The 10 Best Abandoned Places In Arkansas For 2024 And Beyond

Steeped in a rich tapestry of history and culture, Arkansas offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical landmarks. Yet, beyond the allure of its famed parks and vibrant cities, lie forgotten remnants of the past. From ghostly hospitals to deserted schools and long-silent factories, these abandoned sites paint a vivid picture of life as it once was. May I present to you some of the best abandoned places in Arkansas.

They captivate urban explorers with their untold stories and the quiet eeriness that pervades their crumbling structures. Journey with us as we explore ten of these fascinating abandoned places in Arkansas.

Note: Many of these locations are in an extremely delicate state. Specifics on locations, such as coordinates or maps, are not given. This is done so purposefully as a barrier to entry to those who may mean harm to these spots. I want to ensure that these abandoned places in Arkansas are known about, but stay as vandalism and destruction free as possible. Remember: Take only photos, leave only footprints.

Breakdown: The Top 10 and More

If you have a specific location from the list below that you would like to immediately get more information about, click the links in the list to snap straight to that abandoned places in Arkansas location.

Broaden Your Horizons Beyond Arkansas

Are you interested in venturing outside the state of Arkansas? Maybe you live close to the state line, or maybe you’re just looking for adventures outside your home state. Whatever the case may be, here are some guides to bordering states that may be helpful in effective urban exploration:

Don’t Forget About Trespassing Laws

It is important when considering abandoned places in Arkansas to know the basics of Arkansas trespassing laws. Luckily, we have developed a massive guide to trespassing laws in all 50 states. For laws that specifically relate to Arkansas, please click here.

Without any further ado, let’s hop into the list of abandoned places!

The Best Abandoned Places in Arkansas

Majestic Hotel (Hot Springs)

Opened in 1882, the Majestic Hotel was a beacon of opulence, with its location in the picturesque spa city of Hot Springs only enhancing its allure. The hotel was synonymous with high society, luxury, and style, serving as a lavish getaway for the rich and famous. Among the hotel’s notable guests were celebrities, athletes, politicians, and even infamous mobsters drawn to the grandeur and the healing powers of the local thermal springs.

In its heyday, the Majestic Hotel embodied the pinnacle of elegance with its exquisite architecture, luxurious rooms, and upscale amenities. However, the sands of time were not kind to this once splendid establishment. As modern accommodations sprouted, the Majestic Hotel gradually lost its allure. Despite numerous attempts to revive its fortunes, the hotel ceased operations in 2006, closing its doors forever.

Today, the Majestic Hotel stands as an eerie shadow of its former self. Although battered by time and weather, the dilapidated structure still echoes the whispers of its glamorous past. While public access to the hotel’s interior is restricted due to safety concerns, visitors can still marvel at the historic structure from the outside, appreciating its faded grandeur and the storied past that lingers within its crumbling walls.

Dogpatch USA (Marble Falls)

Situated in Marble Falls, Dogpatch USA was a distinctive amusement park with a vibrant hillbilly theme that celebrated the unique culture of the Ozark region. Its inception in the 1960s saw the park flourish, enticing scores of tourists each year with a mix of whimsical attractions and a charming rustic ambiance. However, financial strife, declining visitor numbers, and several changes in ownership spelled doom for the park, leading to its eventual closure in 1993.

Nowadays, the amusement park stands desolate and forlorn. The deserted park, overrun by untamed vegetation, provides a stark contrast to its once lively atmosphere. Its quirky attractions, once full of life and laughter, now lie in a state of disrepair, slowly being reclaimed by nature. Though new owners have grand plans to rejuvenate the park, its current state provides an intriguing glimpse into its former glory.

Tilly Willy Bridge (Fayetteville)

The Tilly Willy Bridge in Fayetteville was once a vital artery, facilitating the journey of many over the coursing White River. The bridge bore witness to countless stories, from everyday commute tales to special, heartfelt moments. However, the introduction of a new, more modern bridge rendered Tilly Willy obsolete and gradually, it was forgotten.

Today, the bridge stands enshrouded in a veil of greenery, a skeletal remnant of its former role. Rust and vines intertwine over the structure, creating a hauntingly beautiful sight that intrigues urban explorers and photographers alike. While it no longer serves its original purpose and is deemed unsafe for crossing, the Tilly Willy Bridge is a poignant monument to a simpler past and serves as a picturesque, if melancholic, spot for contemplation.

Fort Chaffee (Fort Smith)

Constructed in 1941, Fort Chaffee, positioned just outside Fort Smith, is a historical tapestry rich in military narratives. Its inception saw it serve as a crucial training camp during the turbulent era of World War II. It also played a vital humanitarian role, housing refugees during significant global crises, including the Vietnam War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. However, following significant decommissioning efforts in the 1990s, a large portion of the Fort’s structures became deserted.

Today, Fort Chaffee exists as an eerie canvas of military history etched with the indelible marks of time. The site is a haunting juxtaposition of decaying barracks, crumbling edifices, and desolate streets set against the beautiful rural landscape of Arkansas.

While recent initiatives have given new life to parts of the site, many areas remain untouched, frozen in a bygone era. Although some structures are inaccessible due to safety measures, the remaining areas of Fort Chaffee offer an unparalleled exploration experience into a key chapter of America’s past.

Rush Ghost Town (Rush)

Nested in the serene Buffalo National River region, the ghost town of Rush stands as a silent testimony to Arkansas’s rich mining heritage. Rush was once a booming zinc mining community, with its heyday during World War I. However, as the demand for zinc declined in the post-war era, so did the fortunes of this once prosperous town, eventually leading to its abandonment.

Presently, the ghost town of Rush presents an intriguing exploration site with its vestiges of decayed buildings, rusting machinery, and abandoned mine shafts. The journey to Rush is an experience in itself, taking you through a picturesque route along Highway 14 near Yellville and then onto Rush Road.

Walking through the remnants of this forgotten town, one can almost hear the echoes of miners hard at work and children’s laughter, creating a tangible connection to the past.

Little Rock’s Central High School (Little Rock)

While Little Rock’s Central High School remains an active educational institution, it holds an indelible mark on American history, making it a place of historical significance. This site became a symbol of the fight against racial segregation in 1957 when the ‘Little Rock Nine,’ a group of African-American students, made a brave stand by enrolling in the previously all-white school. Although the school is operational, certain sections of older buildings have been preserved as they were, reflecting the period of this significant civil rights milestone.

Situated in downtown Little Rock, along Park Street, the school continues to operate as an important educational institution. However, the preserved sections provide a rare opportunity for exploration, giving visitors a chance to walk in the footsteps of those who challenged the status quo. It’s a powerful place where one can reflect on the progress made and the ongoing fight for equality and justice.

Monte Ne (Rogers)

Submerged beneath the tranquil waters of Beaver Lake near Rogers, the vestiges of the once-vibrant resort town of Monte Ne emerge during periods of low water levels. This ambitious town, conceived in the early 20th century by William Hope “Coin” Harvey, was designed to be an opulent resort town equipped with extravagant hotels and a grand amphitheater.

Financial hardships, however, led to the town’s decline, and the creation of Beaver Lake in the 1960s resulted in Monte Ne being swallowed by the rising waters. To discover this lost paradise, one can take a drive along Highway 62 to Rogers’ eastern outskirts and then follow Monte Ne Road to the lake.

During drought conditions, the lake’s receding water levels unveil remnants of the drowned town, revealing a haunting yet intriguing spectacle. An exploration opportunity arises from these ghostly structures, allowing a surreal journey back in time.

Baker Hotel (Mineral Springs)

Rising ominously in Mineral Springs is the Baker Hotel, an enduring symbol of a faded era. Unveiled in 1897, this once flourishing hotel offered sumptuous accommodations to travelers passing through the thriving railroad town. However, as the fortunes of the town dwindled, so did the hotel’s appeal, and today, it stands forsaken, its once grand architecture gradually surrendering to nature’s relentless advance.

To uncover the hotel, navigate to Mineral Springs’ heart along Highway 27. Even in its desolate state, the Baker Hotel exudes a mysterious charm that continues to attract urban explorers and history enthusiasts, serving as a silent testament to its vibrant past.

Old Selma Methodist Church (Selma)

Standing forlornly in Selma, the Old Selma Methodist Church evokes a poignant sense of faith and community, now neglected and gradually deteriorating. Constructed in the late 19th century, this once bustling place of worship was a vital hub for the humble farming community of Selma. Today, its peeling paintwork, collapsing roof, and overgrown surroundings present a stark contrast to the building’s former glory.

The church is situated just off Highway 278 near the small town of Selma. As you wander through the silent grounds, punctuated only by the rustling wind and occasional bird call, the potent sense of lost history is almost tangible.

Eaker Air Force Base (Blytheville)

The deserted Eaker Air Force Base in Blytheville stands as a ghostly relic of the tense Cold War era. The base was once brimming with activity, playing a crucial role in strategic planning during the unsettling post-war period. Following its closure in 1992, however, the expansive site—home to empty runways, deserted hangars, and silent control towers—was abandoned and left to decay.

You’ll reach this historic site by taking Highway 18 towards Blytheville. While portions of the base have been repurposed for civilian functions, a significant expanse remains abandoned, presenting a captivating landscape for urban exploration. As you traverse the silent structures, echoes of the past seem to resonate, reminiscent of a time when the base was a hive of military activity.

Our Final Thoughts on Abandoned Places in Arkansas

Those who are into urban exploration in the Arkansas area should get comfortable with Arkansas trespassing laws. Luckily, we have developed a massive guide to trespassing laws in all 50 states. For laws that specifically relate to Arkansas, please click here.

For more about obtaining permission to explore abandoned places, check out our guide Explore Abandoned Buildings: How To Get Permission. Finally, if you are wanting to find more abandoned places in Arkansas, check out my resource How To Find Abandoned Places With Google Maps.

Happy exploring!

  • John Bourscheid, Killer Urbex