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Travel through History Along Arkansas’s Great River Road

Friday, November 21, 2014

Arkansas is rich in history and there’s no better way to take it all in than a trip down the Great River Road.

Delta Cultural Center

Located in downtown Helena, the Delta Cultural Center is really two buildings. The Depot features two permanent exhibits, one telling the story of the Arkansas Delta and its people, from prehistoric days to the present and the second detailing the role the state played in the Civil War. One block away you’ll find the Visitors Center, which is home to several traveling exhibits and its permanent feature, Delta Sounds. Delta Sounds features listening stations where visitors can listen to all the music of the Arkansas Delta, including blues, gospel and rockabilly. It’s also home to the longest running daily blues radio show in the U.S. – King Biscuit Time.

Lake Chicot State Park

Lake Chicot is Arkansas’s largest natural lake. This 20-mile long oxbow lake was part of the Mississippi River until centuries ago, when the river altered its course and the lake was cut off. Now the lake is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Thanks to its location along the Mississippi Flyway, the birding is fantastic and the water is rife with crappie, bass and catfish. There are campsites and cabins and boat and bicycle rentals to round out your visit.

Lakeport Plantation

The Lakeport Plantation house in Lake Village is the last remaining antebellum Arkansas plantation home on the Mississippi River. Built in 1859, the home has been beautifully restored into a museum focusing on the lifestyles and relationships between and people who lived and worked at Lakeport.

Parkin Archeological State Park

Parkin Archeological State Park was the site of a former American Indian village from A.D. 1000 to 1600 which is believed to be Casqui, the village visited by explorer Hernando de Soto in 1541. Archeological excavations are often underway here and can be viewed via guided tour. Exhibits and audio tours are also available. Parkin remains one of the last archeological sites of its kind in the region as many were destroyed during the settling of eastern Arkansas.