top of page


The purpose of the True Grit Trail is to create partnerships among local businesses and communities  to bring tourists to the Arkansas River Valley and Southeastern Oklahoma by leveraging the name recognition provided by author Charles Portis when he set his novel True Grit in those locations. 

True Grit Trail-Official Logo.png


In the words of Mattie Ross, “Here is what happened.” In 2019, constituents approached Mary Bentley, State Representative for district 73 (which included Dardanelle), about designating State Highway 22 as "True Grit Trail" as an homage to the world-renowned novelist and Arkansas son, Charles Portis. Portis is the author of True Grit, a story about the Ross family from "near Dardanelle in Yell County."

Representative Bentley filed House Bill 1628 to create the True Grit Trail on February 28, 2019. HB1628 was co-sponsored by State senators Gary Stubblefield and Matthew Pitsch, State Representatives Justin Boyd, Cindy Crawford, Jay Richardson, Jon Eubanks, and Lee Johnson. The Bill passed through both chambers 135-0, on March 14, 2019. Governor Asa Hutchinson signed the act on March 20.


True Grit Trail became a project of the Yell County Historical Society on September 21, 2020 which is registered as a 501c3 organization in Arkansas.


Photo 1— State Senator Gary Stubblefield; State Representative Mary Bentley; Volunteer Tom Berryhill.—Photographer, unknown. Photo 2—L-R: Len Cotton, Avis Cotton (Parents of US Senator Tom Cotton); State Senator Gary Stubblefield; House Representative Mary Bentley; Governor Asa Hutchinson; John T. Wayne; State Representative Lee Johnson.—Photograph, Courtesy of the Governor's Office.


The trademarked True Grit Trail logo is available for usage without cost by companies and organizations along the entire True Grit Trail from Dardanelle, Arkansas to Talihina, Oklahoma. We welcome your participation and will provide the necessary details when you contact us.

Send an email to the True Grit Trail

Thanks for sending!

Write-Call Us

PO BOX 622

Dardanelle, AR 72834


bottom of page