My husband, Michael, has never been a big fan of bridges. He doesn’t have full-blown gephyrophobia (a fear of bridges), but he has been known to drive out of his way to avoid overly long or sketchy-looking bridges in his day. So, imagine my surprise when he said he’d accompany me to the Big Dam Bridge when we visited Little Rock, Arkansas recently. I mean, we’re talking about a 4,226 foot span that rises to 90 feet over the Arkansas River. That may not seem like a long distance…if you’re driving! But no one has ever driven over the Big Dam Bridge because it was created solely for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The Big Dam Bridge spans the Arkansas River and Murray Lock and Dam between Little Rock and North Little Rock, and is the longest pedestrian and bicyclist bridge in North America. It connects over 15 miles of scenic riverside trails, and assists in the connection of 70,000 acres of various city, county, state and federal parks.
I wasn’t sure if he’d do the walk with me, but one thing I’ll say about Michael is that he is always open to a challenge! The walkway is nicely paved and it never really seemed too steep, whether traveling up or down. There are several stopping points along the way with benches, and there are plaques explaining the dam and some of the history of the area. My husband really enjoyed watching the barges going through the lock, and we were both impressed with the fantastic views of the Arkansas River, Pinnacle Mountain, Two Rivers and Emerald Parks. We walked the bridge from the Little Rock side and then tackled the wooded Pfeifer Loop Trail, a beautiful hike through a low woodlands area that’s teeming with wildlife.
We had a great time conquering Arkansas’ iconic Big Dam Bridge, and we think you will, too!
Learn more about Little Rock and North Little Rock on our website at EscapeToTheSoutheast.com.