Great News For Searcy County!!

cooks charcoal

Cooks BBQ Products opens manufacturing facility in Searcy County, Arkansas

Company to invest $1.4 million, create 45 new jobs

(December 28, 2017) – Cooks BBQ Products, a provider of eco-friendly premium natural coconut, hardwood, lump charcoals, flavored smoking chips, wood chunks, and pellets, today announced it is opening a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Pindall, Arkansas (Searcy County), under the name Ozark Mountain BBQ Products LLC. The company will invest approximately $1.4 million in the facility and create 45 new jobs.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to expand into Arkansas,” said Shawn Elbaz, CEO of Cooks BBQ Products. “Arkansas is the ideal location for us thanks to its central location and abundant natural resources that go into our products.”

Products made at the Arkansas facility will include wood chips, wood chunks, pellets, logs, firewood, and barbecue charcoal. Cooks BBQ Products are sold nationwide under the Coshell brand and private labels in such stores as Publix, Albertsons, and Ace Hardware as well as In addition to its new location in Arkansas, Cooks BBQ Products operates manufacturing facilities in Lake City, South Carolina, and Monterrey, Mexico, as well as distribution centers in Laredo, Texas, and Winchester, Illinois.

“Arkansas has a long history of nurturing small companies,” said AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston. “I am confident that Cooks BBQ Products will find the components it needs to prosper and become part of our state’s growing business momentum.”

Shawn Elbaz, CEO of Cooks BBQ Products, has over 10 years of experience in the barbecue industry. In 2009, Elbaz built a plant in Thailand and came to market with an eco-friendly charcoal made from coconut shells under the brand Coshell Charcoal. As the company grew, Elbaz opened a distribution facility in the Philippines and purchased an existing plant in Mexico, expanding into a full line charcoal manufacturer and adding production lines for the manufacturing of wood chips and wood chunks. With the current climate and focus on manufacturing domestically for “Made in USA” products, the focus of Cooks BBQ Products has shifted to open multiple domestic plant locations to meet a booming demand.

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce provided valuable assistance to both Cooks BBQ Products and AEDC during the process that resulted in a sizable jobs increase for Searcy County.

The company plans to begin hiring and be fully operational by mid-January. For more information, visit or

Searcy County is for Military Retirees!!

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Beginning in January 2018, Arkansas will eliminate tax on military retirement pay! Searcy County is a great place for military retirees! We have a sizeable and active veteran’s community and a beautiful outdoor, small town, and farm environment! Searcy County was founded in 1838 and since that time thousands of its residents have worn a military uniform serving during times of war and peace from the Civil War to today’s conflicts. The Veterans’ Wall of Honor at the Searcy County Courthouse in Marshall is inscribed with the names of hundreds of Searcy County veterans. Also located at the courthouse is the Searcy County Veterans’ Memorial recognizing locals who lost their lives during a time of war.

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Searcy County Veterans Service Officer Mr. Philip McAdams — Phone: 870-448-5783 Veterans Memorial Hall in Marshall, By Appointment Only

Matheny & Henderson Am. Legion Post 131 Leslie,  —  Phone: 870-447-2183 Meets 4th Saturday of every month at 9 a.m.

John Rainbolt American Legion Post 198 St. Joe, Meets 1st Saturday of every month at 9 a.m.

Dusty Helmet VFW Post 3252 Marshall,  —  Phone: 870-448-2013 Meets 4th Saturday of every month at 1 p.m.

Morrison & West VFW Post 12127 Leslie,  —  Phone: 870-447-2960 Meets 2nd Saturday of every month at 9 a.m.

Searcy County Veterans Memorial Association Veterans Memorial Hall in Marshall, Meets 1st Friday of every month at 7 p.m.

Detachment 1, 224th Maintenance Company Arkansas Army National Guard 318 West Fair Street  Marshall,  72650 870-448-2364

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Horseback Riding in Searcy County

Horseback riding is awesome in the area!


We have multiple horse stable/lodging destinations and more than 100 miles of horseback riding trails.

Buddy’s Place in the Tomahawk area! 870-427-2848.
Pine Grove Trails near Leslie! 870-447-2367.
Shelton’s Big Flat Getaway! 870-448-7435.
Buffalo River Cabin near Gilbert! 501-912-5662.
Wits End Ranch of St. Joe! 417-343-0382.


Horses are permitted on the Buffalo River Trail from Woolum to Gilbert. They have to cross the river upstream of Tyler Bend as they are not permitted on the trails in the visitor center/campground area. It is about 12 1/2 miles from Woolum to HWY 65 and 3.7 miles from HWY 65 to Gilbert.

There is a large pull off/parking area along the Shine Eye Road at HWY 65 where horse trailers can be parked for day trail rides.

Horse camping is permitted at Woolum. The camping is on the north side of the river and the trail is on the south side so river levels are important.

The railroad trail downstream out of Gilbert is also a horse trail. This is a level trail along the old railroad bed for 2.4 miles one way.




Searcy County Camping

Searcy County has several great campgrounds where you can enjoy the outdoors.

They range from very primitive sites to sites with great facilities.

Here is a list of sites, so come check out the great camping opportunities that Searcy County has to offer.

camping 1

  • The middle area of the Buffalo National River includes one developed campground at Tyler Bend. 10 walk in and 28 drive in sites are available on a first come first served basis. The campground provides flush toilet restrooms, one with hot showers. Water spigots are located throughout the campground. A dump station and tank filler is located near the park entrance at Highway 65 but there are no RV hookups in the campground. Campground open year round. Fees at Tyler Bend are $16 per night per site with six people permitted per site. Group sites may be reserved in advance for groups of 10 (minimum) to 25 (maximum) at $3 per person per night. Reservations may be made online at or by phone at 1-877-444-6777.
  • Woolum camping area is open year round. Woolum is located seven miles southwest of St. Joe on paved and gravel roads. Vault toilet will be open with limited or no servicing. No fees charged. Horse camping is permitted. This is a pack in/pack out facility with no trash service provided.
  • Grinders Ferry, Shine Eye, and Gilbert gravel bars are open for camping and vault toilets will be open year round with limited or no servicing. No trash services will be provided. No fees charged.

camping 3

  • South Maumee is open for camping all year. South Maumee is located seven miles off Hwy 27 north of the community of Morning Star on paved and gravel roads. Campground has five campsites, each with a picnic table, fire ring and lantern hook. Vault toilet will be open with limited or no servicing. No trash services will be provided. No fees charged.

Camping 2

  • Spring Creek Campground has 12 designated sites with tables, fire rings, and lantern hooks at each site. The campground has a vault toilet with limited servicing. No water available. No fees charged and camping is open all year. No RV’s allowed. Spring Creek has 13 designated campsites.
  • Gilbert RV Campground RV section has 18 grass and gravel lots. 20, 30, and 50 amp electric hookups. The tent section of the campground offers eight tent sites.
  • Richland Creek Campground has a small picturesque mountain stream with waterfalls, rocks, and bluffs. There is access to the Richland Creek Wilderness Area. 11 family camping units. Because of very rough roads, visitors are not encouraged to take camping trailers to Richland Creek.

camping 4

RV camping also available at Pine Grove Trails near Leslie, Boston Mountain RV Park in Marshall, and Shelton’s Big Flat Getaway at Big Flat.

2017 Community and Relocation Guide Complete

The 2017 Community and Relocation guide is now complete!!


You can view the PDF copy of the guide by clicking on the cover photo below.

The guide has been sent to the printers and will be available and be distributed near March 20th.

This year’s guide is the largest produced by the chamber and has 76 Full Color Pages!!

8000 Copies will be printed.

Chosen Cover 2017


The older guides are still available online.   Just click on the photos below.

Cover Photo

The 2015 online version of the guide is also still available from the website in PDF Format.

Just click the cover picture below.

2015 Guide Cover


The 2014 online version of the guide is also still available from the website in PDF Format.  Just click the cover picture below.

2014 guide full cover page



New 2017 Calendar of Events Posted

The 2017 Calendar of Events for Searcy County is here.

Check out your favorite event dates and bookmark this page

Click here====> 2017 Calendar of Events



2016 12-Month Progress Report

Friends and chamber members,

Happy New Year!  Whew! It has been a busy and award winning 2016 for the volunteers of the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce!  Thanks for all your contributions to our success.  Let’s stay together and keep striving for even greater success in 2017!

Governors conference 4

Darryl Treat

The Greater Searcy

County Chamber of Commerce

12-month Progress Report (Jan – Dec 2016)

(Supporting our members and the economic progress of Searcy County!)


  • Chamber membership grew to 181 members!
  • Increased Facebook Friends from 5,376 to 6,951
  • Supported Searcy County events and Chamber businesses on Facebook
  • Technology Coordinator Lee Walsh maintained a Chamber website
  • Helped multiple local businesses in their quest to fill job openings by giving exposure to the openings
  • Solicited new business for Searcy County with official letters from Chamber president
  • Used the Arkansas Group Travel On-line Sales Leads Distribution System to target emails to potential tourists and tourist agencies
  • Mailed literature through US Postal Service to persons interested in Searcy County
  • Chamber president answered “numerous” phone calls on an almost 24/7 365-day basis!
  • Chamber president assisted the Searcy County Economic Development Corporation by monthly confirming the status of the properties currently listed on the Entergy Economic Development Site Selection Center website
  • Lee Walsh established SEARCY COUNTY WEATHER station reporting on our Website.
  • Established a Chamber Instagram Account. @searcycountycc
  • International Mountain Biking Association representative Steve Schneider met with Chamber President Darryl Treat & Leslie Mayor Talitha Hardin about mountain biking in Leslie
  • Continued a cooperative agreement with the Kenda Drive-In to show commercials promoting Searcy County at the drive-in
  • Continued to conduct monthly chamber meetings primarily in the Petit Jean conference room
  • Chamber president spoke to the Searcy County Republican Party regarding economic issues
  • Helped spread the word to find nominees for the 76th annual session of the Arkansas American Legion Boys State
  • Helped initiate and conduct the 1st Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee Searcy County Championship Thursday 26 January at Petit Jean in Marshall for children in 3rd through 8th grades in Marshall, Leslie, and St. Joe schools!
  • Worked with Kristine Puckett, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, to help us acquire contact information to attract a new hotel to the county
  • Updated the 2016 Manufacturer’s Directory for the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce
  • Met with representatives from the Ozark Byways regional network at Big Springs Restaurant in St. Joe. The group shared ideas for regional events and reviewed the draft of the 2016 Ozark Byways magazine. Among those concepts discussed were mountain bike trails, quilt trail, agri-tours, and day-tripping.
  • Chamber president addressed Leslie City Council meeting asking for support for disc golf and Bike Park within the Leslie City Park. Received council endorsement to proceed
  • Chamber compiled, maintained, and published Events Calendar for Searcy County
  • Promoted that The American Red Cross is giving away and installing free smoke detectors with 10 year batteries!
  • Advising chamber members to ask their customers to go to Trip Advisor and leave a review! Great idea from Michael Economopoulos.
  • Organized a meeting in Leslie of some key Searcy County officials with a representative of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission
  • Chamber president answered questions of Julie Blair, CEA-Staff Chair, Searcy County, before she attended a workshop about Local Economic Development opportunities
  • Promoted Searcy County to KY3 TV of Springfield, Missouri
  • Created and printed 8,000 of the 2016 Community and Relocation Guides
  • Relocation Guides provided for Arkansas Tourism Welcome Centers, Little Rock AFB, and around Searcy County
  • Held successful 3rd Chamber Banquet & Awards Ceremony on 25 Feb in Marshall
  • Recognized Business of the Year, Employee of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Spirit of Searcy County Award, and gave out a Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Paid out $750 to award-winning Agriculture, Business, and Science/Technology students from around the county
  • Chamber president helped the Division of Community Service and Nonprofit Support understand the contributions that volunteers made to our organization by completing the 2015 ARKANSAS VOLUNTEER IMPACT SURVEY.
  • Member of the Ozark Mountain Region, a recognized Arkansas Regional Tourism Association
  • Maintained welcome signs along US Highway 65 toward north and south ends of the county and occasionally changed the signs message
  • Two board members and chamber president attended Chronic Wasting Disease meeting in Marshall
  • Promoted awareness of bed bug problem to chamber members
  • Hosted meat processor owner Andy Shaw to show him the need in Searcy County
  • Attended 42nd annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism.
  • Winner of the Bootstrap Award, Arkansas Parks and Tourism Henry Awards!
  • Set up a booth at the MHS Chocolate Roll Festival
  • Donated eight pizzas and water for the Buffalo River Trail Crew while they worked to complete the trail between HW 65 and the South Maumee Road.  David and Cynthia Garmoe represented the chamber.
  • Purchased full page Ad in the 2016 Ozark Byways magazine at the cost of $1,000
  • Purchased an Ad in new regional magazine “Our Ozarks Magazine,” ½ page for $250
  • Working to help J & H Custom Furniture of Pindall sell their factory to someone who will keep manufacturing here in Searcy County
  • Sent a letter of support to help the grant application for Mrs. Judith Branscum, Marshall High School College and Career Coach
  • Mersady Redding represented Searcy County at the Miss Teen International Competition April 22-24 in Maumelle. Chamber sponsored for $100.
  • Steven Newby was selected as the new chamber of commerce secretary
  • Established a new trails committee with Darryl Treat, Victor Boyd, Dirk Merle, and Laura McCarty
  • Worked with University of Memphis grad student Elizabeth Treat to produce a map of the entire Ozark Grinder Trail
  • Worked with City of Marshall, the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, and Searcy County to acquire grant money for a bicycle trail and bike park in Marshall
  • Chamber President Darryl Treat selected by the Rural Community Alliance as a “Champion of Rural Arkansas”
  • Encouraged Marshall to start marketing itself
  • Sponsored one hole of disc golf in Leslie for $325
  • Laura McCarty manned a booth for the Chamber at the 6th Annual Searcy County Health & Safety Expo
  • Partnering with the North Central Adult Education Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy (WAGE) Program! Involves serving on the WAGE Advisory Committee.
  • Very first chamber of commerce in the state of Arkansas to have 6,000 Facebook friends!
  • Chamber president spent all day conducting a Searcy County Tour for Tracy Morales, Group Travel Manager for Arkansas Parks & Tourism and Casey Cesare, Director of Ozark Mountain Region Tourism on 31 May!
  • Chamber purchased an ad in the Leslie Homecoming book and the Searcy County Fair book
  • Chamber President Darryl Treat and Laura McCarty helped the Buffalo National River and the Ozark Highlands Trail Association celebrate National Trails Day on June 4, 2016 at Tyler Bend. Chamber purchased chocolate rolls for the event.
  • Chamber agreed to spend up to $500 for the new Stem Rock Natural Area at Oxley
  • Helped the City of Marshall put out the word for a Public Hearing on 14 June at City Hall in Marshall regarding a proposed city park
  • Helped the City of Marshall by spreading the word of Marshall’s need for letters of support for grant money for a sidewalk/bicycle trail project in Marshall
  • Chamber president attended Civil War Historical Marker Dedication, ribbon cutting, and Potluck on 2 July in Witts Springs
  • We renewed dues to the Ozark Mountain Region Tourism for $160
  • Chamber agreed to spend up to $500 to acquire signs and equipment for the new Ozark Grinder bicycle trail
  • Chamber approved $100 sponsorships for the Pedestal Rock Bicycle Ride at Witt Springs, the 3rd Annual Hog Wild Days in Marshall, and the Ozark Mountain Shootin’ Hoops For A Cause in St. Joe
  • Chamber president spoke at the Arkansas Trails Council Meeting at Tyler Bend, Saturday, July 16
  • Chamber Secretary Steven Newby and President Darryl Treat completed and filed the 2016 Annual Report for Nonprofit Corporation to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office
  • Chamber President Darryl Treat participated on 19 July in the Mountain Home Retiree Recruitment Luncheon with other like-minded area organizations
  • Purchased “Welcome Wagon” type canvas bags from Sozo Graphics. Ideally, for giving out to new employees who have just moved to Searcy County.
  • Chamber assisted in promoting a Community Night of Prayer in support of our law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS personnel!
  • Chamber ordered and 911 Coordinator Gary Ragland installed about $415 of Bicycle Trail & Bicycle Route signs for the Ozark Grinder Trail
  • Helped Royal Oak Charcoal obtain an Average Wage Survey for Searcy County and then shared it with our chamber of commerce.
  • Chamber president welcomed new hires to the Searcy County School District on 5 August and gave out Welcome Bags
  • Lobbied and informed key politicians of the impact of a Presidential Executive Order that caused the loss of the local gunsmith at R&C Arms of Marshall
  • Chamber advertised in the Marshall Mountain Wave supporting the Farm Family of the Year and the Searcy County Fair
  • Chamber purchased booth space at the Searcy County Fair in Marshall. Booth manned by Sara Davison.
  • Chamber donated to the Searcy County Fair Premium
  • Chamber of commerce president volunteered by picking up trash at South Maumee, Buffalo National River, on August 20, 2016
  • Chamber member Lee Walsh submitted photos to the Arkansas Educational Television Network of the Wiley’s Cove barn near Leslie and the Smith barn near Marshall for consideration in a show about barns of Arkansas. AETN adopted both barns in its show “Back Road Barns,” an AETN original production that aired on Thursday, August 25th at 6:30 p.m.
  • Chamber president volunteered by using his chainsaw to take out some nuisance trees at the Searcy County Civic Center in Marshall
  • Chamber president and some other chamber members attended a meeting with Attorney General Leslie Rutledge in Marshall on 23 August addressing small business issues
  • Invited chamber members attended the National Park Service 100th birthday party at Tyler Bend on 25 August
  • Continued to push the “Shop Local” campaign on Facebook and in the chamber of commerce Community and Relocation Guide
  • Organized and promoted Junkfest! Purchased $100 of Junkfest Advertising on KCGS radio
  • Promoted horseback riding in Searcy County and the 37th Annual Falling Water Trail ride
  • Chamber president spoke about “Organizing the Greater Community” to the Regional Revitalization Networks Training, October 4-5, Leslie-Marshall-St. Joe, held by Rural Community Alliance
  • Chamber president spoke and served on the “Chamber Panel” of the CTE Regional Partnership Council Summit III at the Durand Center in Harrison on October 26th
  • Chamber board member Billie Reed volunteered to go to the 7th Annual Hiking the Ozarks Outdoor Rendezvous at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, located near the Buffalo National River, in Jasper on 22 October to promote Searcy County and our members
  • Rod Corley of Aux Arc Wilderness Cabins of Zack volunteered to do a Market Analysis Class for rental lodging operators to maximize their rentals.  Rod is a graduate of the Institute of Real Estate Management, CPM.  Some of his clients were John Hancock, Massachusetts Mutual, Connecticut Mutual, Bank of New York, LaSalle Partners, and Wells Fargo!  Rod recently completed a Searcy County Rental Market Survey.  That survey has already helped Rod!
  • Assisted Zack McCannon, Producer, AETN-ArkansasIDEAS, with a documentary, Music in Arkansas. Origins tracks the development of Arkansas’s rich musical heritage
  • Helped McClain Forestry by providing 2015 Average Hourly Wages for Searcy County by sector and advertising their hiring party
  • Chamber president attended Mountain View Trail Coalition Meeting and spoke about the Ozark Grinder Trail
  • Worked with Parks & Tourism to find a restaurant in Marshall for travel writers from Mexico who were visiting Gilbert
  • Helped promote the “Buy it Where You Burn it” campaign to stop the movement of firewood into Searcy County and the possible spread of forest-damaging pests
  • Chamber members participated in the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District (NWAEDD) and the Institute for Economic Advancement (IEA) at UALR Strategic Assessment meeting on Monday, September 19th at 3:00 p.m. at Petit Jean in Marshall
  • Some chamber members volunteered to maintain a section of the Buffalo River Trail from the South Maumee Road to the Spring Creek Road
  • Buffalo National River calculated 2,543 people were at the chamber-sponsored Ozark Folklife Festival at Tyler Bend! Chuck Dovish filmed at the festival.
  • Pushed entries for the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame
  • Called at the request of Shepherd of the Ozarks who had their Windstream phone line cut by accident but was not getting the line repaired in a timely fashion. Call resulted in a quick repair helping the largest lodging facility in Searcy County!
  • Submitted Fall Foliage Reports to Arkansas Parks & Tourism
  • Helped the Quitman Jeep Junkies get information on places to conduct Jeep riding
  • Worked to help Ozark Mountain Wood Pellets in their effort to set up manufacturing north of Pindall
  • Lobbied Petit Jean about applying a rural electrification model to broadband internet access
  • Educated chamber members on tools to use when promoting Searcy County in a Customer Service Economy
  • Submitted an Outstanding Volunteer Service Award Nomination for the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce, a Parks & Tourism Henry Award.
  • Successfully got Leslie added to the Antiquing page on as a Hotspot!
  • Supported increased National Park Service funding that could help with a deferred maintenance backlog of $12.7 million in needed repairs on the Buffalo National River
  • Submitted some major upgrades to for Leslie and Witts Springs
  • Donated $50 for use of the Veterans Memorial Hall in Marshall
  • Established a Go Fund me site for the purchase of a Country Music marker for Elton Britt, for both tourism attraction and heritage preservation
  • Approved up to $200 for more bicycle trail signs for 911 Coordinator Gary Ragland to put up for the Ozark Grinder Trail
  • Robert Duggan, Recreation Program Manager Forest Service Ozark-St. Francis National Forests gave verbal approval on Friday, 9 December for Searcy County to place bicycle signs on highway right of way within the Ozark National Forest along the bicycle trail
  • Approved the purchase of Christmas lights to light up the old historic jail in Marshall
  • Chamber president working to help Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce make progress in their county
  • Conducted ribbon cutting ceremony at Acceptance Now inside Roten’s Furniture on 18 November in Marshall
  • Participated in the Courthouse Square Lighting Ceremony on 25 November
  • Helped a Marshall family obtain assistance for Christmas
  • Helped the Searcy County Judge determine the largest non-government employers in Searcy County
  • Worked with State Representative David Branscum to get a letter sent to Governor Asa Hutchinson petitioning for Elton Britt’s inclusion in the Arkansas Entertainer’s Hall of Fame
  • Donated $100 to the family of the late Rock-n-Java proprietor Shawn Henderson
  • David & Cynthia Garmoe represented the Chamber in the Christmas Parade on 10 December in Marshall
  • Technology Coordinator Lee Walsh and Treasurer Alesha Collier established a PayPal account for the Chamber
  • Received a letter of recommendation for Elton Britt’s inclusion in the Arkansas Entertainer’s Hall of Fame from the Rackensack Folklore Society Pulaski County
  • Submitted some upgrades to for Marshall and Gilbert
  • Promoted on Facebook to take unwanted prescription drugs to the sheriff’s office in Marshall for collection
  • Worked to help find office space for a new Searcy County resident
  • Ran an end-of-year 15 Searcy County Attractions Countdown on Facebook!
  • Budget Committee proposed budget for 2017

Advertising                                       $4,000

Booths/Events/Sponsor.                   $3,500

Banquet                                            $2,000

Housekeeping                                   $1,600

Old Jail Office                                      $500              

Total                                                $11,600


Onward to 2017!!


15 Searcy County Attractions!!

15 Searcy County Attractions!!

#1 The Buffalo National River! Searcy County is home to approximately 48 miles of America’s 1st National River. Clear, cool water flowing under towering ridges and bluff lines surrounded by hardwood forests and ancient cedars. Miles of gravel and sand beaches await campers and sunbathers. The Buffalo National River, and tributary Richland Creek, are both National Wild and Scenic Rivers! Canoeing, kayaking, hiking, campgrounds, the Tyler Bend Visitor Center, elk viewing, swimming holes, and fishing for smallmouth bass await you in the Heart of the Buffalo National River!

Red Bluff 1

#2 The Kenda Drive-In Movie Theater in Marshall! Arkansas’ only drive-in movie theater that is open year round, and one of only three drive-in’s left in the entire state! Special events also held in the warmer months.

Kenda Drive In

#3 World-Class Hiking! The Ozark Highlands Trail has been noted as one of the top ten long distance hiking trails in the US by the Guardian! Also noted by Outside magazine as one of the World’s Seven Great Winter Backpacking Trips! Rocky Mountain Elk and Bald Eagles may be seen along the journey! The Ozark Highlands Trail connects with the Buffalo River Trail System at Wollum continuing down river to more miles of great hiking!

View from Point Peter (1 of 1)

#4 Motorcycle Riding! Approximately 140 miles of roads! Thousands of riders every year make the trek into the fabulous north central Arkansas Ozarks.  Beautiful scenery in four seasons, lots of winding roads, and some fairly lightly travelled locations! Pastoral scenes, quaint towns, and excellent restaurants await the bikers. We have two scenic routes you should try, the Bear Creek Growl and the Leslie Lasso!

Motorcycle Picture

#5 Rocky Mountain Elk! Wild elk roam parts of the county and may be photographed anytime, or hunted with permit during hunting season. Searcy County is the Elk Hunting Capital of Arkansas!


#6 Bicycling! The Ozark Grinder Trail is a gravel grinder bicycle trail covering approximately 130 miles of some of the most wild, scenic, and remote parts of the north central Arkansas Ozarks! From Tyler Bend at Buffalo National River to Shirley, Arkansas it climbs and descends steep grades and makes many creek crossings.


#7 Old Town Leslie! This quaint Ozark Mountain town is home to one of the South’s finest bakeries, Serenity Farm Bread, and its wood-fired brick oven that produces Old World Sourdough Bread! Leslie also has excellent restaurants, fabulous antique stores, and a new 9-hole, par-3 disc golf course! The Ozark Heritage Arts Center in Leslie seats approximately 350 people in its Killebrew Theatre and in addition to hosting bands, is occasionally used for musicals and plays.



#8 Old Town Gilbert! The “Coolest Town in Arkansas”, the “Smallest Sister City in the World”, and the smallest incorporated town in the state!  Super lodging and campground accommodations a short walk from the Buffalo National River. In season, a must visit is the Gilbert General Store, Est. 1901. Come for the cabins, or to fish, rent a canoe, kayak, raft, hang out on the beach, go hiking, or horseback riding! And the short drive to Gilbert off of Highway 65 is very nice!


#9 Downtown Marshall! The center of downtown is the historic Searcy County Courthouse, constructed in the late 1880s, site of the Searcy County Veterans Memorial and the Veterans Wall of Honor! Cresting Backbone Mountain just south of Marshall at the roadside park, and again leaving Marshall heading north on US Highway 65, the motorist will see one of Arkansas’ most panoramic views looking west towards Point Peter Mountain that stands prominent at 2,040 feet above sea level. The airport in Marshall is a great fly-in destination! Coming soon: New City Park and public fishing lake!


#10 Agritourism! Searcy County is on the leading edge of agritourism with the annual Searcy County Fair in Marshall and rodeos in both Leslie and Marshall and diverse farm tours!  Farm tours provide wholesome experiences for families. Each tour is $20/ per family and offers a unique experience. Pick the tour/tours you’d like to take. Call the farm directly and schedule the tour. For more information, phone 870-448-4870.

Tom Faber Bees

#11 Horseback Riding! We have two horse stable/lodging destinations and more than 100 miles of horseback riding trails. Some of the most enjoyable and scenic horseback riding in the state of Arkansas! Riding in the Ozark National Forest of both western and northeastern Searcy County as well as in the confines of the Buffalo National River! The big trail ride of the year is the annual Falling Water Trail Ride during the first weekend of October. Riders begin the trail from either the Wollum Campground or Snowball Gym.


#12 Hurricane River Caverns. Located near Pindall, the caverns offer both regular and extreme cave tours!


#13 Rock climbing! The Stack Rock Special Interest Area in the Ozark National Forest near Witts Springs is accessed by a 3 mile round-trip hike off of the Richland Road all the way around Stack Rock. The towering overhead bluffs are a rock climbing destination!

Stack Rock Bluff

#14 Outdoor Photography & Bird Watching! With our Ozark Mountains, rural farm landscapes, historic old buildings, waterfalls, dark night skies, elk herds, bald eagles and other wildlife, the Buffalo River, and four seasons, we are a photographer’s dream destination! Searcy County also has two designated “Important Bird Areas,” the Ozark National Forest and the Buffalo National River!


#15 Museums and Art! We are the home of Essie Treat Ward, the Grandma Moses of the Ozarks! Some of her paintings are on display at the Jim G. Ferguson Searcy County Library in Marshall. Art is also on display upstairs in the Searcy County Courthouse in Marshall and at the Ozark Heritage Arts Center in Leslie, where there is also a museum. The Searcy County Veterans Memorial Museum in Marshall honors local veterans. In St. Joe, don’t miss the St. Joe Depot Museum! Future attraction, the Buffalo River Historic Jail, which will show off the fabulous old Searcy County Jail in Marshall!

Essie Ward

It’s Elk Viewing Season!!


Fall is here and the Elk are on the move in Searcy County.  You may have not heard, Searcy County has Elk!!  And we have a lot of them.  Arkansas Game and Fish’s official numbers total about 600 elk in the state,  Most are in Newton and Searcy County.  And even though Newton County has an annual Elk Festival, Searcy County can boast that we’re the “Elk Hunting Capital of Arkansas”, because for the past 2 years, more have been killed in Searcy County than any other county in the state.   Arkansas Game and Fish very carefully manages the herd, and a very limited number of tags (Normally about 20% of herd total) are drawn for hunters every year.


Searcy County’s elk are mostly in two main areas of the county.  The Richland Valley in the western section of the county, and along the Bear Creek valley just west of Marshall.  Many visitors and travelers see the Bear Creek herd regularly in that 4 mile stretch right along Highway 65.    These are the two main areas, but elk might be seen just about anywhere along the Buffalo River, and some have recently been reported between Gilbert and Maumee South, along the river.


So get out and enjoy our beautiful Searcy County fall scenery, and keep your eyes open for those beautiful elk!!

Leslie Has Disc Golf!

The Leslie City Park now has the first public 9-hole disc golf course in Searcy County!

The course overview slide approximates course layout, not exact. Come check it out!

Disc Golf Course Review has an overview of Leslie’s course on their website.

If you need discs to play disc golf, check in at Elk and Eagle Trading Post in Leslie.
They have discs for sale.


Leslie City Park Nine-Hole Par 3 Disc Golf Course Sponsors & Distance

1. Leslie Area Merchants Association & Rural Community Alliance 299′
2. Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce 243′
3. First Service Bank of Marshall 248′
4. Simmons Bank of Marshall 271′
5. The Chadwick Family 161′
6. First National Bank of North Arkansas 248′
7. American Legion Post 131 & VFW Post 12127 278′
8. Wiley’s Cove Lodge #524 F.&A.M. 253′
9. Jackie and Gordon Ard 462′