Crowleys_Ridge_Lake Ponder

Touring the Byway
5 Days / 4 Nights | Gateway City: Blytheville, Arkansas


You’ll begin your journey in the Gateway city of Blytheville, Arkansas. From there, you’ll travel 50 minutes northwest, passing through Missouri, on your way to Piggott, AR. The town is known for its rich agricultural heritage and Southern charm. This is where you’ll first join the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway before heading south over the next few days.


Departing from Paragould, you’ll spend Day Two in Jonesboro, exploring the Arkansas State University Museum’s extensive historical collections before viewing contemporary art exhibits at the Bradbury Art Museum. Spend your afternoon hiking, sightseeing, and experiencing the great outdoors at the Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center before shopping and dining in downtown Jonesboro.  


During Day Three, start the day exploring the trails surrounding Lake Poinsett.  Then, you’ll take a brief detour off of the Byway to visit the Historic Dyess Colony, a rare glimpse into a New Deal resettlement project, and the nearby boyhood home of Johnny Cash. End your day by watching the sunset over Village Creek State Park from the steps of your cabin accommodations.   


A fourth day has you traversing the southern portion of Crowley’s Ridge Parkway with stops in Forrest City, Marianna, and Helena. Tour the captivating murals of each town and experience the region’s musical legacy at the Delta Cultural Center. Spot rare, migratory wetland birds in Mississippi State Park before resting at the beautifully restored Edwardian Inn B&B.  


You’ll conclude your journey along the Byway by awakening in Helena before exploring the county museum and taking a driving tour of the Antebellum, Victorian, Colonial Revival, and English Tudor homes and buildings that dot the downtown area. Stop in at the Delta Dirt Distillery for a tour and a souvenir bottle (or two). Finish with a stop at the Helena River Park and River Walk, which feature breathtaking views of the Mississippi River and provide the perfect backdrop for contemplating your Byway trip. From there, we wish you safe passage if you are traveling another of Arkansas’ scenic byways or a safe and pleasant journey home!   

View the Detailed Itinerary below to see the full route, complete with dining, shopping, and lodging recommendations!

Highlighted Attractions

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Forrest Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center

The center offers a variety of exhibits and interactive displays that provide insights into the area’s diverse flora, fauna, and geological formations. Explore the surrounding trails that offer scenic views of the ridge’s rolling hills, birds, and wildlife. Look for Northern Cardinals, Eastern Bluebirds, Woodpeckers, Wild Turkeys, and White-tailed as you amble along the walks. The center’s knowledgeable staff enriches the understanding of the local ecology and conservation efforts with hands-on activities and educational displays that showcase the importance of preserving the region’s natural resources. The center’s wildlife observation areas and outdoor pavilion provide space for relaxation and appreciation of the serene surroundings.

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Bradbury Art Museum

Unique in northern Arkansas, the Bradbury embraces innovative and cutting-edge works, pushing the boundaries of traditional art forms. Expect to encounter artworks that provoke thought, challenge perceptions, and inspire emotions in paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints, and multimedia installations. The art on display often reflects current social and cultural issues, as well as individual expressions of creativity and imagination. As you move through the galleries, you will quickly be captivated by the thought-provoking narratives and skillful craftsmanship. The museum’s rotating exhibits ensure there is always something new to discover, fostering a sense of excitement and curiosity with each visit.

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Delta Cultural Center

Housed in a restored depot, the center showcases exhibits, interactive displays, and captivating artifacts celebrating the region’s music, arts, and diverse communities. Explore the Delta’s influential musical legacy with exhibits on blues, gospel, and rock ‘n’ roll legends, and delve into the area’s agricultural roots with stories of the cotton industry and the labor of enslaved African Americans during the antebellum era. This is a must-visit destination for visitors seeking an immersive and inspiring journey into the heart of the Mississippi Delta’s soulful heritage.

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Historic Dyess Colony & Jonny Cash Boyhood Home and Museum

A visit here offers a rare glimpse into a New Deal resettlement project and the lives of those who once called it home. It is also the location of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home and Museum. Strolling through the streets, you can feel the spirit of resilience and community that is a tribute to the enduring spirit of those who lived and worked here.

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Village Creek State Park

Village Creek State Park encompasses nearly 7,000 acres of beautiful forested hills and clear streams to create an environment found nowhere else in Arkansas. Features in the park include 33 miles of multi-use trails, cabins, two lakes, pavilions, picnic sites, outdoor and indoor theaters, a museum, and a visitor’s center.  Interpretive programs are available year-round.  Nature enthusiasts can explore the park’s extensive trail system, which meanders through dense forests and offers picturesque views of Crowley’s Ridge. Hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting are popular pursuits. The park’s centerpiece is Lake Dunn, a 64-acre lake that beckons fishing enthusiasts with its abundant catfish, bass, and crappie.