downtown or others that offer outdoor dining with live music. Whatever your craving, we can feed your hunger and wet your whistle!

image: LeAnn Dilbeck

American Artisans

words: Melanie Buck

When you have lunch at American Artisans it’s like eating in an upscale art gallery, or an uptown deco-diner – works of remarkable art surround you while you enjoy an exceptional cuisine at reasonable prices. Owners Rick and Donna Chrisman are doing something they’ve wanted to do for a long time, and it’s working. “Over the years we had discovered that food and art go together well and Donna loved to cook, so we decided to put all these elements together. We bought a building on Mena Street in 2011 with the intent of creating a place that would offer a pleasant environment providing quality food and unique, quality hand-made crafts,” said Rick. Their handcrafted arts come from all over the country and Polk County including pottery, glass works, wood works, jewelry, gourd art, paintings, and artistic pop-art tables. They offer free wi-fi and their menu offers gourmet soups, salads, and sandwiches without the gourmet prices. American Artisans prepares and cooks their meats and make their own dressings and spreads. From fire roasted tomato bisque to the Santa Fe Salad, eating at the American Artisans Restaurant is an experience as well as a pleasure. Their famous homemade potato chips and dip are a local favorite. The crafts that are offered at American Artisans represent work from quality artists; the kind of art not generally found in small towns. The building is a work of art in itself, blending a 100 year-old structure and the modern age, with remarkable artwork surrounding patrons as they enjoy excellent meals. American Artisans offers take out, and they host special events. It’s a great place for small gatherings celebrating special occasions. American Artisans is located in the heart of the Mena Arts District at 615 Mena Street, at the foot of the Talimena Drive. They are open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Check out their Facebook page, American Artisans, for special menu items of the week.

Branding Iron BBQ & Steakhouse words: Melanie Buck

Quench your thirst with the perfect glass of sweet tea while waiting on their mouth watering BBQ at Branding Iron BBQ and Steakhouse, located across the street from the historical Mena Depot Center at 623 Sherwood Avenue. Branding Iron has a diverse menu that ranges from fried green tomatoes and onion petals to steaks, catfish, and BBQ. Their bread bar is famous in these parts and their fried mushrooms are second to none. Offering up specials each day, Branding Iron’s diversity also includes crab legs, shrimp, and a ‘lighter fare’ menu for those watching what they eat. Branding Iron also offers adult beverages. Their steaks are cut fresh of upper choice, certified Black Angus from the Omaha Steak Company. Chicken dishes, salads, sandwiches, and ground sirloin burgers are popular menu items as well. You’ll love the casual feel of the restaurant that has a homey western family style. Their tasty dishes and large portions set them apart from other eateries. Branding Iron’s staff make it a great place to visit as they enjoy their local customers, as well as visiting with tourists and out-of-towners. “Very friendly service is our tradition.” Branding Iron provides catering services and has a private room available for up to 50 guests. Call 479-437-3240 for more information. Branding Iron BBQ and Steakhouse is open Sunday, 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Closed on Tuesday.


We Preach Christ and Him Crucified

811 Port Arthur Ave. Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Mena, AR 71953

First Baptist Church Mena feed


Off-Roading adventures await you words: Zoie Clift, Travel Writer, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism



Among the many prime ATV riding destinations in Arkansas is one of the most popular in the nation, the Wolf Pen Gap ATV Trails in Mena. Wolf Pen Gap was the first trail system built specifically for four wheelers in the Ouachita National Forest. The routes were created by the U.S. Forest Service in the 1980s from old logging roads. There are four trailheads to access the routes and currently around 35 miles of marked and looped trails are open there either year round or seasonally. An aim for the next few years is for the system to eventually have around 50 miles of trails. According to Pam Ferguson of the Ouachita image: Trip Advisor ATV Club, what makes riding there stand out is the diversity of the terrain. “The trails have a little bit of everything in terms of difficulty levels,” she said. “It’s got challenging terrain but also easy trails for families.” Ferguson said ATV (all-terrain vehicle) riding has really become a family activity with the invention of side-by-sides (also called UTVs), off-road vehicles (ORVs) equipped with four wheel drive that can sit up to 6 people. “Seventy-five percent of people that come here are families now,” she said. “So it has really turned into a family activity.” A highlight many people enjoy visiting while at Wolf Pen Gap is the two-footed oak tree (pictured above) at the east end of the trail system. “People love it,” Ferguson said. “No one knows for sure how it happened. The tree, actually both trees, are rooted and form an arch. You can get under it with your four-wheeler and people love to take pictures of it. At the center of the arch is another big trunk that goes up and makes a tree. It’s really unique looking.” Another showcase spot is on the west end of the trail system off of trail 300, a location called High Point, which offers a vista of the surrounding Ouachita Valley. From Wolf Pen Gap, Ferguson said you can ride to scenic destinations such as Little Missouri Falls, Bard Springs, and Cossatot Falls. She said people also enjoy riding to Eagle Mountain, which provides a vista of the surrounding Ouachita Mountains. These destinations are located outside the trail system but connects to them via forest service and county roads. Land use rules by the Forest Service were enacted in January of last year regulating use of the trails at Wolf Pen Gap. Riding there is limited to designated roads and trails. As part of the regulations, the Forest Service closes some of the trails during inclement weather and periods of heavy rainfall. Ferguson said the Ouachita ATV Club has created an OHV map for visitors that showcases hundreds of miles of surrounding county and forest service roads that are connected to the trail system. It was created to inform riders about nearby route options available to ride. The club sells these maps and all earnings are used towards trail maintenance. Ferguson, who owns Outback Cabins near the trails, said the ATV crowd generally enjoys staying at campgrounds during their riding trips. She said the popularity of Wolf Pen Gap really started to spike once there became places for riders to stay at near the trails. Currently there are a wide range of sites that fit this bill, options that range from cabins to RV sites and that provide direct access to the trail system. One of the first to see this opportunity was Mena native Jeff Cunningham, owner of Wolfpen ATV Campground. In 1997 he built the first cabins there that catered exclusively to ATV riders and they only rent to people that come with recreational vehicles.The property, which is located at 559 Polk County Road 61, is now the largest campground near the trail system. “There are people riding four wheelers in an out of the property, it is made for riders,” he said.

Antiques • Collectibles Vintage Jewelry Buy • Sell • Consign 479-385-5067 812 Mena St. • Mena, AR

Dixie Crystal Mining Co. & twin Creek Crystal Mine Located at Collier Springs Rd | 177 Mount Ida, AR

Can Ya'll Dig It?

Quartz Crystals EVERYWHERE!!

479-646-7369 2900 Wheeler Ave. Ft. Smith, AR 72901

918-647-8000 28377 US Hwy 59 Poteau, OK 74953

1/4 Mile North of Bypass

As a leading provider of Arkansas Quartz Crystals, we take pride in offering the best minerals from all over the world. We are dedicated to serving the needs of our customers each and every day.

2016 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

Beautiful Guest Mine

Dixie Crystal Mining Co’s

Rock Hound Boutique

specializes in a wide selection of Quartz Crystals at the most affordable prices. Located at 60 Twin Circle, Mount Ida, AR


Monday - Sunday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

(870) 867-4945 Visit our Facebook pages Twin Creek Crystal Mine Rockhound Boutique Dixie Crystal Mining Co.



Cunningham said he and Roger Morphew, who owns Sugar Creek Lodging at 140 Edgewater Lane, were initially the only two places near the trail for riders to stay at. Cunningham’s property is north on the trails, and Morphew’s is south. Sugar Creek Lodging was technically established before Wolfpen ATV Campground, but their focus had initially been on both equestrian and ATV riders. Since opening his property, Cunningham has seen a lot of growth in the number of private campgrounds opening and in riders using the trail. He said Wolf Pen Gap is a vital economic engine for the community and mentioned a 2010 study conducted by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock ( UALR) that estimated the impact at around $58 million dollars annually. According to Cunningham, the trail system stands out due to the campground options available near it. He said it is one of the few places in the nation where a rider is able to unload their vehicle, get to their campsite or cabin and ride the trails without trailering in. “If you are a motor vehicle user enthusiast that is a big deal,” he said. The convenience saves riders from having to load their vehicles up on a trailer, drive to the trails to ride, unload, ride, and then load back up afterwards to drive back to their campsite. “Most places you have to trailer out to ride,” Cunningham said. “Here, you can walk out of your cabin, get on your vehicle and ride straight to the trails.” For more details on ATV riding opportunities in Arkansas, visit

(479) 394-5000

816 S. Mena St.

Historic Downtown Mena

The Cole Team Farrell & Sharon Broker/Owner

252 Polk Road 624, Mena AR • 479.234.1150

Full-Time Sales Associates: Team Smallwood

John Kevin & Rebecca (479) 243-3407 Forsyth (479) 243-3226 (479) 243-4594 (479) 437-4321 Nancy Wright

(479) 243-7199

Enjoy a beautiful log cabin in the woods, with all the beautiful scenery.

A 10 minute ATV ride to Wolf Pen Gap Trails and 30 minute drive to Little Missouri Falls. This and much more awaits you.

Come get away from it all.

You will be glad you did.



Nan Gaddis

(479) 234-2777

Debbie Pate

(479) 234-1490

Michelle Hicks

(479) 216-6717

Welcome to Worship!

First United Methodist Church

Come a stranger, Leave a friend! Enjoy our accommodations swimming pool, conference room, workout area, pet friendly & More

Comfortable rooms at the best prices! Serving the area for over 20 years

804 Hwy 71 North, Mena • 479-394-6350

“Discover the Fun!” Your Outdoor Adventure Begins Here! Located in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains, the Caddo River is one of Arkansas’ best all-around floating rivers. CANOEING (Class I & II rapids) KAYAKING & TUBING FISHING CAMPING LODGING (clean, air-conditioned, basic rooms or fully furnished luxury cabins)

Welcome to

110 Polk Road 62, Mena, AR 71953

479-243-0771 Come DIG your own all-natural Arkansas quartz crystals in the actual, native mine... NO tailings! Kids under age 16 are FREE! Open DAILY, March 1 - October 31. PLEASE CALL TO MAKE RESERVATIONS! Visit our crystal shop too!



TOLL FREE: 1-888-300-8452

Caddo River Camping & Canoe Rental


Home of the Crystal Music Festival each July Visit: adventure


Carrying the area’s largest selection of furniture, appliances & home decor, the Washburn’s family has been serving the region for over 75 years. Proudly located in the heart of downtown Mena, come see why we’re the area’s first choice in home furnishings. 1020 Mena St. • Mena, AR 71953 479.394.4332 TOLL FREE 1.888.394.4332

HOURS: Mon. - Fri. 8:30 am - 5:30 pm • Sat. 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

SINCE 1939

Caddo river camping & Canoe rental

words: Melanie Buck

Caddo River Camping and Canoe Rental in Glenwood is just what you need to cool off under Arkansas’ summer sun and their lodging accommodations will make you feel right at home. They have both bunkhouses and cabins and also offer primitive camping sites and sites with water and electric hook-ups. The River’s Bend Cabin has its own dipping pool and River’s Edge has an outdoor hot tub, perfect for evening relaxation. Bunkhouses provide a soft mattress with air conditioning inside. During the day, hit the adventurous Caddo River with canoes and kayaks. The Caddo River has Class I and II rapids but also has several swimming holes and great places to fish along the way. The 7 ½ mile float trip will take you from Caddo Gap to Glenwood, where you will experience the beauty of the Ouachita Mountains in Southwest Arkansas. Caddo River Camping and Canoe Rental also rents tubes for floating their one-mile tube route. Tubing has become a popular activity along the river, especially for large families, church groups, scouts, and more. The staff at Caddo River Camping and Canoe Rental is well informed and handle large groups efficiently. Owners David and Gayla Claborn have stated, “For over 30 years, our floaters have enjoyed the most convenient location on the Caddo River for check-in, parking, and access to the river. Unlike other rentals, there is never any confusion as to exactly where your take out is, and you don’t have to worry about how long you’ll need to wait for someone to pick you up when your float is done because your vehicle will be waiting for you at the end of the day!” Reservations for lodging and activities are encouraged to guarantee availability but are not required. Pets are allowed on campgrounds or river trips only. Caddo River Camping and Canoe Rental is located at 26 Hwy. 8 East in Glenwood, Arkansas. For more information, contact them at 870-356-5336 or email at Also see their website:

Dixie Crystal Mining Company & TWIN CREEK CRYSTAL MINE

words: Melanie Buck

Dixie Crystal Mining Company and Twin Creek Crystal Mine is your quartz capital destination, located in Mount Ida, Arkansas. They take pride in providing quality Arkansas Quartz Crystals and are dedicated to serving their customers. Not only can you dig for crystals, you can also learn the natural healing powers they hold. Dixie Crystal Mining Company’s Rockhound Boutique specializes in a wide selection of Quartz Crystals and healing minerals from around the globe. Their extensive collection provides enhancements to your current collection or can help you build one. They take pride in offering the best minerals from all over the world including Meditation, Energy Medicine, and Chakra Stones. Dixie Crystal Mining Company is located at 60 Circle Drive in Story, Arkansas. Check out their Facebook page or call 870-490-0672 for more information. Twin Creek Crystal Mine is just what you need to get your hands dirty and enjoy the sunshine while digging for treasure. Pull right up to the mine, step out, and start hunting! The mine is open year round for your digging pleasure as you seek and find natural Arkansas Quartz Crystal. The mine is located at 177 Collier Springs Road in Mount Ida. Check out their Facebook page or call 870867-4945 for your next adventure.



in the Ouachitas

Ask anyone and they will tell you that the best place to see the best of Arkansas’ fall foliage is right here in the

O�ac��ta M��nt��n region and

Mena sits at the base of one of the most toured drives in Arkansas - and perhaps the country during the autumn season – the

Na����al S���ic B����.


Showcasing autumn’s finest red, yellow and or-

ange hues, our Ouachita Mountains and valleys host visitors looking for that colorful road adventure, taking in the splendor of the fall landscape.

D��’� ���� wh�� �� p��� ���� ����? Get current updates @

The Shop &

Foot of the Hill Gift Shop

410 Sherwood Ave., Suite 4 Mena, AR 71953 479-394-3777 Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10:00am - 5:30pm Saturday 10:00am - 2:00pm Closed Sunday & Monday

When Visiting Our Area...

200 Grandview Heights • 479-394-1169

Breakfast, lunch and dinner... Limetree Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets 7 days a week, plus a full service menu is available. You're guaranteed to not leave hungry but be warned, you're guaranteed to want to come back for more of the best home-style cookin' available!

804 Hwy. 71 North • 479-394-4702

6am-9pm • 7 days a week Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Buffet 7 days a week

Take out orders welcome. Catering Available.

Limetree Restaurant FAMILY RESTAURANT • FRIENDLY SERVICE adventure


Explore Mena’s Reviving & Thriving Downtown words: LeAnn Dilbeck

image: LeAnn Dilbeck

Unlike many rural downtowns that are crumbling and decaying, struggling to compete with the popularity of outlet malls and promenades, Mena’s downtown is reviving and thriving with extensive remodels and capital improvements. Once vacant buildings have come alive with new commerce. Mena Street serves as the gateway to the scenic Talimena National Byway that leads directly to the Queen’s front door and gives guests and locals a plethora of culture, shopping, and dining opportunities. Much of the revitalization can be attributed to the visions of the Arkansas Regional Coalition of the Ouachitas who actively began spearheading the campaign in 2011. A streetscape project that has been 13-years in the making is now complete and adds to the entire experience of shopping with new sidewalks boasting quaint light posts reminiscent of a time gone by and, of course, benches for a quick rest! Flanked by Sherwood Avenue and DeQueen Street the shopping and dining are not excluded to Mena Street alone but encompasses several blocks on either side of Hwy 71. A budding arts district continues to grow and has launched a new Ouachita Arts Celebration that is expected to become one of the area’s premiere events, attracting artisans and viewers from far and wide. Mena Street is steep in tradition too, with a number of businesses who have witnessed both the decline and the revitalization first hand. Guests and local alike will quickly tell you that no visit is complete without dining at the Skyline Café that first opened its doors in 1922, and has been featured in numerous state and national publications. In the center of it all is Coast to Coast Home & Hardware store that has been delivering personalized service 7 days a week since 1946. Or you can check out the south end of Mena Street for Washburn’s Home Furnishings that has been serving the local area for over 75 years. Also in the heart of downtown Mena is the historic Mena Depot Center, a restored KCS Depot, which has also recently received much needed roof repairs. The Depot serves as a local museum, housing local history, and includes a room of Lum & Abner memorabilia and the famous Ouachita Portrait collection by local artist Monta Black Philpot. Also housed in the KCS Depot is the Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce, which welcomes thousands to the area each year, providing maps and assisting guests in any way they can. Many stop first as tourists and later request relocation information as they discover that their once “getaway destination” can become the perfect “retirement haven.” During various times of the year, downtown Mena is the host to large-scale events ranging from the arts, street dances, festivals, and car shows. This year will mark the 40th annual Queen Wilhelmina Rod Run, founded by the late Mark Campbell of Street & Performance, and is responsible for bringing 200-300 high-end antique cars and street rods into downtown and to the Queen each August. Simply put, no visit to see our area is complete without a day or two exploring all that downtown Mena has to offer!


615 Mena Street • Mena, AR 71953

Located in the

Downtown Mena Arts District

615 Mena Street • Mena, AR Open Wednesday through Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm Lunch Served 11:00am - 3:00pm Serving Soups, Salads and Sandwiches

A helping hand when you need it... 1803 Cordie Drive, Mena

479-394-2600 • Nursing staff available 7 days a week • Assistance with medication and administration • Assistance with all activities of daily living (showers, dressing, etc.) • Activity room, shopping, transportation, games, etc.

• 3 meals served daily, plus snacks • Transportation provided to Walmart, monthy trips and medical appointments • Housekeeping and laundry services • Safe and secure • 24 Hour Staff available • Daily activities to enjoy

“Where Love and Caring Go Hand in Hand”

Openings Available


hen you or someone close to you needs assistance with the acitivities of daily living, the prospect of living at home can be overwhelming. All of us value privacy, and we cherish the independence of living in our own home. That is why comfort and freedom of choice are the most important attributes at Peachtree Assisted Living. pamper


Boom of Antique Stores Part of Downtown Revitalization in Mena

words & images: Zoie Clift, travel writer - Arkansas Department of Parks

A recent influx of new antique stores is helping spur a downtown revival in Mena. Downtown Mena lies in an ideal location, situated at the bottom of the famous Talimena Scenic Drive, the winding route that offers picturesque vistas of the surrounding Ouachita mountains. The road leads to Queen Wilhelmina State Park, home to a recently renovated lodge where one can take in panoramic views from Rich Mountain, Arkansas’s second highest mountain. According to Gar Eisele of the Arkansas Regional Coalition of the Ouachitas, Mena stands out from other communities of similar size due to the vibrancy and diversity of its downtown. “We’ve recognized that how your downtown appears reflects the health of your community,” he said. He added an aim is to create a downtown that is walkable and to entice visitors to stay an extra day and explore the area and what it has to offer.

J������ P��� P�ace Bed & Breakfast

Mena’s number one Bed & Breakfast


“Great B&B close to the Talimena Dr.” “Slept like Royalty” “Wow Clearly Outstanding” “Fabulous Breakfast” Call for Reservations 479-234-0645



We have a variety of cabins to choose from to suit your needs and budget! While visiting be sure to explore our beautiful trails or canoe the river. Nearby trails include Wolf Pen Gap. Also, hunt or fish from your Outback Cabin location and take a scenic drive in the Ouachita Mountains.

Call us at 479.394.3689 or visit our website

Eisele said downtown is home to an Arts District that includes outlets like the Ouachita Little Theater (a mainstay in town since the 1920s), the Mena Art Gallery, a store called Chameleon Arts that allows people to paint their own pottery, and the restaurant and gallery American Artisans, whose owner Rick Chrisman is in charge of the Ouachita Arts Celebration, a new annual fall festival held downtown that celebrates the local arts. Varied shopping options in the area include properties such as The Rage, a boutique shop that first opened in 2010 and has now become a multi-million dollar online business. The city is also in the final stages of a $1 million downtown streetscape project to renovate their sidewalks and lighting. The addition of new antique stores and flea markets is adding to the revitalization taking place. The antique stores that have been in town the longest include the Mena Antique Mall at 617 Mena Street and Depot Antiques on Sherwood Avenue, right across from the historic Mena Kansas City Southern Depot, which currently serves as a museum of local history. Currently there has been a charge of antique shops opening downtown. Additions to the scene include shops with interesting backstories such as The Front Porch, The Mercantile, and Old Bank Antiques. Jerry and Lori Price, who own The Front Porch at 816 DeQueen Street (pictured above), took a building that had recently been remodeled for a meat market and turned it into a property where people can rent booths and sell upscale crafts and antiques. The store opened early last year. All of the antique stores in town are within walking distance of each other and there is a spirit of camaraderie among the owners. “We are all working together,” said Judy McClara, owner of The Mercantile. “None of us are in competition with each other because none of us have the same things in our stores.” According to McClara, the allure of antiquing lies in the search. “You never know what you will find,” she said. The Mercantile is located at 622 Mena Street, on prime real estate next door to the popular Skyline Cafe. It was in late 2014 when McClara noticed the historic building, which was built in 1899, was vacant. The property, which had been home to numerous types of operations over the years, was put up for auction and McClara bought it, coincidentally saving it from being torn down to be made into a parking lot. It was coincidence that brought McClara to Mena initially. She is good friends with Jerri McCoy, who owns Old Bank Antiques located nearby at 812 Mena Street (pictured right). They had known each other from their school days in Texas. A few years ago McCoy, who was living and working in Galveston, Texas at the time, told her she was in the midst of renovating a building in Mena to open as an antique store once she retired. She invited her to visit and see the building over the Thanksgiving holiday. McClara came with her family and not only enjoyed the area, she ended up buying a house in town that week, the famous Lum house of Lum and Abner, and ended up moving to Mena before her friend did. There was a buzz around town when McCoy started renovating the building that now houses Old Bank Antiques. “Before I retired from my county government position, I sold antiques through co-op situations in Galveston,” said McCoy. “It was a hobby business and it payed for my own hobby of collecting. I thought when I retire I’ll open a shop of my own maybe. And we had already thought of moving to Mena. When this building hit the market we were still several years away from retirement. We saw it online and thought that looks about right. We came up and looked at it and bought it several years ahead of retirement.” The historic building was originally built in 1911 as Planter’s Bank. McCoy bought the property in 2008 and did a complete renovation of the building, opening her store in late 2014. The properties the two friends have invested in were two cornerstone buildings downtown that had previously sat empty or seen businesses revolve through. “We both really wanted to do something that the whole town would be proud of,” said McCoy about the renovations. “The more there is here in the antique business in a concentrated area, the more it helps everybody because people make you a destination spot. We are already part of a national scenic drive on top of our local trade.” For more details on Mena, visit and click on Mena.



Turtle Cove Spa

words: Melanie Buck

Slow down for a day of relaxation and pampering when you visit Turtle Cove Spa at Mountain Harbor Resort in Mount Ida, Arkansas. Turtle Cove Spa is nestled in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains on the shores of Lake Ouachita. Billed as ‘more than a day spa,’ it is a destination spa for you body and soul. Their holistic therapy approach uses local quartz crystals to create a crystal energy balance. Their services are wellness-based and are designed to restore your mind and body to a state of equilibrium. Whether you are seeking a massage, skin care, holistic, or body therapies, Turtle Cove Spa strives to connect with their guests and provide a gratifying spa experience. Their exceptional therapists have a combined experience of over 20 years. Book a luxurious couples massage in their fireside suite or make it a girls’ day and let Turtle Cove Spa bring you harmony and relaxation. They also offer Indian Foot Detox and Aroma Touch Aromatherapy massages. Turtle Cove Spa has been rated a top spa by Spas of America for more than 5 years. Enjoy the Ouachitas in a relaxed state of mind at this majestic wellness retreat! The spa is open at 10 a.m. daily with the exception of being closed on Tuesdays. Hours vary by season. To learn more and book your appointment, call 870-8671220, email, or visit their website

Nook & Cranny Gifts & More

words: Melanie Buck

Nook & Cranny Gifts and More is your shopping destination on historic Main Street in Waldron, Arkansas. Combined with unique gifts, home décor, custom candles, clothes, jewelry, and more, Nook & Cranny has something for everyone! Along with their unique gifts, they also offer packaged gourmet foods and a full service coffee bar. A sitting area is available for use by groups such as Bunco clubs or Bible studies. Bridal registries and baby registries are a popular feature of Nook & Cranny and a year-round tanning bed is also available. Nook & Cranny uses a co-op approach that allows them to carry a wide range of products at affordable prices. The shop provides big city styles in a small town atmosphere with price points, sizes, and products to meet the needs of all their customers. At Nook & Cranny Gifts and More you can shop for a new outfit, find a matching pair of shoes, get a tan, and pick up a gift all in one location! Lay-a-way and shipping are bonus features of Nook & Cranny. Shop at Nook & Cranny Gifts and More for a personal shopping experience with unbeatable prices. They are located at 274 South Main Street, and are open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday thru Friday, and on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information, call (479) 637-1414 or for a look at their latest fashions and new arrivals, visit their Facebook page, Nook and Cranny Gifts & More, and find them on Instagram.

Holly Springs Homestead

words: Melanie Buck

Holly Springs Homestead is a family business that has brought the Alston family together both in work and at the dinner table. Managing 300 acres, the Alstons, along with their sons, Ryan and Drey, created the homestead to bring their family together, while providing fresh and local products for visitors. At Holly Springs Homestead you’ll find fresh from the garden veggies, Heirloom seeds, Watkins products, pure raw honey, garden supplies, Joy dog food, beeswax, hunting and fishing licenses, and Arkansas Grown & Arkansas Made products. Kids will enjoy the Mud Pie Kitchen and teepee area. The addition of a Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch will be included in Fall 2016, along with a fruit orchard. Spend your day checking out the farm at 217 Polk Road 184, or 5.5 miles down Polk Road 74 in Mena. For more information on Holly Springs Homestead, visit their Facebook page or give them a call at 479-243-6525. EBT and SNAP benefits, along with major credit cards will also be accepted.





Voted #1 Dinner in Mena last 2 years!



Visit us for Catfish • Steaks • BBQ • Burgers

and our World Famous Bread Bar!

Willowbrook Cottage & Cabins

479-883-5492 1047 Polk 42, Mena, AR 71953



Lum & Abner Jot’Em Down Store

words: Melanie Buck

Take a step back in time when you visit the Lum and Abner Museum & Jot ‘Em Down Store in Pine Ridge, Arkansas. The museum houses the remnants of a bygone era when Lum and Abner were at the rise of their stardom. The Lum & Abner radio show was welcomed by audiences for nearly 25 years. The duo was created by Chester “Chet” Lauck, who played Lum Eddards, and Norris “Tuffy” Goff, who played Abner Peabody, on their wildly popular radio show that began in 1931. Lauck and Goff grew up together and built many of their characters from real-life residents of the town of Waters. The town’s name was changed in 1936 to Pine Ridge, after the fictional name of Lum and Abner’s hometown. The pair also went on to star in seven feature films in Hollywood during the 1930’s to 1950’s. Visit the museum and gift shop that pays homage to the area’s most famous duo. You’ll also have a chance to shop in the Jot ‘Em Down Store for old fashion general store goods. The museum is owned by Lon and Kathryn Stucker who give tours from mid-March to mid-November. They are open Tuesday thru Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 – 5 p.m. Tours must be booked in advance by calling 870-3264442. Special arrangements can be made to accommodate visitors. Admission is free.

ger massages

Nook & Cranny 274 S Main St • Waldron, AR

(479) 637-1414

Do Something Good for Yourself

Call 870•867•1220 to make your




Turtle Cove Spa

is located 22 miles west of Hot Springs on Hwy 270, at Mountain Harbor Resort 181 Clubhouse Drive, Mount Ida, AR 28


Nestled in Arkansas' Ouachita Mountains on the shores of pristine wilderness Lake Ouachita, Turtle Cove Spa at Mountain Harbor Resort is more than a day spa, it is a destination spa for body and soul.

Full Line of: • boutique fashions • razorback items • unique gifts • jewelry • packaged gourmet foods

Big City Styles, Small Town Prices

The Mercantile General Store & Indoor Flea Market

622 Mena Street Mena, Arkansas 479-234-4990 Antiques * Gifts * Souvenirs WE SELL STUFF

Queen Wilhelmina Rod Run

Mena 4th of July Festival

Queen Wilhelmina & Downtown Mena

Tapley Park

Polk County Fair & Livestock Show

Vandervoort 4th of July Festival

Wheel A’ Mena Tour to the Top Begins & Ends at Janssen Park

Annual Ham Fest

Polk County Fairgrounds

Vandervoort Campgrounds

Polk County Rodeo

Queen Wilhelmina State Park

Polk County Fairgrounds

RMCC’s Bert Hensley Memorial Golf Tournament

At the start of the Talimena Scenic Drive.

Glenwood Country Club

Next door to the famous Skyline Cafe. Built in 1899, The Mercantile sits in the Historic Commercial and Arts District of Mena.

CMA Changing of the Colors Rally

Ouachita Arts Celebration Main Street

Christian Motorcyclists Association

Fall Craft Festival

Christmas Festival & Downtown Parade Janssen Park & Main Street

Polk County Fairgrounds

Ouachita Fall Foliage Festival Janssen Park

For Regional Events go to • For Local Events go to

Select Realty Make Yourself at Home Helping your dreams become a reality! Serving AR & OK Areas 2611 Hwy 71 S. • Mena, AR 71953 479-394-7676 Toll Free: (877) 394-7676

It’s the sign of success!

Jan Atchley

Principal Broker/ Realtor 479-243-6475

Bobbie Himel Executive Broker/Realtor 985-519-3972

Le-Ann Holmes Realtor/ Web & Marketing 479-234-7310

Sandra Thomas Realtor 479-234-3952

Visit us online at

Deanna Ferguson

Realtor 479-216-5149

Rod Estates Realtor 817-371-3977

Ann Cannon Realtor 479-234-6246 events


Groups Welcome! words: LeAnn Dilbeck

Mena also offers large meeting venues for those planning conventions, business retreats, job fairs, trade shows or maybe a family/class reunion or weddings/receptions.

Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge, Arkansas’ “Castle in the Clouds,” not only offers first-class accommodation but the newly renovated meeting room provides state-of-the-art AV equipment and its own private balcony, with a beautiful mountain setting and breathtaking panoramic views … all adding to successful and memorable events. The 40 guest rooms and full-service restaurant are only steps away. Private dining can be arranged for groups. The park interpreter is available to provide programs and guided activities for your group. Contact our Marketing/Sales Department at 479-394-2863 or 1-800-264-2477 for details and to make reservations.

The new $5.2 million Ouachita Center, located on the campus of Rich Mountain Community College (a member of the University of Arkansas system) has all the space and amenities necessary for large events. The massive 8,000 s.f. Dick and Frances Carver Grand Hall can be sub-divided with the use of retractable walls that can be reconfigured to accommodate smaller meetings of 30-35 people. The entire space can accommodate up to 900 people and with dining events, may seat 350-400 comfortably. The area also features a warming kitchen that will be of great benefit to caterers in serving events. The space includes a small stage and features retractable theater style seating designed for small-scale production or meetings, conferences, events, weddings, etc. It also features 2-large screen monitors, and a set of massive bifold doors large enough to bring in vehicles, etc. making it ideal for trade shows etc. Contact 479-394-7622 for more information or to schedule your event.

Ouachita River School District “More than a school, we are a family. A place to belong!”

• AdvancED Accredited • AP Courses • RMCC Courses tuition free for our students • Small, Safe, Caring, Family Environment

Medical & Mental Health Services Available at the ORSD Wellness Center located on the Acorn Campus

TEAM SPORTS: Archery • Basketball Baseball • Cross Country Golf • Rodeo • Softball Tennis • Track & Field Trap Shooting

Acorn Campus Oden Campus Elementary Office - 479.394.4833 Donna Reyer High School Office - 479.394.5544 Shannon Lyle ORSD Wellness Center - 479.394.2932 Direct Line

Ode Maddox Elementary Office 870.326.4311 Davelynn Lane High School Office 870.326.5522 William Edwards III

Superintendent’s Superintendent’s Office Office 479.394.2348 479.394.2348 Jerry Strasner Jerry Strasner

George S. Davis ÂŽ

State Farm Insurance Agent

Welcomes you to Mena, Arkansas

You are going to love it here!

(479) 394-4521 Downtown Mena Hwy. 71 & Mena St. 410 Sherwood Ave.

Tourism Magazine 2016  
Tourism Magazine 2016