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Paris is ripe with opportunity for fun times

Alex Gladden
Fort Smith Times Record
Volunteers established Eiffel Tower Park in 2014, spurring downtown growth.

From city parks to the area winery to the brewery, people in Paris can stay busy making memories with these six things to do around town. 

Paris Square 

Whether the Paris Square is ablaze with Christmas lights or it's just a regular Tuesday, people flock to the square, where they can shop, get their hair done or eat homemade candy. 

The movement to revitalize Paris' downtown began when a group of volunteers established Eiffel Tower Park, complete with a fountain in the shape of the Eiffel Tower, said Tonya Fletcher, the executive director of the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce.

Since then, there's been a steady stream of businesses that have moved into the square. 

There are still a few open spots, “but I do think we’re headed in the right direction," Fletcher said. 

Cowie Wine Cellars and Vineyards

Cowie Wine Cellars and Vineyards has been open since 1967.

The Cowie winery has been a staple in the Paris area since 1967 when it opened. 

Robert Cowie, 81, has been making wine since he was 15 and has 21 varieties. 

“I have a love of making wine," Cowie said. 

The winery plays host to a chapel, a museum detailing wine production, a bell tower and a guest house. 

“We’re just small and that’s what makes us intimate," Cowie said. 

Cowie Wine Cellars and Vineyards has been open since 1967.

City Parks 

Paris offers its residents and guests two city parks where people can enjoy the outdoors. 

Mayor Daniel Rogers plans to further develop Wood Street Park.

The parks provide a “higher quality of life for residents” Mayor Daniel Rogers said. 

Veterans Park has a pool, jungle gym and baseball fields. Although the city didn't open the pool last year because of the pandemic, Rogers said he fully plans to do so this year. 

Wood Street Park has a jungle gym, basketball courts, soccer fields and a walking trail. 

“I think it’s very important a city our size offers things like that," Rogers said about the parks. 

Roger said he wants to continue adding to Wood Street Park. The plan is to eventually add a parking lot and bathroom as well as more playground equipment. He's also considering adding baseball fields at the park. 

Schluterman's ATV Tour & Guide Service

Schluterman's gives people in Paris a chance to explore the great outdoors. 

Owner Kevin Schluterman offers tours throughout the year. People can rent ATVs or side-by-sides to traverse Mount Magazine State Park. 

The three-hour tour goes through 27 miles of parkland, stopping at a natural bridge, a waterfall, a lake and numerous overlooks. 

Schluterman said his tours allow people to get out in nature. It's common to spot wild turkeys and deer. Schluterman has even spotted bears on three occasions. 

Prestonrose Farm And Brewing Co.

While Prestonrose is closed to the public during COVID, the company is still selling beer by the bottle. 

In normal times, Prestonrose is a place for people to gather. 

“It sort of turned into a destination brewery," said Liz Preston, one of the owners. 

Prestonrose started as an organic farm and then added a brewery followed by a restaurant. 

All the food served in the restaurant is either grown on the farm or grown by area farmers, Preston said. 

The company is offering a takeout menu for the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day. 

Preston said she hopes for the brewery to begin functioning normally throughout the spring or summer. 

“We’re definitely playing it safe," Preston said. 

Mount Magazine is the highest point in Arkansas.

Mount Magazine 

Mount Magazine is the highest point in Arkansas and offers Paris residents beautiful scenery and trails 

Mount Magazine State Park has 168 miles of horse and ATV trails. It also has areas for hang gliding and rock climbing. For both those activities, people have to bring their own equipment, park representative Laurie McCarthy said. 

There are walking trails that range in difficulty from easy to strenuous and in length from four-tenths of a mile to nine and a half miles one way. 

The park also has lodge rooms, cabins and campgrounds where people can stay, McCarthy said. 

"It’s a very peaceful, relaxing space," McCarthy said. 

In the park, people will see vegetation, trees and birds that are unique to the area, McCarthy said. 

If they're lucky, people might spot bald eagles or bears while they're in the park, park interpreter Don Simons said.