Urban Renewal in Little Rock

I came to Little Rock a couple of years ago to cross a few things off the “bucket list.”  One, after living in the bordering state of Texas most of my life, I had never once been across the state line to Arkansas.   We as a family always went west on road trips.   Second, I wanted to see the Clinton Presidential Library.   And lastly, I was working off my list of National Parks, and Hot Springs would be an easy target – a triple play over one long weekend.

As I drove across the Arkansas River along I-30 to reach the Clinton Library, I remember seeing an RV Park right alongside the river.   I remember thinking, “If I ever own an RV, I am going to come back here some day and explore that river trail.”  As fate would unfold, not only did I get the “RV of my dreams,” but the owner was in Arkansas!    So it just seemed fitting that I should return here on my trip back through toward Texas for the holidays.

Downtown Riverside RV Park, taken from Clinton Presidential Park Bridge

The Downtown Riverside RV Park is owned by the city of Little Rock, and is little more than a gravel parking lot alongside the Arkansas River.   Sites are “slide-to-slide,” but at $19 a night (even lower for 3 nights half price with Passport America) and full hookups, you have to put appearances aside.  This place is all about “location, location, location.”

RV Park is at the end of the Presidential Park Bridge, a well lighted old rail bridge, now hike/bike only leading to Clinton Library and downtown.

My last few destinations, really since I left Niagara Falls, have all been in the sticks, with nothing more than a Piggly Wiggly and a few fast food chains nearby, if I was lucky.   So it was great to be back in a place with urban infrastructure for a few days.   I shopped at Whole Foods.  Went to a few movies.  Ate at some nice restaurants.  And traversed the Arkansas River at least once per day, by hike or by bike.

Trail runs through William E. Clark Wetlands

Am I the only one who finds it odd to have a statue holding a rifle pointed toward the Presidential Library? I realize it is a tribute to an Arkansas outdoors-man, but it makes me think of Dick Cheney…

The Arkansas River Trail is the finest urban bike trail I have seen since I left Austin last March.   It literally runs right outside the gates of the Downtown Riverside RV Park, making it possible for me to get in a good hour bike ride very day.   This impressive 88 mile trail alongside the Arkansas River connects 38 parks, with at least four pedestrian-only bridges crossing over the river.

I wish I had time to explore more of the 88 miles, but all my lunch break would allow was the 15 mile loop from the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge to the “Big Dam Bridge,” the longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in the world, built specifically for that purpose.

The “Big Dam Bridge,” longest pedestrian-only bridge built solely for hiking/biking

Riding this trail was a blast, as it went alongside the Clinton Library, through Riverside Park in downtown, in front of the Little Rock River Market, alongside golf courses, city parks, up and over the Big Dam Bridge, and back again, through twisting, winding bike-only lanes with varying views of the river, bluffs, fall foliage, the State Capital, and Little Rock skyline.

Slow down?? That’s not fun!!

Another bonus of the Downtown Riverside RV park is its close proximity, exactly 0.2 miles from the Verizon Arena.  I’d like to tell you that is the reason I went to see “P!nk” in concert was for the novelty of being able to walk to a major concert event and back without having to park!   But fact of the matter is, I am also a big fan. Everyone is entitled to at least one “Pop Culture Guilty Pleasure,” right?

But anyone who has ever really listened to her music, especially the lesser known songs, realizes what a talented soulful, singer/songwriter she is.   Her raspy voice reminds me of Janis Joplin, who she cites as one of her greatest influences.  In fact, she has covered several of her songs, dare I say, better than Janis herself (blasphemy, I know!)

Don’t look for her on the stage….she is swinging upside down, from the rafters!

But the draw of her live concerts for me is the aerials.   It’s like attending a concert and a Cirque du Soleil performance in one!  She flew all over that arena.   If I can’t fly myself, I at least enjoy watching someone else do it!


11 thoughts on “Urban Renewal in Little Rock

  1. Well you’ve gone and done it. Something no one else could do. I’m not suprised though with your great pictures of the bike trail and how walkable it is. I’m not a city person, other than Memphis to have the Graceland experience I’ve not been in one city since full timing began 3+ years ago. But you’ve talked me into Little Rock especially in the Fall. And you may even have talked me into Pink. If she has the flamboyance of Cher and the voice of Janice, I’m in. LOVED your Dick comment. He and Tricky were definitely worthy of the name.

    • Sherry, you crack me up! Yes, if I were a mother, I don’t think that is a name I would choose for my son, because it has a propensity to become the “self fulfilling prophecy! haha!! Cher is going to be at the Verizon Arena right there next to the RV Park in March. Maybe you should take Winnona over to stretch her legs. 😉 They have a rowing center right next door also with a nice boat ramp for launch, though the river seems pretty swift, so you would need a take-out taxi.

  2. Suzanne… I do wish we had kept in touch! I would have loved to met you for a cup of coffee or something!

    This is a gorgeous … wonderful post about my little ol City… just love it! Seeing it from your perspective makes me very happy. gorgeous pictures.

    Hate having that little ol Yahoo group end some online friendships… but it did.

    I have got to catch up with you. The reason I saw this was because of the FB group I wanted to form for solo women travelers .. .which I wish you would join.

    The last I remember from you was… your finally getting into the RV park in Austin that takes forever to get into. I would love to LIVE there… I need to go say hey to Austin again… love that place.

    One member is a young woman from Denmark who wants to travel about to countries on her own. You immediately came to mind and I fetched your blog … just posted the link to your blog.

    • Hi, Carolyn! I thought about emailing you for a GTG, but after you removed me from your blogroll, I “read between the lines.” 😉 I did enjoy my time in Little Rock quite a bit. I might have stayed longer, but the little park was full for the game last weekend, so I moved on out to Hot Springs. Miss the energy of the “big city,” tho!

  3. Well, we just communicated via Facebook and I explained … I don’t remember deleting you but a lot of negativity was going on with the ‘group’ and I deleted it … if it’s no fun… I’m done… ha…

    I usually do a cleaning out of my blog roll when I add one, I see which ones haven’t commented on mine or updated in a while and delete them. I’ve got about four right now that used to be very active but are no longer. sure am curious what happened to them though and keep them in hopes I’ll see an update…

    Tioga George is one … sure wish he’d let everyone know he’s okay. You read his blog? I think everyone has at one time or other.

    Sherry? if you come through here and don’t say hey?! well…? you just better… that’s all. 😉

    I am so tickled that you liked Little Rock.

    • Thanks, Carolyn. Yes, I read Tioga George, and was just thinking about him a couple of days ago, wondering if he is okay. We corresponded via email several times when I had questions about his internet in Mexico. I too wish he would at least plot his location and an “all is well” post occasionally, so we would know he was doing okay.

      I’ve been meaning to find a way to comment on those blogs with closed comments like yours, Lynne’s and Kim’s. I will get to that one of these days soon! I have the self-hosted version of WordPress, so I don’t have all the bells and whistles…I think they are there, I just haven’t figured out how to use them yet.

  4. closed comments? you mean … not allowing anonymous comments? that’s the only closed I can think of. Lynne is on Facebook… she links her blog … Winnie Views ~ I have ‘liked’ her page and get her updates there. don’t know about Kim…

    I wrote George a couple of weeks ago and have not heard from him. I’ve emailed him before and he’s always written back. I just ask … are you ok… and he writes back.. yes how he appreciated my asking… but this last time? no word…

    I keep hoping someone will hear from him. He has gotten such hateful comments … don’t understand that mindset…. RVSue is having a bit of a row with a hater or two… I subscribed to the comments when I commented a month or so back so I get the continuing comments .. hoping that he will at least respond.. but I do believe George is just plain tired… and hopefully, is a bit amused by the haters as well as his supporters…

    ahhhhh blog life.

    • Yes, sorry, not allowing anonymous also will not allow just a name/URL either. You have to have a Google ID, and I hate giving “Googly-eyes” access to more than they already take! It creeps me out when ads start popping up related to words I have mentioned in a private email! But I will figure out another option one of these days.

      I have not checked RVSue’s blog out in a while….now you have my curiosity up, so I am going to go check it out. haha! Please do let me know if you hear anything from George…(I don’t have any haters because I only have about three readers. LOL!)

      Going to post next about Pinnacle Mountain SP…another beautiful place in your fair city!!


  5. Check George’s lastest post … that’s where the todo is todoing!

    lol and sigh

    As regards Google… i have two accounts and one is set with nothing on there but my name, avatar and that I’m retired….

    I have the settings fixed as privately as I can and still have an ID. Google + is really something… I don’t understand all I know about it but well? here’s Rick’s blog and he’s very good at explaining a lot of stuff… I’ll post just this particular post …


    He’s a big Google + fan… lives in Canada and spends his winters in Palm Springs. He’s got lots of posts on techy stuff… and will help you with any techy questions.

    I have my iPhone with unlimited everything so don’t use this particular feature he’s talking about …

    hope you’re having a great day …. Cowboys are playing and here we go… lol and sigh … too old for this schtupid game

    • Oh, my gosh, Carolyn, I just spent almost an hour reading those comments! WOW! Todoing is right! I am a little surprised that RVSue is entering into that fray, but maybe since online shopping has turned into such a lucrative revenue stream for her, she feels the need to defend it. Not me! I’m a lovah, not a fighter! LOL!

      There are so many beautiful areas of Arkansas! I can’t believe I lived in TX all those years and never crossed over! The couple I purchased my RV from recently told me about a place called Gilbert, along the Buffalo River. Ever been there? I would like to canoe the Buffalo River some day….it is on my brother’s “bucket list,” so hopefully I can join him one of these days.

      Alas, I have to keep pointing SE, though, as I have some things I need to tend to back in Texas (a little matter of vehicle registration and inspection, both long overdue!!)

      I am in Lake Ouachita State Park until Saturday. Let me know if you and Homer decide you need to stretch your legs….


  6. Isn’t that something?! I tell ya… I will never understand haters… got to find something to hate about …

    Yes.,.. I have been all over and around and up and down the Buffalo … love that area period. Gilbert … Ponca City … Buffalo Point…

    I also love Lake Ouchita .,.. deep clear blue lake.,.. we get my little 3.5 year old Granddaughter every other weekend and this is out weekend. My son will go fetch her halfway tomorrow and will take her back Sunday evening.

    Wish you were hanging around longer! or I had known you were here! jeeeez I hate that… hopefully, we can meet at the Buffalo at some point…

    If you will take 7 out of Hot Springs south … that’s a nice drive…. DeGray State Park … OR another drive is 270 west out of Lake Ouchita … Beautiful drive …. turns into 259 … then 259 … 259 is a very nice drive on down to Texas… or when you cross over Rich Mountain ~ Talimena ~ you can scoot on over to Dallas and down.. 😉


    This will get you over to Oklahoma … and then to 259 and so forth.

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