Arkansas June 29, 2018
The Arkansas Portion Of The Great River Road Is A Trip You Need To Take
We’ve covered interesting road trips from an
epic cheese dip trail to a dreamy train-themed journey, but today’s trip isn’t just about food or history. The Great River Road is a spectacular drive through ten states, including Arkansas. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite stops along the way from the naturally unique to the authentically historic. Let’s buckle up as we take on this Delta tour.
The Great River Road is an epic ten-state trip along the Mississippi River.
The trip earned recognition in 2002 as a scenic byway but original construction began in 1938. The route was studied for over a decade before the plan to upgrade and connect existing routes was agreed upon.
The Arkansas portion of the Great River Road traverses through the Delta.
One of the best things about this trip is how easy it is to customize. If you just want a day-long scenic drive, no problem. If you're wanting a long weekend getaway, can do!
Byway routes must have at least one of six qualities: archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, or scenic.
Arkansas' portion has each of these qualities so let's see what some of these standout spots look like.
1. Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park - Holly Grove
Just about the whole length of the Great River Road is a scenic drive but one place is definitely worth getting out of the car for. The state park commemorates the initial point from which the lands were originally surveyed. The vivid greens of the scenery and the small boardwalk trail will help you forget the length of time you just committed for this road trip.
The marker is located at AR-362, Holly Grove, AR 72069.
2. Hampson Archeological Museum State Park - Wilson
This teeny tiny state park may only cover five acres but the archaeological history inside dates back to around A.D. 1400. Hampson gives insight to the Nodena people that lived in the Crowley's Ridge area. The people are thought to be the ancestors of the more familiar Quapaw Tribe. Artifacts such as Effigies, Lithics, and household pottery are part of the museum's displays.
The state park is located at 2 Lake Dr., Wilson, AR 72395.
3. Culture - Delta Cultural Center - Helena
Learn what makes the Delta region so unique during your tour of the Center. The interactive exhibits offer a hands-on chance to understand the history of the blues in the area. The direct impact of the Civil War is also featured at the Cultural Center.
You can find this spot at 141 Cherry St., Helena, AR 72342.
4. White River National Wildlife Refuge - St. Charles
The largest National Wildlife Refuge in the state is also one of the most unique. Instead of the mountains and waterfalls the rest of the Arkansas is accustomed to, the White River N.W.R. is home to Cypress trees and beautiful bayous. The preserved area protects the remains of the last bottomland hardwood forest in the Mississippi River Valley. Stretch your legs from the long drive by taking one of the trails in the Refuge, including a new canoe trail on H Lake.
The Wildlife Refuge is located at 57 S CC Camp Rd., St Charles, AR 72140.
5. Lakeport Plantation - Lakeport
This historic 1859 Delta gem was once the splendid home to the Johnson family from Kentucky. Lakeport is now the last remaining Arkansas plantation home on the Mississippi River. The surrounding land is still used for cotton production and the plantation has been turned into a museum.
Lakeport Plantation is located at 601 AR-142, Lake Village, AR 71653.
6. Lake Chicot State Park - Lakeport
The recreation portion of the Great River Road could easily turn your one day trip into a week of activities. The 20-mile long oxbow lake at the state park is perfect for fishing, boating, or just relaxing and watching the birds. Cabins are available as well as plenty of campsites.
Lake Chicot Sate Park is located at 2542 State Hwy 257, Lake Village, AR 71653.
Today’s highlights were by no means the only points of interest along this route. We highly recommend checking out the
Arkansas Delta Byways if you’d like to enjoy the Great River Road by themed “trails” along the way.
We would love to hear about your favorite stops along this byway in the comments below!
You should definitely fit in this
Delta Dining road trip as well.