Brinkley, AR 72021
GPS: 34.887134 / -91.188397
Brinkley is halfway between Little Rock and Memphis, just off I-40, but there's more to this historic town. Founded during the construction of the first railroad across Arkansas, and named for one of the builders (Hugh Brinkley), the town eventually became a crossroads and a center of commerce by the 1880s.
Brinkley is located along historic trails such as the Butterfield Overland Mail Route from Memphis to Fort Smith (a mail route established in 1858); the route used by U.S. Generals Steele and Curtis during the second phase of the Pea Ridge Campaign; and the historic relocation movement of the southeastern Indian tribes during the Trail of Tears. These passages, along with other historically significant routes, are now part of the Arkansas Heritage Trails System.
Brinkley honors its rail history with a beautifully restored 1912 Central Delta Depot Museum and Visitors Center in the downtown district. Antique and gift shops, plus travel accommodations are available. Fargo Agricultural School Museum, just north of Brinkley, preserves items from an early 20th century African-American school started by Floyd Brown of the Tuskegee Institute. Outdoor adventures are close by, including Marion McCollum/Greenlee Lake. Operated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the 300-acre lake has two barrier-free fishing piers, two boat docks/launches and plenty of blue gill, bass and channel catfish. The region also boasts great waterfowl hunting in nearby public management areas. Brinkley is also near the Louisiana Purchase State Park.