Toad Suck Lock and Dam
Toad Suck Lock and Dam is located on the Arkansas River west of Conway on the border between Faulkner County and Perry County. Arkansas Highway 60 crosses the river at the lock and dam. The lock and dam is part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, a series of navigable pools on the Arkansas River formed from seventeen locks, dams, and reservoirs extending from the Port of Catoosa near Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Montgomery Point near Dumas on the Mississippi River. The McClellan-Kerr system is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Little Rock and Tulsa.
Toad Suck Ferry
Toad Suck Park
Today the area is home to Toad Suck Park in Perry County. The park has a public boat ramp, picnic tables, overnight camping, fishing, and a playground. Immediately opposite Toad Suck Park on the right bank of the river in Faulkner County is the Old Ferry Landing Park. Both parks are administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Little Rock District.
Legend of Toad Suck
There are two stories about how the area got its distinctive name. In the first account, it is said that steamboat captains plying the waters of the Arkansas regularly stopped here and drank at a local tavern nearby. Supposedly residents commented on the propensity of these captains to "suck on the bottle 'til they swelled up like toads." Bolstering this explanation, the term taudis sucre is also said to be a corrupted French expression meaning "sweet water" and possibly referring to rum drink. The second, and more likely, account explains the name as a common name for a protected eddy in the river where boats might be tied up. A map of the river dating to 1853 also purportedly shows a Bear Suck and a Cow Suck.
- Patty Delano, Off the Beaten Path Arkansas: A Guide to Unique Places, (Globe Pequot, 2006), 211.