The Great Outdoors

Mississippi River and the Great Outdoors

Geography and wildlife are two of Helena and the greater Phillips County region’s greatest features. Located at the southern tip of Crowley’s Ridge, home to numerous lakes, bordered by a national forest and three rivers, the area has something to offer every outdoor enthusiast.

Helena is the only downtown on the Mississippi River for the 300 miles between Memphis and Vicksburg, making it the perfect launching point for any river adventure. The Mississippi River is home to some of the biggest catfish in the country and Helena River Park’s 60 foot wide boat ramp (one of the largest public ramps on the lower Mississippi) is the perfect access point for a fishing trip. The largest catfish caught in Helena weighed in at 116 pounds, and it’s not uncommon for first time fisherman to catch 15 to 30 pounders. Fishing is also popular in many of the area’s lakes and on the White River, located to the south and west of the county.

Not into fishing? Don’t worry, the stretch of the Mississippi River between Helena and Arkansas City, AR is considered one of the best if not THE best section of the river for paddling and boating. It is one of the last remaining wild stretches of the river. Want to experience the river like Huck Finn? Quapaw Canoe Company, located at the entrance to the River Park, offers guided tours of the river.

Helena’s rolling ridges and scenic landscape are perfect for nature biking enthusiasts. Bring your bike along on a visit and explore the St. Francis National Forest, located just 10 minutes from downtown. This forest is one of the most diverse national forests in the country and contains the Mississippi River State Park at its northern end. Be sure to make plans to participate in the annual October Tour Da’ Delta bike race, which offers routes of various distances ranging from 13 to 100 miles.

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