The Great River Road

Old Man River, Father of Waters, “body of a nation,” Big Muddy—by any name the mighty Mississippi cuts a mythic figure across the American landscape.

Hwy‑1: Great River Road State Park

Between Clarksdale and Greenville, the Great River Road winds west of the much-busier US-61, looping next to the Mississippi River along Hwy-1. It’s a rural road, running past soybean, cotton, and “pond cat” farms—catfish farming is big business hereabouts. Midway along, the GRR runs past Great River Road State Park, near the town of Rosedale. Located inside the Mississippi River levee, the park offers unique views of the “Father of Waters” from a 75-foot-high overlook tower.

Farther south, at the north edge of Greenville, the 1,000-year-old, 55-foot-high earthen cones next to the highway are the remnants of the prehistoric Mound Builder people who lived here a millennium ago. Now preserved as the Winterville Mounds, the 12 ancient mounds that still remain here are thought to have been sacred ceremonial sites. Little is known about the enigmatic people who built them (and hundreds of others) along the banks of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, but the on-site museum (daily, free) shows off a range of pottery and arrowheads recovered here.

 

Great River Road State Park

Winterville Mound