Discovering Two Gems in the Arkansas Delta

Kerry Kraus


Although I have traveled nearly every corner of this wonderful Natural State I proudly call home, I must admit that I am the least familiar with eastern Arkansas. I had the wonderful experience last week of visiting the area and discovered two gems: the quaint town of Marianna and the Mississippi River State Park in the St. Francis National Forest. Even though I have long known about the natural curiosity that is Crowley’s Ridge, I still have a tendency to think of the Delta as flat. The picturesque town of Marianna was an eye-opener for me because of the beautiful undulating topography that is the ridge. An historic square and impressive old homes immediately make your mind and your spirit slow down and relax.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see all the sights but I did get to visit a portion of the Mississippi River State Park, which is currently under development. I visited the recently reopened Beech Point Campground located in the Bear Creek Lake recreation area of the park. Incredible is about the only word I can think of. Maybe breathtaking. The hardwoods that comprise the forest are gorgeous, especially now since the leaves are beginning to turn. Even if you’re not a camper, you’ll appreciate the scenic beauty of the lake and campground. Since it is also located on Crowley’s Ridge, the park has hills and valleys. If you didn’t know you were in the Delta, you could easily think you were in the Ozarks or Ouachitas.

More development is planned for the state park but for now, the lake, along with the camping and picnic areas, offer a great get-away. If you’ve never explored that area of Arkansas, you’re in for a treat.

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