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Crowley's Ridge Parkway National Scenic Byway

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Eastern Arkansas lies within the nation's largest alluvial plain, a vast flatland leveled over eons by the erosive floods, depositions of silt and course changes of the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Contained within the Delta's level expanse, Crowley's Ridge rises as much as 200 feet above the surrounding terrain. It was formed when the ancestral Mississippi and Ohio rivers eroded away the land on each side and deposits of wind-blown soils added height to the remnant ridge. A magnet for human settlement, the ridge was named after Benjamin Crowley, who moved there in 1800 to escape flooding in the Delta lowlands.

Today, Crowley's Ridge is characterized by upland hardwood forests, farmland, orchards and a variety of recreational and historical resources. Four state parks lie along the parkway, which passes through the St. Francis National Forest and makes for one of the most scenic motorcycle rides in the state. Arkansas's portion of the Crowley's Ridge Parkway was designated one of Arkansas's scenic highways and byways in 1997 and became one of America's national scenic byway in 1998.

The Route

LENGTH: 198 miles

MAP:

THINGS TO KNOW:

The major towns on the byway are Piggott, Paragould, Jonesboro, Wynne, Forrest City, Marianna, West Helena and Helena. Lodging, dining and shopping opportunities in those and other communities can be researched using the links in the "Major Area Attractions" section below or by means of an interactive map at www.deltabyways.com. Lodging options can also be searched by town and by the categories of "Motels/Hotels," "Bed and Breakfast" and "Campsites/Cabins" by visiting www.deltabyways.com/lodging/. Camping is available at sites within the St. Francis National Forest. Arkansas state parks camping is available at Lake Frierson and Lake Poinsett state parks, while camping and cabins are available at Crowley's Ridge and Village Creek state parks.

Two areas of cultural interest not found on other scenic highways and byways are Native Americans and blues music. The legacy of Arkansas's largest concentrations of Native Americans can be explored at the Arkansas State University Museum and Parkin Archeological State Park. Arkansas's role in the development of blues music can be explored in interactive and audio exhibits at the Delta Cultural Center.

MAJOR AREA ATTRACTIONS:

REGIONAL TOURISM INFORMATION: