|Where the South Meets the West
|The Red River begins in Palo Duro Canyon, just south of Amarillo, Texas. It forms the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma,
then makes a bend in the southwestern region of Arkansas and enters Louisiana. The river becomes navigable south of
Shreveport and, after a series of locks and dams, merges with the mighty Mississippi.
The landscapes, counties, parishes, towns, cities, and parks around the Red River are filled with important and tangible history
that mirror European westward migration. From Louisiana through Eastern Texas and Southeastern Oklahoma, a distinct
"southern" flair is evident in the towns, homes, and people. Further west up the river, open prairies and plains, bisected by the
forbidding Cross Timbers, became the domain of cowboys, the Plains Indians, and military forts.
The Red River truly reflects the historical and geographical region where the South met the West.
Two distinct eco-systems converge along the Red River Valley: the open plains of the west gradually give way to the piney
woods of the east. This topographical change is reflected in the history of the valley, where large cattle ranches upriver are the
descendants of the antebellum cotton plantations downriver.
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