Arkansas : Safety by City
- Eureka Springs
- Fort Smith
- Hot Springs
- Little Rock
- Mountain Home
- North Little Rock
- West Memphis
Arkadelphia, Arkansas is a “blink and you’ll miss it” kind of town, but don’t blink because we’ve found so many exciting things to do in and around this slice of small-town America.
Arkansas is called “The Natural State” and it lives up to that name in every way.
In some ways, it’s like Arkadelphia doesn’t want to be discovered.
Searching online and social media leaves few of the normal links you’d normally find for a city.
There’s no link to the city police department and you can find little more than the Clark County Sheriff’s bio on that website.
There’s a historic downtown here with a handful of shops with locally made goods.
Henderson State University and Ouachita (“wah-chi-TAH) Baptist University are the colleges here.
A water park in town provides much-needed relief from the humid summers.
As for the food scene, there are some chain restaurants in town, but I recommend eating locally in eclectic places like the Hamburger Barn.
For those who want to learn more about Arkadelphia, go to Facebook and search for the following phrases – I’ve also added their handle:
- Downtown Arkadelphia (DowntownArkadelphia)
- City of Arkadelphia (ArkadelphiaAR)
- Clark County Emergency Management (clarkcountyeom)
- Arkadelphia Fire Department (Arkadelphia-Fire-Department)
The Arkansas State Park website is a great resource too.
Warnings & Dangers in Arkadelphia
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low overall risk here. The crime rates are low and the biggest threat here will be the weather during certain times of the year. People are friendly, and the colleges give a young vibe to this small town, but there's also a good number of senior citizens living out their golden years here.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
There's a SCAT bus system that goes around Clark County, where Arkadelphia is located. This is a non-profit service mainly used by seniors and there's just one bus stop in town. I wouldn't rely on taxis to get around here, as one taxi listing hasn't updated its Facebook page since 2018. With the colleges here, rideshares might be a more reliable option. It's best to have a car here. All options are low risk, but also have low chances of being the best way to get around.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
I was surprised to see this small town had three pickpockets reported. Some cities three times their size don't have that many. The pickpocketers got away with less than $90. There's a low risk of this happening, but it's a good reminder that a small town doesn't always mean no risk of petty theft.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
This is the one we need to talk about because there's a medium risk throughout the year and when storms are developing there's a high risk. Arkadelphia gets a little bit of the worst of everything, aside from tropical weather. Tornadoes in the spring can be deadly. The most historic storm here was in 1997 when one of the 16 tornadoes that moved across Arkansas hit Arkadelphia head-on. It was an EF-4, the second most dangerous tornado ranking possible. Sixty blocks of the city were in ruins and five people had died. You have to take severe weather seriously here. In the winter, Arkadelphia and Clark County can be crippled by ice storms. Even the most skilled driver in the biggest 4X4 truck can't drive well on ice. Always check weather conditions before coming to Arkadelphia.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
There were four robberies reported in 2020, and two of them were robberies in public. This is where crime statistics can look worse than they are. I could say that half of all robberies here are against people in public places. The reality is, only two people were mugged. There's a low risk here of it happening to you, but the town isn't immune from common crimes.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
There's a low terrorism risk here. There are no hard targets nearby.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
The biggest scam reported was fraudulent puppy sales (to the tune of $160,000!) recently. The suspects in that have been arrested. There's a low risk of a scam happening here.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
This is a safe place for women to visit, though not a whole lot for them to do. There was one sexual assault reported in 2020, but historically there are at least five reported a year dating back to 2013. Basic personal safety practices are enough to avoid problems here.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The tap water here is safe with low risk. I reviewed the 2020 annual water quality report and there were no violations found.
Safest Places to Visit in Arkadelphia
Researching this story, I think it’s fascinating how much this city has rebuilt itself since that 1997 tornado.
If you look up pictures from that day, you’ll see the devastation that’s hard to imagine.
That’s why walking through the Historic Downtown District is all the more special as it’s rebuilt today with history still represented with modern touches.
You’ll find so many locally owned and operated stores, like the Gossip Shop Salon and Boutique, The Farmhouse gift shop, and Samantha’s Bakery and Cafe.
There’s a farmer’s market two days a week as well.
The Clark County Historical Museum is in Arkadelphia’s Amtrak station.
You can see artifacts all the way to when Native Americans roamed these lands through the founding of the city and to the current day.
DeGray Lake is one of this region’s biggest natural attractions and it’s just 20 minutes from Arkadelphia.
This isn’t just a park with a rock-filled parking lot, this is like an amusement park made of natural amenities.
Boating, kayaking, swimming, horseback riding, camping, hiking, bicycling – they are all available here.
Look at the guided tours as there’s everything from a snake tour to a sunset cruise.
You can also road trip about 90 minutes to Lake Ouachita.
A national forest surrounds this area and it’s perfect for camping.
There’s a bathhouse too for those who don’t want to brave the elements with reliable bathing options.
Don’t miss Three Sister’s Springs in this park.
The cold water springs are rumored to have healing powers.
Places to Avoid in Arkadelphia
Arkadelphia is too small of a town to have bad neighborhoods and the crime rate is so low there wouldn’t be much to show anyway.
You might get discouraged looking for Arkadelphia hotels, as there is just one in town.
However, look up the road where I-30 meets Highway 67 where there are plenty there.
They are listed as Arkadelphia hotels, but they’re about 5 miles northeast of the town.
Avoid staying in a mobile home if there’s severe weather coming.
Mobile homes can’t withstand powerful tornado forces well and are generally the first to get damaged or destroyed.
If you’re heading into the wilderness, either alone or with your family, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back.
There is spotty cell phone coverage in Arkansas and 5G service is quite limited off the freeways.
A hot spot might be worth the purchase to bring with you.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Arkadelphia
- Clark County just released an emergency notification app called ClarkArk Alerts. You can download it through the app stores. This will send everything from emergency warnings about weather to boil water orders to street closures.
- Learn about boating safety before you go on the water and don’t drink while boating. In 2021, 54 accidents happened on Arkansas lakes and 11 people died. Six of the accidents were drug or alcohol-related. Even as I write this in March of 2022, there’s a search going on at Lake Ouachita after two children were found dead in the lake and a parent missing.
- People who go outdoors in Arkansas are generally pretty tough, but don’t let your thick skin get you in trouble. For example, the water in the lakes can be very cold, even when the weather starts to warm up outside. Hypothermia can set in and even with a life jacket on, you might be paralyzed by the cold or unable to breathe.
- The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission has education on everything to do with outdoor activities in the state. It’s a great idea to read to learn the novelties of this wilderness and the best safety practices.
- While you’re on that website, get your hunting or fishing license if those are activities you plan to do on your trip to Arkadelphia. You must have a license for those activities.
- For international tourists reading this, I wanted to be clear on how to pronounce the name of this state. It’s “Ar-can-SAUL” even though it looks like “OUR-kanas”. The nearby state of Kansas is pronounced “Can-zhus”. Why are they different? Each city had different interpretations of native and foreign languages and picked the pronunciation and spelling on their own.
- When researching Arkadelphia, as I said before, it’s hard to find as much information as most cities have. Be sure you’re searching for the right location. For example, there’s Arkadelphia, Alabama, and you can also find Thee Sisters Springs in Florida. Just always make sure you add Arkansas to any search topic for the attractions here.
- Every day you need to check with the National Weather Service for the potential of severe weather, be it snow, ice, or storms. The office is located in Little Rock, and you’ll get Little Rock local media stations in Arkadelphia. You don’t want to get caught in the wilderness when a storm moves in.
- When you check into the hotel, ask where the tornado safe place is so you’re prepared. You won’t seem like a worrywart, as it’s common practice to ask this question in this part of the country.
- People here are going to speak with a Southern accent. They’re going to speak a little slower than most people are used to. I lived in Memphis for a while and there were some accents so thick I couldn’t understand what they were saying. They also have some unique phrases like “They could wear the horns off a Billy goat”, which means a person is very annoying. You’ll probably hear “all get out” a lot, and it doesn’t mean to get out. It’s used like “It’s humid as all get out today.”
So... How Safe Is Arkadelphia Really?
You’re safe in Arkadelphia.
You might also get bored if you don’t like the outdoors.
This is a very small town that isn’t always welcoming to strangers.
They won’t be rude, they just won’t trust you at first.
Crime is fairly low.
Here’s how the risks break down:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 216 chance
- Robbery: 1 in 2595
- Theft: 1 in 56
Drugs are a problem across America and even in small-town Arkansas.
In 2020, overdose deaths rose 55%.
Nationwide, 100,000 people have died from overdoses.
The main warning is this – don’t take drugs that don’t come from a licensed pharmacy.
The drug trend now is counterfeit pills made to look like common drugs like Xanax, only they’re loaded with Fentanyl.
Only 2 milligrams of Fentanyl can kill a person.
How Does Arkadelphia Compare?
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- Visas - Your Visa requirements are handled at the airport, not locally. You need no registration to get into Arkadelphia.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar is used here. You can use cash or credit/debit cards. There's not a lot of reason to carry cash as everyone widely accepts credit cards, even in rural Arkansas.
- Weather - Starting in March and through the summer, you've got to be aware of the severe weather. Tornadoes are the biggest risk, but some storms bring microburst and straight-line winds that can be just as powerful. Lightning strikes are possible too if you're outdoors. Summers are incredibly humid here mixed with highs in the 90s and there are a lot of mosquitoes, so bring bug spray. Winters look mild on the surface, with 50s for highs and near freezing for lows, but those temperatures also make a perfect formula for ice storms to cover the region. Even already in 2022, a winter storm knocked out power to thousands of people. Bring extra layers just in case.
- Airports - The Little Rock Airport is the closest commercial option and it's just an hour away. The Dallas Airport is four hours west.
- Travel Insurance - So many weather events can limit travel in this region, so you'll need travel insurance to protect your investment in a trip to Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
Arkadelphia Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Arkansas - Safety by City
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