Crowley’s Ridge Parkway

State: Arkansas
Length: 212 miles / 341.2 km
Time to Allow: Allow 5 hours and 30 minutes to enjoy the Byway.

The Crowley’s Ridge Parkway takes up an impressive 212 miles, mostly in Arkansas but ends with a few miles in Missouri. The byway sits close to the eastern border of the states, making it easily accessible for those in Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. While you can drive the entire byway in just 5.5 miles but several days would allow you to see all the sights with ease. Drive through wilderness, dramatic views, and see several historical sites along the way.

The best qualities of this byway are natural plant communities found along the ridge for dramatic views in the spring and fall. If New England is too far away, try enjoying the changing of leaves right here in Arkansas. Wildflowers abound in the communities in the summer, making for incredible sights for the whole family. Next, start in Helena in the southern part of the byway. The town offers a few museums and Fort Curtis if you want to learn more about the Civil War.

People who love to canoe will love this area as there are tours on the Mississippi and Big Sunflower Rivers. For more history, visit the Helena Confederate Cemetery for impressively old headstones. Next, take a side trip to Memphis right along the river if you have the extra time to enjoy a major city; otherwise, continue through Barton to Marianna to stay at the Mississippi River State Park. Finally, visit the Louisiana Purchase State Park.

Drive through Forrest City and Wynne, making sure to stop at a couple of casinos along the way. For a little history, stop at the Parkin Archeological State Park for free and take a self-guided tour before camping for the night or enjoying outdoor activities on the water. Continue on to Harrisburg to visit the Parker Pioneer Homestead or the Lake Poinsett State Park. In Jonesboro, you can visit an art or history museum and visit the Craighead Forest Park. Try out some shopping in town and put away the tent for a night at a nice hotel.

Heading north, continue to Paragould to the Crowley Ridge State Park and the Lake Frierson State Park, both with camping options. Grab a meal at Roy’s First and Last chance along with your favorite brew. You can also try some incredible Italian food at Avanzare’s for a real treat. Visit the Hemingway Pfeiffer Museum in Piggott or the Mo-Ark Regional Railroad Museum.

Finish the trip in Missouri, starting in Campbell close to the St. Francis River. The trail ends in Malden with access to the Gunnels Hill Civil War Cemetery. As you can see, the byways is filled with state parks making this a great choice for those traveling by RV or with a tent. Along the way, you can see tons of architecturally interesting homes and buildings along with Civil War memorials. Learn history, enjoy the foliage, and gain fun experiences in small-town America with this perfectly enjoyable family vacation.

More Arkansas Byways

You can check out additional Byways in Arkansas by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the Arkansas Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.