The longest bayou in the United States is located in Arkansas. At 359 miles long, Bayou Bartholomew begins in Pine Bluff and was used to export the riches of the Arkansas Delta across the country.
Bayou Bartholomew was once a wide, pristine waterway with barges, and even steamboats, plying its waters. Today, as farming and clear-cutting have become the main activities in this area, the bayou has filled in with sediment and is a shallow shadow of its former self, but it still offers wonderful fishing. As the dividing line between the Delta region and the timberlands, it is the second most ecologically diverse waterway in the nation.
This short loop conveniently starts at Star City. The ride down US 425 to AR 54 is a patchwork of timber and cleared pastures for cattle farming.
Crossing Bayou Bartholomew at Winchester is like crossing from night into day. The Delta is flat, Mississippi River bottom agricultural land. The bayou separates the pinewoods to the west and the Delta to the east like a squiggly line on paper.
To experience two of the major geographical divisions of Arkansas in one short ride, the curving Bayou Bartholomew is a unique opportunity.
Continue on, taking AR 138 across US 65 for 16 miles farther east to Rohwer to visit the Rohwer Relocation Center National Historic Landmark, where Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II, and on to McGehee to see the restored 1910 Missouri-Pacific Railroad Depot housing the World War II Japanese-American Internment Museum.