Welcome to Jenkins’ Ferry State Park , one of 52 beautiful, historic state parks, each with their own special mission. The other thing they each have is a geocache. This adventure is based around visiting all 52 state parks. Each park cache has a clue that you will need to find the final, 53rd cache located somewhere in the state. Just download the clue sheet and start your adventure. We encourage you to upload photos on the geocaching.com page when you find one and also to tell us about your visit to the park on the state park blog. As an extra incentive, For a limited time you can pick up an Arkansas State Park geocoin at the final location and send it on it's way to visit parks throughout the world!
Jenkins’ Ferry State Park
In the spring of 1864, three Civil War battles took place in south central Arkansas that were part of the Union Army's "Red River Campaign." Arkansas's three state historic parks that commemorate these battles--Poison Spring, Marks' Mills and Jenkins' Ferry--are part of the Red River Campaign National Historic Landmark. Here at Jenkins' Ferry on April 29 and 30, Union troops fought off an attack by the Confederates and using an inflatable pontoon bridge crossed the flooded Saline River and retreated to Little Rock. The land where this Civil War battle took place was settled by Thomas Jenkins, who started the ferry in 1815. It was run by his sons, William and John DeKalb, until the Civil War circa 1861.On April 26, 1864, the day after the battle at Marks' Mills and under the cover of darkness, General Frederick Steele, his men, and what equipment they had left, crossed the Ouachita River at Camden on a pontoon bridge. Steele had gone to great lengths to convince Confederate scouts his troops spent the night inside the safety of the town. It was mid-morning before the Rebels realized they had been tricked. The Confederates' only hope of catching the fast-fleeing Federal troops was at the rain-swollen Saline River at Jenkins' Ferry, some 50 miles north. A torrential rain pounded Steele's troops on April 29. As wagons, horses and mules bogged down in the quagmire, Steele and his men reluctantly made camp at Jenkins' Ferry. Steele spent the night plotting ways to hold off advancing enemy troops while crossing the river at the same time. The first Rebels arriving at Jenkins' Ferry on April 30 found themselves facing the full force of Steele's army. Steele's men were backed up to the Saline River, but entrenched and protected from flanked attacks by an overflowing creek and a flooded swamp. The Battle of Jenkins' Ferry, the third leg of the Red River Campaign, began after the first light of the foggy day. Despite their disadvantaged position, the Confederates launched one unorganized attack after another. Rebel commanders knew that letting up the pressure would allow Steele's army to cross the Saline and escape. By the end of the bloody day, the South had lost nearly 1,000 soldiers and the North nearly 700. But Steele's army managed to cross the river and continue retreating to Little Rock.
Jenkins' Ferry State Park features interpretive exhibits, picnic sites, a pavilion (no electricity is available), swimming area and a launch ramp on the Saline River. The historic site is located 13 miles south of Sheridan on Ark. 46.
Please check the park Web site for hours of operation. Park Permit Number PT63-0001
Plan some time for each of the parks and enjoy your visit. Learn about natural, cultural and state history. Take in a hike, a swim, a boat ride. Go fishing, cycling or just relax. For more information on geocaching in an Arkansas State Park visit our geocaching page. For information on geocaching throughout the Natural State visit Arkansas Geocaching. Have a great time and we’ll see you in a park!