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Visiting a Natural Area: Arkansas Bird watching and more

Natural areas protect the last remnants of Arkansas's original wild landscape. The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) works to protect the ecosystem and associated animals and plants in these unique landscapes. However, natural areas are managed for varying levels of public usage, and site development varies widely. When compatible with the overall conservation vision of the area, efforts are made to provide safe opportunities for moderate, low-impact public use such as bird watching, photography, scientific research, education and even public hunting. Land in Arkansas natural areas is fun to explore!

Arkansas Bird Watching

Natural areas are great places to experience a wilder version of Arkansas. Here are the general guidelines for public use which apply to all natural areas:

  • Travel is limited to foot traffic to minimize erosion and disturbance to sensitive areas. Some areas or features within areas are not directly accessible by road and may require a significant hike. Trails and parking are not available at all areas and may be very limited at some.
  • The collection and/or removal of plants (including fruits, nuts, or edible plant parts), animals, fungi, rocks, minerals, fossils, archaeological artifacts, soil, downed wood, or any other natural material alive or dead is prohibited. Collecting for scientific research requires a permit issued by the ANHC.
  • Natural area boundaries are posted. Adjacent private landowners should always be consulted for permission before crossing private lands.
  • Camping and campfires are not allowed. Pets are discouraged but if present, should be under their owner’s control.


When appropriate, natural areas can accommodate moderate, low-impact public use. Trails, interpretive panels,
cell phone audio tours, and parking lots increase accessibility and educational opportunities. Of our 71 natural areas, 15 have hiking trails:

Non-Primitive Trails
 Byrd Lake Natural Area 
 Chalk Bluff Natural Area 
 Lorance Creek Natural Area 
Louisiana Purchase Natural Area 
Mills Park Natural Area 

Primitive Trails
Big Creek Natural Area
Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area
Cove Creek Natural Area
Holloway Memorial Natural Area
Kings River Falls Natural Area
Logoly Natural Area
Rock Creek Natural Area
Striplin Woods Natural Area
Sweden Creek Falls Natural Area
White Cliffs Natural Area 

Public Hunting Land in Arkansas

Specific forms of hunting are allowed on some natural areas. A cooperative agreement between ANHC and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) incorporated certain natural areas into AGFC's Wildlife Management Area (WMA) system. Every effort has been made by AGFC to provide maximum opportunity, maintain safety, protect healthy wildlife populations, and adhere to the conservation values inherent to ANHC's System of Natural Areas. Natural areas that are also considered AGFC WMAs will receive the same level of attention from AGFC enforcement staff as do other WMAs. Consequently, all applicable hunting regulations will be enforced on natural areas where hunting is allowed. Please make yourself aware of current AGFC hunting regulations before visiting a natural area. You can download a PDF of the 2014-15 Arkansas Hunting Guidebook here.

Below is a list of natural areas where hunting is permitted. Some natural areas have limited access, and it is the hunter's responsibility to obtain permission to access adjacent private landowner's property. Follow the natural area links below for directions and boundary and county locator maps. Please follow the WMA links (listed under each natural area) for specific hunting regulations, as the types of hunting allowed on each natural area varies. If you need further assistance, please contact us at 501-324-9619 or arkansas@natural .

Feral hogs have become a threat to land across the state, including properties within the System of Natural Areas. If you are interested in hunting feral hogs on natural areas, AGFC has developed special regulations for land in the WMA system. Visit the AGFC website for that information.

Arkansas Oak Natural Area
(Poison Springs WMA)
Benson Creek Natural Area
(Benson Creek Natural Area WMA)
Big Creek Natural Area
(Jim Kress WMA)
 Cache River Natural Area
(Rex Hancock Black Swamp WMA)
Cherokee Prairie Natural Area
(Cherokee Prairie Natural Area WMA)
Coffee Prairie Natural Area
(Beryl Anthony Lower Ouachita WMA)
Cove Creek Natural Area
(Cove Creek Natural Area WMA)
Cut-off Creek Ravines Natural Area
(Cut-off Creek WMA)
Devil’s Knob-Devil’s Backbone Natural Area
(Devil’s Knob Natural Area WMA)
Falcon Bottoms Natural Area
(Falcon Bottoms Natural Area WMA)
 Foushee Cave Natural Area
(Foushee Cave Natural Area WMA)
Garrett Hollow Natural Area
(Garrett Hollow Natural Area WMA)

 Goose Pond Natural Area
(Ed Gordon Point Remove WMA)
Hall Creek Barrens Natural Area
(Hall Creek Barrens Natural Area WMA)
H.E. Flanagan Prairie Natural Area
(H.E. Flanagan Prairie Natural Area WMA)
 Holland Bottoms Willow Oak Forest Preserve
(Holland Bottoms WMA)

Iron Mountain Natural Area
(Iron Mountain Natural Area WMA)

Kings River Falls Natural Area
(Ozark National Forest WMA)

Kingsland Prairie Natural Area
(Kingsland Prairie Natural Area WMA)

Longview Saline Natural Area
(Longview Saline Natural Area WMA)

Miller County Sandhills Natural Area
(Sandhills Natural Area WMA)

Moro Big Pine Natural Area-WMA
(Moro Big Pine WMA)

Nacatoch Ravines Natural Area
(Nacatoch Ravines Natural Area WMA)

Palmetto Flats Natural Area
(Palmetto Flats Natural Area WMA)

Pine City Natural Area
(Pine City Natural Area WMA)

Poison Springs State Forest Sand Barren
and Oak-Pine Forest Preserve

(Poison Springs WMA)

Railroad Prairie Natural Area
(Railroad Prairie Natural Area WMA)

Rock Creek Natural Area
(Harold E. Alexander Spring River WMA)

Roth Prairie Natural Area
(Roth Prairie Natural Area WMA)

Seven Devils Swamp Natural Area
(Seven Devils WMA)

Singer Forest Natural Area
(St. Francis Sunken Lands WMA)

Slippery Hollow Natural Area
(Slippery Hollow Natural Area WMA)

Stateline Sandponds Natural Area
(Stateline Sandponds Natural Area WMA)

Sweden Creek Falls Natural Area
(Sweden Creek Natural Area WMA)

Terre Noire Natural Area
(Terre Noire Natural Area WMA)

Warren Prairie Natural Area
(Warren Prairie Natural Area WMA)

White Cliffs Natural Area
(White Cliffs Natural Area WMA)

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