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Russellville and the Arkansas River Valley Region is located in west-central Arkansas along Interstate 40 and the ice-free Arkansas River. The two-county region is located halfway between Arkansas’ two largest cities, which are Little Rock (70 miles) and Fort Smith (80 miles). Several of the more than 40 area manufacturers utilize the Union Pacific Railroad, which has a main line traversing the area. The D & R Railroad shortline connects the UP mainline to Russellville.
There are divisions of 12 Fortune 500 manufacturers in the River Valley area, including Dow Chemical, ConAgra Foods, International Paper, Baker Hughes, Proctor & Gamble and Tyson Foods. Manufacturing plays a very important role in the local economy, with 44 manufacturers employing over 8,000 people in the area.
With each passing year the tourism industry continues to grow. The area is surrounded by two national forests: the Ozark National Forest to the north and the Ouachita National Forest to the south. The area is also surrounded by a national wildlife sanctuary, two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers parks, three Arkansas State Parks, the Arkansas River and 30,000 plus acre Lake Dardanelle. These attractions offer a wide variety of opportunities for recreation.
Here is just a short list of the things the outdoor enthusiast can enjoy in the River Valley:
- NCAA sports at Arkansas Tech University,
- disc golf
- a competition water ski park
- hang gliding
- rock climbing
- miles of nature trails.
Also, Lake Dardanelle is home to over 40 fishing tournaments a year, including ESPN Bassmasters and FLW Tour events.