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Calico Rock, Arkansas

Point 10 Details
Historic Calico Rock (pop. about 1,000)
On The National Register of Historic Places
0.5 miles between 9 & 10

Calico Rock zip code is 72519.

Supplies, Services, ATMs, Dining, Historical Attractions, Trout Docks
Peppersauce Industrial Ghost Town, Museum

calico rock arkansas on the white river
Hwy 5 bridge over White river, Hwy 56 running to right. Calico Rock Bluff in shadows in upper left.

Business District on Hwy 56
- One-half mile from Point 9 you'll be at the intersection of Hwy 5 and Hwy 56. You'll see three signs in a triangle. To get on Hwy 56 turn left here and go across the bridge. Route 56 Diner, a tiny little place with just four tables, is on your left just before the Hwy 56 bridge. The Calico business district is about 2.7 miles long. Grocery stores, retail stores, gas stations, a hospital, a pharmacy, several little restaurants, auto parts stores, banks with ATMs, the district office for Arkansas Game & Fish, etc.

For a quick and good meal our personal favorite is the White River Cafe at 702 Highway 56 East (870-297-3999). You can also get a great burger in a hurry at Route 56 Diner at the intersection of Hwy 5 and Hwy 56 (100 Hwy 56), open M-Sat 11am  to 8pm, Sun 11am to 2pm, 870-297-3463

Historic District - For the historic district stay on Hwy 5. You'll see several old buildings, of which several are on the National Register of Historic Places. All of these buildings are on a short walkable section of Hwy 5, which is also Main Street. This is where you find the industrial Peppersauce Ghost Town, the museum, and Rand Park.

Main Rand Park & Peppersauce Ghost Town Entrance - On Hwy 5 just a short distance from the intersection of Hwy 5 and Hwy 56 look for Knowles True Value Hardware on your left. Between Knowles and a building with a long hand-painted mural on it you will see Walnut Street. Turn left onto Walnut Street to access the ghost town and Rand Park.

About Rand Park - Calico Creek runs through Rand Park for nearly a half-mile. Summer travelers have stopped here for many years to cool their feet and let their children splash about in the creek. It's also beautiful in fall foliage and spring redbud and dogwood blooms. Picnic tables are in place from one end of the park to the other. If you are traveling as a large group you'll find parking for everyone here. At the back of the park are some very pretty covered picnic tables next to the creek. There is also a walking trail. A foot bridge over Calico Creek gives access to the park across the creek on the Hwy 5 side of the park. There are public bathrooms near the park center. A covered pavilion also serves as a stage for occasional live music, and for group functions. A Nature Trail in Rand Park is at the very far end up by the creek. It is a 1 mile loop trail.

Historical Note: In the late 1800's and early to mid 1900's Calico Rock was larger than it is today. It was an important rail and river hub for zinc mining, timber products, and general merchandize needed in the growing area. Both trains and steamboats stopped here. The name Calico Rock is taken from the color of the tall bluffs the town sits on. Years ago the rock face was a true calico color, but those colors have since faded. When you cross the White River bridge, stop in the little pull-out on the opposite side. You can then look back and see the bluffs.

Peppersauce Industrial Ghost Town - Between the 1920s and 1950s Calico Rock was a rough-and-tumble mining town. Some 20 old abandoned buildings comprise the ghost town. You can't go in any of the buildings, but you can either walk or drive the streets around the structures. There are some unusual mining company buildings as well as several other commercial buildings. You can pick up a self-guided tour flyer for Peppersauce at the Calico Chamber office, which is across Hwy 5 from Walnut Street.

Entering Ghost Town: Keep going straight past the turn to Hwy 56. Look for Knowles True Value Hardware on your left, which is about 150 yards before the White River bridge and rail tracks. Between Knowles and the next building with a long hand-painted mural is Walnut Street. Turn onto Walnut and go a short distance. (As you turn onto Walnut you will see a sign which says "Welcome To Peppersauce Ghost Town".) Cross the little bridge and you are in the Ghost Town. There are some interpretive signs. On the left you'll see a small cement hut. This is the old jailhouse of the Ghost Town, and this is where the self-guided tour of the Ghost Town begins. To enter Rand Park turn left at the next street, which is Rand Hill Road. Or you can keep driving around the Ghost Town on Caldwell and Rowden streets.

Don Quixote's Fine Dining Restaurant, is right on Hwy 5 (Main Street) before you cross the bridge. Very good food, great friendly service. Because this is quality service and food it takes a few minutes longer, but is well worth the wait. Open for lunch 11am to 3pm, dinner on Friday and Saturday nights 5pm to 9pm. Call 870-297-8899, address is 103 Main Street, Calico Rock, Arkansas.

Historical District Attractions - On Hwy 5, just before the White River bridge, are several old stone buildings. Knowles True Value Hardware store is a large, old-fashioned hardware store loaded with all the things you'd expect from a country Mom & Pop hardware store. The Chamber of Commerce, an old-fashioned ice cream cafe, art shops, and a real estate company are some of the operations currently using these historic buildings. It is hard to appreciate what is here without getting out and walking this short district. At the old hardware store (currently closed), on the sidewalk, is a very large rocking chair. When adults sit in it, it makes them look like little children. This chair is a popular place for tourist to have their picture taken by people traveling with them. Down on the river are two trout docks where you can rent a river boat for a scenic run on the river, and for trout fishing. Guides are available for guided trout fishing trips.

Swallows - Thousands of swallows nest on the underside of the White River bridge. About April 15th they return and you'll see clouds of them.

River Boat Rentals

You can rent river boats from three trout docks, which also offer guided trout fishing and guided sight-seeing. Called "trout docks", you'll find two of them at the bridge over the White River. The third (Lindsey's) is at the only public river access in the immediate area where you can launch your own boat or bank fish. Bill Terry's Fishing Service at 870-297-8131, Jenkins Fishing Service at 870-297-8181, and Lindsey Trout Dock at 870-297-4543.

Chessman White River Access - A 3 mile paved road dead ends at Lindsey's trout dock on the White River. This is a public access where you can fish from the bank, launch a boat, rent a boat or take a guided trip with Lindsey's river guides for trout fishing or sight-seeing. The road name has two spellings; Chesmond Road or Chessman Road. Where the access is used to be a ferry point across the river, so you may see it on some maps as Chesmond Ferry Road. Along the road are several vacation rental cabins and a small RV park. to get there just look for the official brown and white sign just past the intersection of Hwy 5 and Hwy 56. You are looking for Chesmond Road, aka CR 224.

Calico Rock Post Office is at 2068 Hwy 56, Zip Code 72519. Call 870-297-8306

After Crossing the bridge over White River you are in Stone County

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