Posted by: kerryl29 | May 24, 2021

Mississippi River State Park

In the first half of April, as part of a two-day 1100-mile drive from the Chicago area to the Houston area, I stopped in Forrest City, Arkansas, which is roughly the halfway point of the trip. I arrived with a few hours of daylight remaining and, based on a tiny bit of “research” I’d done (basically five minutes poking around on the Web) in advance of the drive, I made my way to Mississippi River State Park, which is about 30 minutes south of Forrest City, just outside the small town of Marianna.

Despite the park’s name, it’s actually about five miles from anywhere on the property to the nearest point of Mississippi River shoreline. But there is a decent-sized body of water within the park boundaries: the manmade Bear Creek Lake.

I really didn’t know what to expect in the way of stimulating subject matter before I arrived; I was merely looking for some place that might provide the impetus to use my camera equipment.

The conditions when I arrived weren’t great–a bald blue sky and a decent amount of wind. But I meandered around a bit, near the lake’s shore, not far from a campground. What I found, at first, was a relatively sheltered inlet of the lake that had some interesting–at least to my eye–reflections. I pulled out the 80-400 mm lens and messed around for about a half an hour at this spot, altering my shutter speed depending on the amount of rippling due to the wind.

Bear Creek Lake Reflections, Mississippi River State Park, Arkansas
Bear Creek Lake Reflections, Mississippi River State Park, Arkansas

I drove around for a bit, looking for other scenes that might be of interest but struck out until I reached the head of the park’s lone marked trail–the Bear Creek Nature Trail, a self-guided (roughly) mile-long loop that had a series of interesting explanatory placards discussing the various types of hardwoods along the forested route. The sun was within an hour of setting when I hit the trailhead and it had already descended behind a ridge, so the area I hiked through was almost entirely in even light. What I discovered was a fair amount of blue phlox, and a few other wildflowers, as well as fresh spring greenery on the still leafing trees. I was also fortunate that the wind died down significantly.

Bear Creek Nature Trail, Mississippi River State Park, Arkansas
Bear Creek Nature Trail, Mississippi River State Park, Arkansas
Bear Creek Nature Trail, Mississippi River State Park, Arkansas
Bear Creek Nature Trail, Mississippi River State Park, Arkansas

I used up virtually every moment of light, as it was just about dark when I returned to the trailhead. It won’t go down as my most spectacular few hours of photography, but it was a pleasing late afternoon/early evening following a very long drive that day.

My next post will feature images from my time photographing bluebonnets during the Texas wildflower bloom later in April.


  1. Lovely reflections and I always enjoy the intimate scenes at the base of a tree.

  2. The red-flowering plant in the fifth picture appears to be red buckeye:

    Red buckeye flowers are attractive

    • Thanks for the ID, Steve, that’s very helpful. I will tag that photo accordingly. Much appreciated.

  3. Nice photos of Missisippi State Park.

    • Thanks very much!

  4. awesome shots!

    • Thanks very much!

Please feel free to comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: