Arkansas March 27, 2018
10 Unexpectedly Beautiful Bayous You Can Visit In Arkansas
It’s easy to just picture the waterfalls and mountains when thinking about Arkansas’ natural beauty. However, we have quite a few spots where the boggy waters and ancient cypress trees reside. Let’s take a kayak tour at these unexpectedly beautiful bayous.
1. Cane Creek State Park - Star City
This underrated state park actually contains two distinct regions, the West Gulf Coastal Plain and the Mississippi Delta. Paddling across Cane Creek Lake is the perfect way to spot the abundant wildlife. If you do visit, go ahead and plan to take advantage of the neighboring Bayou Bartholomew, too.
2. Pinnacle Mountain State Park - Little Rock
The hike to the top of the mountain is definitely rewarding but don't skip out on strolling through the park's bottomland forest along the Kingfisher Trail. The .6-mile hike provides relaxing bird watching and educational tidbits.
3. Byrd Lake Natural Area - Pine Bluff
Tour this substream to Bayou Bartholomew and enjoy the cypress trees lining the lake. The trail in Byrd Lake Natural Area is a developed, half mile out-and-back hike. Be sure to catch the spur along the little trail to reach the overlook of the lake.
4. Bartholomew Bayou - Pine Bluff
As we've covered, Bartholomew Bayou has multiple substreams throughout the area. The bayou is the longest in world, stretching 364 miles between Arkansas and Louisiana. Although the bayou is quite well known, it's actually an underrated spot for catfishing.
5. Lorance Creek Natural Area - Wrightsville
If the thought of paddling through the swamp isn't appeasing but you would still like to enjoy the serenity of a bayou, go take a hike at the Lorance Creek Natural Area. The half mile boardwalk tours hikers through the upland pine and oak forest but then descends to the cypress bottomland.
6. Bayou Bluff - Hector
Bayou Bluff is one of the access points to the Illinois Bayou. It's a popular paddling spot and has an equestrian-friendly trail. It's also the only area to have a campground along the river.
7. Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park - Brinkley
Enjoy the bayou but also take in a truly unique piece of history at this state park. Besides preserving part of the largest remaining headwater swamp in the Lower Mississippi River Valley, the area is also home to an important commemorative marker. This was the starting point for the 1815 land surveys of the Louisiana Purchase Territory.
8. Delta Heritage Trail State Park - Helena-West Helena
In the middle of this state park you'll find one of the last remnants of what had been a vast bottomland hardwood forest. Take advantage of the opportunity to paddle through this wetland forest during the park's routine kayak tours. Delta Heritage is also well known for its biking and walking trails.
9. Lake Chicot State Park - Lake Village
The largest natural lake in the state is another fantastic spot to enjoy the Mississippi Delta area. Enjoy the hot fishing spot or relax on a bayou barge tour. Because of its location, Lake Chicot is also one of the best bird-sighting spots year round.
10. Mississippi River State Park - Marianna
This state park houses multiple lakes that showcase the delta region. Spot an alligator at Hornor Neck Lake or recharge at the Storm Creek Lake campground. Similar to the Delta Heritage Trail State Park, this area also offers guided kayak tours along the cypress.
Have you been down to the bayou? Share your favorite with us in the comments below!
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If the barge tour caught your eye, you can read our feature about