NPS Pea Ridge
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  • Ford Road to the East Overlook

    Ford Road to the East Overlook

    Combination woodland and grassy open field path. Mostly unshaded. Round trip is a little over 3 miles. Easy, with a moderate climb around the East Overlook. Ford Road itself is primarily flat.


    While this trail isn't a loop, you have the option to park and start from one of two spots - Either at Elkhorn Tavern or at Tour Stop 5: Armies Collide. You could also park at the East Overlook itself if you would like to just travel to either the Elkhorn Tavern or only down the length of Ford Road.


    The East Overlook has a spectacular view of Cox's Field, where on the morning of March 8, 1862, over ten thousand Union solders lined up with cannons wheel hub to wheel hub to unleash a two hour barrage of fire that struck a decisive blow to the Confederacy at Pea Ridge.


    The day before, the same Confederate soldiers arrived in the area via Ford Road. Exhausted from a three day "double-quick" march through freezing mud along the Bentonville Detour, they surprised Union soldiers expecting them to come from a completely different direction. The first battle of Pea Ridge had begun.


    As you walk along Ford Road, you can get a good feeling of the sheer size of the battlefield and just how far these soldiers had to march. Imagine how frightening the thunderous boom of cannon fire must have been as you walk along the now peaceful Ford Road.