The main emphasis of Jacksonport State Park is the White River. It was a popular port in the 1800s and that made Newport the place to be. Because of it’s easy to access to the water, five different generals used the town as their headquarters during the Civil War. You can tour the Jacksonport Courthouse and its War Memorial Room to find out more. There is also a restored steamboat. The views of the White River are amazing.
The park is on Ark. 69 in Jacksonport (just three miles north of Newport).
The park offers 20 Class A campsites with water and electric hookups including 50 amp service at all sites. Campsites are $21.
Including a hiking trail, Jacksonport also has a swimming beach on the White River. Standard pavilions and picnic sites are available.
Portfest is the city’s yearly festival. You can hear national country music acts on the banks of the White River. There are activities and games for kids, festival foods, catfish cooking competitions and more. Fireworks on the last day of the festival.
Portfest really is a larger festival for a small town. It’s one of what I call the “major small-town festivals” in Arkansas. Worth checking out.
It was skipped in 2018, but will be back next year.
Fun Fact: White River Monster:
Did you know the White River has a monster? A monster was photographed in the river in 1971 giving us our own version of Loch Ness Nellie. Some say it was a lost manatee. Some say it was a prehistoric creature. You can read more and find out for yourself.