Drive the Great River Road this September
Editor’s note: This blog refers to the 2017 Drive the Great River Road Month, but still has great information on driving the national scenic byway in the Arkansas Delta.
Along The Natural State’s eastern border flows a mighty river that has transformed the land and the people within its reach. It is the majestic Mississippi River, which starts as a stream in Minnesota, winding throughout America’s heartland to Louisiana, where it relinquishes its powerful waters into the Gulf of Mexico.
Arkansas is a proud member of the 10-state Great River Road National Scenic Byway. September is the annual Drive the Great River Road Month, an open invitation to plan a fun and memorable road trip along the nearly 3,000-mile National Scenic Byway that runs through 10 states, from Minnesota to Louisiana. It is one of the oldest, longest and most unique scenic byways in North America, offering a gateway to the Mississippi River Valley’s great history, the blending of cultures and a host of recreational options to all visitors.
The Great River Road was established in 1938 when governors from the 10 states bordering the historic waterway decided to develop a network of rural roads and new highways to create a transcontinental parkway along the Mississippi River, crisscrossing the mighty river, totaling 2,340 miles. The Mississippi River Parkway Commission was formed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to preserve, promote, and enhance the scenic, historic and recreational resources of the Mississippi River; to foster economic growth in the corridor; and to develop the national, scenic and historic Great River Road.
Arkansas’s 362-mile section of the Great River Road National Scenic Byway winds its way through the state’s eastern Delta region along the mighty stream. The waterway created a scenic and natural border that has beckoned people to its banks for centuries. Visitors can gaze upon acres of cotton, soybeans or rice as they travel through some of the most fertile land in the country. Along the trek, numerous historical and cultural sites preserve the history of Arkansas and its people and welcome visitors to learn more about this remarkable region.
Plan a day’s drive or a month-long excursion along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway with the help of www.experiencemississippiriver.com. Here you’ll find information on all the Great River Road states, interpretive centers (museums and historic sites showcasing the stories of the Mississippi), upcoming events and must-see attractions, along with suggested itineraries and maps to help plan a trip that’s just right for you. You can also order a free 10-state map or download the Drive the Great River Road app.
To help celebrate Drive the Great River Road Month, the Drive the Great River Road Sweepstakes will be held thru Sept. 30, offering travelers a chance to win $500 to use on their own trip along the Great River Road. More information can be found on www.experiencemississippiriver.com and www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRoad.
To learn more about Arkansas’s Great River Road, visit www.arkansas.com/grr.