Brinkley residents and visitors enjoy the comfortable, hospitable atmosphere of a small town with abundant recreational opportunities in the immediate vicinity and nearby. And less than an hour’s drive both east and west are all the entertainment venues available to big city dwellers.
The new Brinkley City Park is next to the Convention Center, offering three regulation-sized softball fields with tournament lighting, a Little League field, T-ball field and tennis court. Park amenities also include an asphalt walking trail and a grill for cookouts.
Stroll the downtown square and you will find numerous antique shops to browse and restaurants to visit for dining and refreshments. Downtown also features a popular shop for young ladies planning a trip to the altar. Popular Low’s Bridal Shop is located in Brinkley’s old railroad hotel. Visitors from throughout the South frequent this unique establishment for its extensive stock of one-of-a-kind bridal gowns.
Outdoor adventures include famous Monroe County duck hunting, deer hunting and fishing areas that include the Dagmar and Wattensaw Wildlife Management Areas, Marion McCollum Lake Greenlee, Cache River and White River. Visit http://www.agfc.com for more information.
Marion McCollum Lake Greenlee, a 300-acre Arkansas Game and Fish Commission lake, boasts a new look after a $3 million renovation. It is equipped with two handicap-accessible fishing piers and two boat ramps. Two water wells were driven to maintain a good water supply. A cross levy built to divide the lake has a bridge for pedestrian traffic. A levy around the lake is approximately three miles in length and will be maintained for anglers without boats to fish from the banks. The lake is stocked with bluegill (bream), Florida bass and channel catfish.
The Louisiana Purchase State Park near Brinkley is a national historic landmark located at the junction of Lee, Monroe and Phillips Counties. It preserves the initial point from which all surveys of property acquired through the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 were initiated. The park consists of 37.5 acres of a headwater swamp that is representative of a vanishing natural environment. The Louisiana Purchase State Park is located 22 miles south of Brinkley. To reach the monument, a 950-foot barrier-free boardwalk provides access to the granite monument that marks the initial point of the survey. The boardwalk has a number of wayside exhibits that offer a view of the pristine beauty and ever-changing sounds of the swamp.
Local entertainment opportunities at Brinkley include the Lick Skillet Festival in the fall and the Choo Choo Ch’ Boogie Festival in May. Festival activities include arts and crafts, duck-calling contests, chili cook-offs, softball tournaments and other fun. The annual Christmas Parade also adds a festive atmosphere each year, bringing out a crowd filled with cheer and goodwill toward man.
Brinkley is especially popular with bird watching enthusiasts (birders) these days, so bring your binoculars and camera. Over 250 species of birds have been recorded in the Brinkley area, including the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, thought to have been extinct for the past 60 years. The Ivory-billed Woodpecker was reported to have been sighted on the nearby Bayou de View in 2004 by kayaker Gene Sparling.
See photography and other memorabilia relating to the Rock Island and Cotton Belt Railroads that crossed at Brinkley at the Central Delta Depot & Museum. Also featured is photography of area sawmills and other wood-related industries that sprang up here with the coming of the railroad. Native son bandleader Louis Jordan is also remembered for his role in pioneering a form of jazz that served as a precursor to rhythm and blues and rock and roll. The museum is also a visitor center for the Louisiana Purchase State Park located nearby and has a number of items on display from the Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial. The museum is located at 100 West Cypress Street in Brinkley.