This character-rich region is known for its history and agriculture. Agribusiness is the predominant industry, with hundreds of thousands of acres of cotton, rice, soybeans, corn and wheat grown each year. In fact, Arkansas is the number one state for rice exports in the nation and 10th for soybeans, which are its most valuable crop.
The rice fields create a particularly favorable environment for waterfowl, making the area famous for its place on the Mississippi Flyway—a destination for 40 million migratory waterfowl annually. At the heart of the Flyway lies Stuttgart, known for being the duck hunting capital of the world. Duck hunters from across the nation flock here during the season with hopes of limiting out.
Arkansas’s storied place in American history comes to life in the Lower Delta. Pine Bluff is the largest town and the commercial hub, and its past is demonstrated at the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Railroad Museum and the Delta Rivers Nature Center. Its suburb of White Hall is popular with families, especially now that its new Crenshaw Springs Water Park is open.
Arkansas’s first capital city, Arkansas Post – also the first European settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley – is located in Gillett. At Louisiana Purchase State Park near Brinkley, there is a monument marking the initial point for surveys of the 1803 land deal.
More of the Lower Delta’s great history can be experienced along the Arkansas Civil War Trail, a statewide trail system spotlighting Confederate and Union campaigns, including Confederate approaches to Helena. Crowley’s Ridge Parkway, a National Scenic Byway, and the Arkansas Great River Road traverse both the Upper Delta and Lower Delta, showcasing hidden gems from Piggott to Helena-West Helena and Blytheville to Lake Village respectively. The Arkansas Delta Music Trail also passes through the region—and all of these picturesque drives are popular with motorcyclists.
Helena-West Helena, a city famous for its Civil War past and its blues music heritage, is home to more than 13,000 people and is the gathering place of the world renowned King Biscuit Blues Festival each October. It is one of the preeminent blues festivals in the country.
In southeastern Arkansas you’ll find the towns of Warren, Hamburg, Monticello, McGehee, Crossett and Lake Village. Monticello is an active community enjoying plentiful city parks, a lake, a country club, museums, festivals and quality schools, with higher education offered at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The area is also home to the largest oxbow lake in North America—and the largest natural lake in Arkansas—Lake Chicot, located in Lake Village. Known for its cotton and catfish farms, Lake Village is also where you’ll find Lakeport Plantation, the last antebellum plantation in Arkansas that lies along the Mississippi River, and a marker noting where Charles Lindbergh landed in April 1923, and later that same evening, took his first night flight over the town and the Mississippi River.
In the Lower Delta, you can…
- canoe the Mississippi River with Quapaw Canoe Company.
- eat the best barbecue sandwich you’ve ever had at Jones Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna.
- swim in the largest oxbow lake in America, Lake Chicot.
- hunt in the duck hunting capital of the world, Stuttgart.
- shoot skeet at the Delta Resort & Spa in Tillar.
- visit the site where surveys started after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 near Brinkley.
- order Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales (and sweet potato pie) in Lake Village.
- taste a pink tomato—the Arkansas state fruit and vegetable—in Warren.
- attend one of the preeminent blues festivals in the country, the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena-West Helena.
- ride your motorcycle along the longest bayou in the U.S. (take the Bayou Bartholomew/Rohwer Memorial Loop).
- tour a courthouse built in 1900—the Desha County Courthouse—in Arkansas City.
The Lower Delta is known for…
History was made in the Lower Delta when…
- Nearly 16,000 Japanese Americans were interned in Arkansas at the Rohwer Japanese-American Relocation Center and the Jerome Relocation Center between 1942-1945.
- Johnny Cash was born in Kingsland in 1932.
- French explorer Henri de Tonti established Arkansas Post, the first permanent European settlement in Arkansas—a French trading post on the banks of the Arkansas River.
- the single deadliest shot fired was made in St. Charles during the Civil War in 1862.
- Freeman Owens became the first person to successfully synchronize sound to film. The Pine Bluff native also invented slow motion filming.
- Jones Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna—a 110-year-old restaurant—won a James Beard Award in 2012.