Big Dam Bridge#12 in Best Things To Do in Little Rock
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A bridge may not seem like an exciting activity, but hear us out. Little Rock's Big Dam Bridge is the longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in North America. It stretches nearly 4,300 feet across the Arkansas River. The bridge connects a series of walking and biking trails in Little Rock and its neighboring city, North Little Rock. It's also the namesake of the Big Dam Bridge 100, Arkansas' largest cycling tour. From atop the bridge, you'll see beautiful views of the structure itself as well as the cityscape and the river. If you stop by at night, you may be treated to the bridge lit up in brilliant colors.
Past visitors had nothing but positive things to say about the bridge. They recommended taking extra time to walk the paths leading up to the bridge, especially on a nice day.
Big Dam Bridge is free to visit anytime. It sits 13 miles northwest of downtown Little Rock. Parking and restrooms are available nearby at La Harpe View Park and Murray Dam Site Public Use Area. For more information, visit the Big Dam Bridge Foundation's website.
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#1 Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
In 1957, nine Black students enrolled at Little Rock Central High School. The school had been all-white since its construction in 1927. Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Pattillo, Gloria Ray, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas and Carlotta Wells were the first Black students at the school following the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional. The day the students went to school, they were met with a racist mob of white students as well as about 270 soldiers who barred the entrance to the high school. It took almost two weeks before the Little Rock Nine were able to access the building. Though they were able to enter the school, they faced physical and verbal abuse throughout their high school careers. The Little Rock Nine's historic and brave acts helped to spur the civil rights movement and brought national attention to the U.S.'s racist practices.
Today, Little Rock Central High School is a National Historic Site and is still a working high school. The associated visitor center sits kitty-corner to the school and features exhibits about the desegregation crisis as well as a book store. There is also a Commemorative Garden. Tours of the exterior and interior of Little Rock Central High School are also available, but must be reserved in advance through the National Park Service.
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