Eastern Arkansas lies within the nation's largest alluvial plain, a
vast flatland leveled over eons by the erosive floods, depositions of
silt and course changes of the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
Contained within the Delta's level expanse, Crowley's Ridge rises
as much as 200 feet above the surrounding terrain. It was formed when
the ancestral Mississippi and Ohio rivers eroded away the land on each
side and deposits of wind-blown soils added height to the remnant ridge.
A magnet for human settlement, the ridge was named after Benjamin
Crowley, who moved there in 1800 to escape flooding in the Delta
Today, Crowley's Ridge is characterized by upland hardwood forests,
farmland, orchards and a variety of recreational and historical
resources. Four state parks lie along the parkway, which passes through
the St. Francis National Forest and makes for one of the most scenic motorcycle rides in the state. Arkansas's portion of the Crowley's Ridge Parkway was designated one of Arkansas's scenic highways and byways in 1997 and became one of America's national scenic byways in 1998.
LENGTH: 198 miles
THINGS TO KNOW:
The major towns on the byway are Piggott, Paragould, Jonesboro, Wynne, Forrest City, Marianna, Helena/West Helena.
Lodging, dining and shopping opportunities in those and other
communities can be researched using the links in the "Major Area
Attractions" section below or by visiting the Arkansas Delta Byways website. Camping is available at sites within the St. Francis National Forest. Arkansas state parks camping is available at Lake Frierson, Mississippi River and Lake Poinsett state parks, while camping and cabins are available at Crowley's Ridge and Village Creek state parks.
Two areas of cultural interest not found on other scenic highways and byways are Native Americans
and blues music. The legacy of Arkansas's largest concentrations of
Native Americans can be explored at the Arkansas State University Museum
and Parkin Archeological State Park. Arkansas's role in the development of blues music can be explored in interactive and audio exhibits at the Delta Cultural Center.
MAJOR AREA ATTRACTIONS:
REGIONAL TOURISM INFORMATION: