What to know
For those living in the mountains, the pancake-flat prairie is a curious attraction. This ride between the Arkansas and White rivers is not one of those front-wheel-says-hi-to-the-rear-tire, hairpin curve type rides. It is a relaxing stretch when you need a bit of wind-in-your-face diversion. Along the Arkansas River on both sides, you will find oxbow lakes – those long, curving lakes left behind when a river changes course. There are numerous small farming communities here, like Scott on US 165. It’s representative of the area close around the Arkansas River with its swampy areas thick with cypress growth. Cotham’s Mercantile, a famous general store-turned-burger joint, sits on the bank of Horseshoe Lake. South of Scott is another place of interest, Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park. Over 1,000 years ago, Native Americans built mounds and other earthworks at this ceremonial site. Continuing through England and up to Carlisle, you’ll find more river-bottom farmland where rice and soybeans are grown. The area is replete with creeks and streams, so the wooded areas you encounter are often associated with these swampy low areas. Just past the US 70/63 junction is DeValls Bluff, a little town on the edge of the White River. Be sure to plan a lunch stop at Craig’s Bar-B-Que for some great small-town barbecue in DeValls Bluff. The ride down US 79 to Pine Bluff takes you through Stuttgart, which attracts duck hunters from across the country in the fall. Following an afternoon of motoring around the Grand Prairie, take I-530 back to Little Rock for a relaxing evening in the River Market District.