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.
Questions or comments? E-mail me: robin@redriverhistorian.com
The Red River travels through the following counties in Texas on
its journey from west to east: Armstrong, Briscoe, Hall, Childress,
Hardeman, Wilbarger, Wichita, Clay, Montague, Cooke, Grayson,
Fannin, Lamar, Red River, and Bowie. Counties surrounding the
Red River are also included in this website... where there's
interesting history, RRH will mention it!
The Red River travels through the following
counties in Oklahoma (old Indian Territory) on
its journey from west to east:Harmon, Greer,
Kiowa, Jackson, Tillman, Cotton, Jefferson,
Love, Marshall, Bryan, Choctaw, and
McCurtain. Counties surrounding the Red River
counties are also covered by RRH!
The Red River makes its southward
"great bend" in Arkansas and no
longer acts as a state boundary
(though for a while, it was the
boundary between the United
States and New Spain). These are
the counties that have the Red
River in Arkansas: Little River,
Hempstead, Miller, and Lafayette.
Other counties near the river and
its environs are covered, too!
In Louisiana, the Red River cuts through the
center of the state, from north to south. It used to
empty into the Mississippi River, but due to flood
and erosion controls implemented by the Army
Corps of Engineers, the river now mixes with the
Atchafalaya River to join into the Mississippi. The
following parishes are lucky enough to have the
Red River in their boundaries: Caddo, Bossier,
Red River, De Soto, Natchitoches, Grant, Rapides,
Concordia, Avoyelles, and Point Coupee. Other
parishes that surround the Red River parishes are
also included, too!