Things to do in Mena, Arkansas

Uncover the Hidden Gems of Mena: Things to Do for All Ages and Interests

Mena is a small city located in the Ouachita Mountains in western Arkansas. Founded in 1896, the city is named after Follette Mena, a Kansas City, Pittsburg, and Gulf Railroad surveyor. The city’s rich history is reflected in its charming downtown area, home to several historic buildings and landmarks. Mena has become a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts in recent years, thanks to its stunning natural scenery and abundant recreational opportunities.

One of the city’s most popular attractions is Queen Wilhelmina State Park, located just a short drive from downtown Mena. The park is home to various hiking trails, picnic areas, and campsites, as well as the historic Queen Wilhelmina Lodge, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Mena is also home to many other outdoor attractions, including the Board Camp Crystal Mine and the Ouachita National Forest.

Things to do in Mena, Arkansas

In addition to its natural beauty, Mena is also home to a thriving arts and culture scene. The city is home to several art galleries and museums, including the Mena Art Gallery and the Kansas City Southern Depot Museum. The community also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including the Ouachita Arts Celebration and the Mena Polk County Fair. With its unique blend of natural beauty, history, and culture, Mena offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Janssen Park

Janssen Park is a popular community park located in the heart of Mena, Arkansas. The park is named after one of the city’s earliest settlers, a Dutch immigrant named Herman Janssen, who built a home on the park’s grounds in the mid-1800s. Today, the park is a hub of community activity, with a wide range of amenities and activities for visitors of all ages.

In addition to the historic log cabin, Janssen Park features a variety of other exciting attractions, including two spring-fed ponds, two Mountain Howitzer Cannons, and a bronze boy and girl fountain purchased in 1914. The park also offers a range of recreational activities, including playgrounds, walking trails, and picnic areas. The park is a popular destination for families, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone looking to enjoy a peaceful retreat in the city’s heart.

Janssen Park Mena
Janssen Park Mena” by Michael Barera is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Janssen Park is also home to various events and activities throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and community gatherings. The park’s central location and beautiful natural setting make it the perfect venue for various events and celebrations. So whether you’re looking to enjoy a quiet afternoon in nature or attend a lively community event, Janssen Park is a must-visit destination in Mena, Arkansas.

Queen Wilhelmina State Park

Queen Wilhelmina State Park is a beautiful state park located in the Ouachita Mountains near Mena, Arkansas. The park is named after Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, who visited the area in 1910 and was so enchanted by its natural beauty that she later donated funds to construct a lodge on the mountain. Today, the park is a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities and amenities for visitors of all ages.

The park’s centerpiece is Queen Wilhelmina Lodge, a charming mountain retreat that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The lodge features comfortable rooms, a restaurant, a gift shop, and various other amenities, making it the perfect home base for exploring the park and the surrounding area. Visitors can also enjoy various outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding on the park’s extensive network of trails.

One of the unique features of Queen Wilhelmina State Park is the park’s historic Mountain Glory Train, which runs through the heart of the park. Visitors can take a scenic train ride through the park and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests. The train ride also provides a fascinating glimpse into the area’s history, as it follows the route of the historic lumber trains that hauled timber from the mountains to the mills in the valley below.

Board Camp Crystal Mine

The Board Camp Crystal Mine is a unique attraction in Mena, Arkansas that offers visitors the opportunity to dig for their crystals in a real mine. The mine has been in operation for over 30 years and is open to the public for crystal mining from April through October. Visitors can purchase bags of mining rough and then use a screen and shovel to sift through the dirt and gravel in search of their crystals.

In addition to crystal mining, the Board Camp Crystal Mine also offers a variety of other activities and amenities for visitors. There is a picnic area on the mine’s grounds and a gift shop where visitors can purchase a wide range of crystals and other souvenirs. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the mine, which provides a fascinating glimpse into the history and geology of the area.

The Board Camp Crystal Mine is a popular destination for families, rock hounds, and anyone looking to experience the thrill of uncovering their hidden treasure. The mine is in a beautiful forested area and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The Mena Art Gallery is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and cultural explorers in Mena, Arkansas. Located in the heart of downtown Mena, the gallery showcases a wide range of works by local and regional artists, including paintings, sculptures, pottery, and more. The gallery also hosts various events and activities throughout the year, including workshops, exhibitions, and special events.

The Mena Art Gallery was founded in 1945 and has been a community’s creative activity hub. The gallery is run by a dedicated group of volunteers and is supported by the local community through donations, memberships, and other forms of support. The gallery is housed in a historic building dating back to the early 1900s, and its spacious interior provides the perfect backdrop for stunning works of art.

In addition to showcasing local and regional artists, the Mena Art Gallery also plays an essential role in fostering a love of the arts in the community. The gallery offers a range of classes and workshops for people of all ages and skill levels, from beginners to experienced artists.

Kansas City Southern Depot

The Kansas City Southern Depot is a historic railroad station and museum in Mena, Arkansas. Built in 1920, the depot served as a vital transportation hub for the community for many years, providing a vital link to the rest of the country. Today, the depot has been transformed into a fascinating museum that showcases the rich history of the railroads in Mena and the surrounding region.

The museum is home to various artifacts and exhibits that offer a glimpse into the past, including antique rail cars, historic photographs, and other memorabilia. In addition, visitors can explore the museum’s extensive collection of railroad equipment and learn about the railroads’ role in the development of Mena and the surrounding region. The depot has been lovingly restored to its original condition and is a beautiful example of early 20th-century architecture.

In addition to its fascinating exhibits and artifacts, the Kansas City Southern Depot hosts various events and activities throughout the year. The museum is a popular destination for school groups, history buffs, and families looking to explore the rich cultural heritage of Mena and the surrounding area.

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