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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.


Cave Springs Cave Natural Area

Cave Springs Cave Natural Area
Natural Areas Primitive Trails
Ozark Mountains
Year Added
Hunting Allowed?
Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission
Featured by
Benton County
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Cave Springs Cave is basically a long "solution channel" formed by a groundwater-fed stream. The stream is considered to be an outstanding example of an Ozark Mountains cave stream and hosts the largest known population of the rare Ozark cavefish. The cave has also harbored a summer maternity colony of gray bats. Ozark trillium, a rare plant species, also occurs on the natural area.


Length-  1.45 miles roundtrip
Difficulty-  Easy to Moderate; not ADA accessible
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There are two main loop trails, the lower loop parellels the shoreline of Partners Lake and passes by Cave Springs Cave. The upper loop has a steep but short climb to the woodlands above the cave opening and offers scenic views of Partners Lake. Several native trees are identified along the trails. Parking is available at the Illinois River Watershed Partnership Sanctuary.


From State Highway 112/264 Junction on the south side of the town of Cave Springs, proceed north about 0.25 mile to Midway Avenue. Turn right (east) and travel 0.25 mile to the northwest corner of the natural area. Park along roadside.


Hunting is prohibited on this natural area.

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