Abbreviated to AR, the state of Arkansas is located in the southern United States, in the band often referred to as the 'Bible Belt' of states. Its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River, and it shares a border with six other states. The state's soil is rich and fertile and it is home to many lakes and forests.
Location & boundaries
The six other states which share a border with Arkansas are Missouri to the north, Tennessee and Mississippi to the east, Louisiana to the south and Texas and Oklahoma to the west.
The state has a varied landscape, with lowlands in the east near the Mississippi river, while its northern regions are home to the Ozark mountains and its western regions to the Ouachita mountains, which together form part of the US Interior Highlands. These highlands are home to many striking caves, such as the Blanchard springs Caverns, where in 1955 explorers discovered a 1,000 year-old Native American skeleton.
Landmarks & transportation
The map of Arkansas shows that its state capital is Little Rock, which is also the state's most populous city, with 699,757 inhabitants, according to the 2010 Census.
Although there are many smaller airports within the state, there are four airports with commercial service. These are: Little Rock National Airport, Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, Fort Smith Regional Airport, and Texarkana Regional Airport.
Train and buses
There are about 24 freight railroads in Arkansas, while an Amtrak passenger train -the Texas Eagle, serves five stations in the state. These stations are Walnut Ridge, Little Rock, Malvern, Arkadelphia and Texarkana. The state is also amply served by two bus networks, Greyhound and Jefferson. Fayettteville
Another major city is Fayetteville, home to the University of Arkansas. Texarkana effectively forms one half of a city which straddles the state line with Texas.
The state of Arkansas is a fertile agricultural area. The Arkansas Delta is covered in alluvial soil, deposited as a result of flooding from the nearby Mississippi.
The Grand Prairie lies in the south eastern portion of the state. This has a more undulating landscape. The north-west of the state is part of the Ozark Plateau.
The area is thick with archaeological evidence of Native American peoples, with over 43,000 tool making, hunting and living sites recorded in the region. Many of these are pre-Columbian rock shelters and burial mounds.
The Trail of Tears National Historical Trail runs through Arkansas. There are around 12 wilderness areas, covering around 610 square kilometres. These latter are often quite remote and are open to outdoor sports such as hunting, fishing and hiking.