The Longest Bayou In The World Starts Right Here In Arkansas And It's Breathtaking
By J.B. VanDyke|Published February 21, 2017
J.B. Weisenfels has lived in rural Arkansas for three decades. She is a writer, a mom, and a graduate student. She is also an avid collector of tacky fish whatnots, slightly chipped teapots, and other old things. In her spare time she enjoys driving to the nearest creek to sit a while. If you were to visit her, she'd try to feed you cornbread.
When you think of a bayou, you’re probably not thinking of anywhere in Arkansas, right? It brings to mind an ancient place lined with swampland in Louisiana. You’re not alone in thinking of it that way. The word “bayou” has become synonymous with a Cajun accent and huge cypress swamps where good old boys hunt gators. Perhaps that association is so strong because the word “bayou” comes from Cajun French. In fact, and I promise I’m not going to go full nerd and bore you to tears, but you might think a bayou and a swamp are exactly the same thing. You’d be wrong on that account.
There is something exceptional that you’ve probably never heard about bayous, and it has to do with the Natural State. The longest bayou in the world starts just north of Pine Bluff, Arkansas and winds a stunning 360 miles before dumping into the Ouachita River in northern Louisiana. Bayou Bartholomew is teeming with life, and it’s a great place to see something you can’t find just anywhere in the Natural State.