Find A Natural Area


Within the System of Natural Areas are sites that represent some of the best, and last, remaining examples of the state’s original natural landscape. Natural areas are special places that protect rare natural communities and provide vital habitat for a host of plant and animal species, some of which are considered to be rare, threatened, or endangered. Locate one of our 79 natural areas below.


Big Creek Natural Area

Big Creek Natural Area
Hunting Natural Areas Primitive Trails
Arkansas Valley
Year Added
Hunting Allowed?
Wildlife Management Area
Jim Kress WMA
Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission
Featured by
Cleburne County
Get Directions
Share This 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.


Length-  0.75 mile roundtrip for Creek Trail; 1.75 miles roundtrip for Overlook Trail
Difficulty- Easy to moderate; not ADA accessible
Trail Blazes- Blue
Download Trail Map 

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.

Creek Trail
From the parking area, this trail follows an old road trace a short distance before being rerouted to the right (look for blue trail blazes). This trail will lead visitors into the riparian area adjacent to Big Creek. The rerouted 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 Overlook Trail. 

Overlook Trail
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.

Cell Phone Audio Tour


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.


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 precautions when visiting this area.

Related Content