The Mena Arkansas Guide
Welcome to Mena Arkansas!
Mena Arkansas is nestled in the beautiful Ouachita ( pronounced: wah-shi-tah) mountain range and is surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest. Mena was founded by Arthur Edward Stilwell during the building of the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad (now the Kansas City Southern). Along with a rich historical heritage, Mena also boasts some of the most beautiful scenic drives, nature walks and photography vistas in the country. We are also proud to offer the largest lake in Arkansas, Lake Ouachita.
Lake Ouachita was created by the Corps of Engineers in 1953 after building Blakely Dam. Like Mena it is outlined by the Ouachita National Forest and Lake Ouachita is known for its scenic natural beauty and is one of the cleanest lakes in the United States. With over 900 miles of shoreline, 200 islands and 40,000 acres of water, Lake Ouachita is a water sports mecca for swimming, skiing, scuba diving, boating and fishing. Lake Ouachita maintains 24 recreation areas, 150 picnic sites, 801 camping sites, 5 playgrounds, 10 designated swimming areas, 32 miles of hiking trails, 29 boat ramps, 10 different marinas and over 3,000 boat slips.
A short scenic drive south of Mena will lead you to the Cossatot River. Renowned as the best whitewater float stream in mid-America, the Cossatot Falls area forms a rocky canyon with distinct ledges that drop 33 feet in elevation within 1/3 of a mile. The Cossatot is sure to challenge even the most experienced canoeists and kayakers with Class IV and V rapids. When the water level is normal, the rapids give way to allow outdoor enthusiasts the chance to swim, fish and float through riffles from pool to pool as they relax and enjoy the Cossatot. Offering recreation areas, tent sites, picnic sites, restrooms and 18 miles of hiking trails, everyone is guaranteed to have a wonderful experience.
The natural beauty and resources of Mena draws approximately 1.2 million people each year and our community thrives on welcoming visitors and making them feel right at home. Come visit Mena Arkansas and find out what sets us apart.