Spring RV Road Trip Idea – Crowley’s Ridge Parkway

From the Mississippi River port city of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas to the Bootheel Region of Missouri, there’s a scenic, tree-covered ridge that beckons Spring RV travelers to come and explore. Crowley’s Ridge Parkway, two hundred miles of hardwood-forest-covered hills, opens the door to cultural, historical and natural attractions worth discovering.

Perfect for a multi-day RV road trip, this parkway promises the bright green of newly budded trees, quiet meadows filled with wildflowers and exciting views that stretch out for miles to Spring RV travelers. We suggest making these stops along the way to enjoy the wonders of Crowley’s Ridge.

To absorb the significance of the Mississippi River and Crowley’s Ridge to the Civil War, make Helena-West Helena, Arkansas your first stop on the Parkway. Hometown and burial place of three Confederate generals and the site of the Battle of Helena in 1863, this now-combined pair of towns has a nice collection of antebellum homes, as well.

You’ll find the route well-marked as you travel north out of Helena-West Helena toward St. Francis National Forest. Two RV-ready campgrounds welcome travelers to stop and enjoy the trails, photograph an amazing variety of plant and animal life and enjoy picture-perfect views of Bear Creek Lake.

Having enjoyed a restful night in your comfortable RV, hit the road again following the signs for Crowley’s Ridge Parkway north to Marianna, AR. From there, it’s a short drive to Parkin Archaeological State Park, where an American Indian village flourished for more than 500 years on the banks of the Mississippi. A large burial mound, an interpretive center and remnants of frontier life make for an interesting visit.

Lake Poinsett in Arkansas

Lake Poinsett in Arkansas

Farther up the road in the Arkansas Delta town of Harrisburg, RV visitors will find Lake Poinsett State Park especially inviting for campers. A beautiful tree-lined body of water with two campgrounds and good fishing, Lake Poinsett offers Crowley Ridge Parkway travelers a chance to stop and enjoy their surroundings.

Plan some extra time on your Arkansas Spring RV camping trip to play in Jonesboro, home to Arkansas State University. You’ll find plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment offerings here, as well as the attractive campus itself. Jonesboro is also home to the Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center, with trails, exhibits and an observation tower. Definitely worth slowing down to enjoy!

Two state parks just north of Jonesboro near the town of Paragould offer motorhome travelers plenty of outdoor possibilities. Lake Frierson State Park is splendid in springtime, with thousands of flowering trees bursting into bloom. The lake is also famous for its fishing. If you’re ready to set up camp again, Crowley’s Ridge State Park on the east side of the parkway features a Class B campground, hiking trails and canoe and paddle boat rentals on a small fishing lake.

And then it’s north to Missouri to complete our Springtime RV journey along Crowley’s Ridge. You’ll pass through the town of Piggott, AR, where a great museum tells of the time Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote in the area. You’ll also encounter scenic St Francis, Arkansas on the St. Francis River which forms the boundary with Missouri.

Just across the river, stop to learn about the largest Civil War battle in Missouri at Chalk Bluff State Park. In addition to commemorative markers, there are wooded trails to enjoy as well as an RV campground.

To learn more about the geological forces that formed Crowley’s Ridge, keep traveling the Parkway north to Campbell, MO and Jim Morris State Park. A lush wonderland of unusual plants and trees, Morris Park offers a fascinating glimpse into nature’s awesome power.

Before ending your trip at Malden, Missouri, be sure to visit at least one of the other attractions in the area. Click here for details from Byways.org on such fascinating spots as the Beachwell Gullies and Billy DeMint’s gravesite.

From Eastern Arkansas’ Delta lowlands to the wild and scenic Bootheel of Missouri, RV travelers will find plenty to see and do this spring along the Crowley Ridge Parkway.

The picture of Lake Poinsett is by Thomas R Machnitzki and from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
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