Big Creek Natural Area
Big Creek Natural Area, located near the northeastern limit of the Arkansas Valley, includes approximately five miles of the course of Big Creek, a major tributary of the Little Red River. High water quality and diverse populations of fish and other aquatic organisms are characteristic of Big Creek. Bluffs tower as high as 200 feet above the streambed. This site's topographic relief, varied exposures, and considerable extent provide habitat for a broad array of plant and animal species. A primitive foot-trail provides access to some of the natural area’s most interesting features.
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Trail Length – Creek Trail approximately 3/4 mile; Overlook Trail approximately 1 3/4 miles
Trail Difficulty – Easy to moderate; not ADA accessible
Trail Blazes – Blue
There are two different loop trails at this natural area; both begin and
end at the parking lot. A number of interpretive panels share
information about the flora, fauna, and management of the property.
There are many great wildlife observation opportunities.
From the parking area, this trail follows an old road trace a short
distance before being re-routed to the right (look for blue trail
blazes). This trail will lead visitors into the riparian area adjacent
to Big Creek. The re-routed trail ties back into the original trail,
and from there it is only a short hike down to the water's edge. After
leaving the creek it is only a short hike up to the Creek Trail/Overlook
Trail intersection. From here, visitors can either head back to the
parking area or extend the hike another mile and enjoy the beauty of the
The overlook trail takes visitors to a high bluff line which overlooks a
long pool and a series of rapids on Big Creek. There are several
waterfalls that can be seen and often times heard along this trail.
Take State Highway 110 east of Heber Springs to Wilburn. From Wilburn, go east on Tylar Road for approximately 0.9 mile. Turn right onto Center Chapel Road (gravel). Travel approximately 1.4 miles. At the stop sign, go straight onto Heritage Trail Road and follow the signs to the natural area.
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Specific types of hunting are allowed on this natural area. For details, see the Jim Kress WMA
listing in the current Arkansas Hunting Guidebook. Take all necessary safety precautions when visiting this area.
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