Crowley’s Ridge Parkway National Scenic Byway – AR
- DesignationNational Scenic Byway (1998)
- Intrinsic QualitiesNatural
- LocationAR, MO
- Length198 of 208 total miles
See a mixture of plant communities and diversity of species along Crowley's Ridge. Dramatic views abound along the ridge and hills where wildflowers proliferate throughout spring, summer and fall. Travel through natural and historical sites such as Chalk Bluff Natural Area and Civil War Battle site, and St. Francis National Forest.
Story of the Byway
Crowley’s Ridge Parkway consists of segments of 17 highways, two county roads, and several city streets. It was designated as Arkansas’ first National Scenic Byway in 1998. The route follows a geologic formation through northeast and east-central Arkansas. About two million years ago, wind-blow soils collected in an area between the meandering channels of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. This soil is known as loess and formed a ridge rising 200 feet in areas that surround the flat delta region. This high ground leant itself to human settlement and today contains hardwood forests, farmland, orchards, and many recreational and historical resources. Look for cotton fields and gladiolus farms on your drive.
Starting in the very northeastern corner of Arkansas, the route begins at St Francis and heads southward on a combination of 17 highways, 2 county roads, and many city streets including Highways141,163, 284, 1, and 44. The route ends at Helena, Arkansas.
Points of Interest
Crowley’s Ridge State Park
Fishing, camping, picnicking, and other outdoor activities
Lake Poinsett State Park
A 132-acre park with a lake formed by damming Distress Creek in 1960 to create recreational opportunities.
Edwardian Inn (Helena)
Fine example of Edwardian architecture and type of homes built around the turn of the century.
Bear Creek Lake
Owned by the US Forest Service, in the St. Francis National Forest. Lake offers opportunities for bass fishing and bream fishing during spring. Many other species such as largemouth bass and crappie abound.
Community named by combing two last names- Paramore and Gould – who were owners of two railroads that originally crossed here. Several historic buildings.
Delta Cultural Center (Helena)
Preserves the legacy of the land and people of the Mississippi River Delta.
Hemingway-Pfeffer Museum and Conference Center
Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms at this home in Piggott, now a visitor center.
Chalk Bluff Natural Area and Battlefield Park
A Civil War site near Piggott, AR.
St. Francis National Forest
Diverse forest with campsites and 2 lakes.
Wildflowers and Wildlife
Just after crossing into Arkansas on Highway 62, take a side trip north to Chalk Bluff Battlefield Park or continue to Piggot. Stop at the Hemingway-Pfeffer Museum, where Ernest Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms. Continue to State Highway 141 to Paragould, where there are many historic buildings. Check out the sundry of diners and restaurants. Turn onto State Highway 168. Look for wildflowers and wildlife. Stop at the Crowley Ridge State Park where you can fish, camp, picnic, and find information at the visitor center. Take Highway 168 to Highway 141 and 351 to Jonesboro and Highway 49 and 151 to Harrisburg. Lake Poinsett State Park is south of town and offers many opportunities for water recreation.
Continue the byway to Wynne, Forest City, and Marianna. Depart Marianna on Route 44 and drive through the St Francis National Forest. Stop at Bear Creek Lake for bass, crappie, and bream fishing. Pick up US 49B to Helena. In Helena, look at the architecture of the Edwardian Inn and check out the Delta Cultural Center. Spend the night in Helena and prepare to continue Highway 49B to the Arkansas/Mississippi border where the byway ends at the Mississippi River.
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