Travel the True Grit Trail.
True Grit is more than a story; more than two movies. True Grit is a lifestyle. Come visit the people and enjoy the activities, communities and scenery along the True Grit Trail—starting in Dardanelle, Arkansas and continuing 75 miles through the Arkansas River Valley to Fort Smith.

True Grit is a New York Times bestseller by Charles Portis and twice made into motion pictures starring John Wayne and Jeff Bridges.

Whether you like Wayne or Bridges as Marshal Rooster Cogburn; Glen Campbell (a native of Delight, Arkansas) or Matt Damon as Sergeant LeBeouf, take the 75 mile journey from Dardanelle to Fort Smith and see the True Grit Trail—Arkansas Highway 22.

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Arkansas is where “True Grit” began, and lives today. The True Grit Trail is anchored in the East by Dardanelle in the Arkansas River Valley. It was, and is, the home of Mattie Ross, her family and a great community.


In the West the Trail is anchored by Fort Smith on the Oklahoma border. It’s the home of the US Marshals Museum and Judge Isaac Parker's court. 


Visit the Arkansas River Valley Library located on Union Street in Dardanelle. There you will find the Yell County Historical Society's True Grit Trail Community Room featuring an exhibit about True Grit.

Each 60-day exhibit tells a story about both the fictional and non-fictional True Grit, starting with where the story of  True Grit really took place. The first exhibit is scheduled for September, 2021.


The mission of the Yell County Historical Society is to promote individual and general interest in the history of Yell County. We collect, preserve and publish pertinent information concerning Yell County history.

The history of the True Grit Trail begins in Yell County, Arkansas, with the people who have demonstrated their true grit for over 100 years.