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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.


Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area

Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area
Natural Areas Primitive Trails
Ouachita Mountains
Year Added
Hunting Allowed?
Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission
Featured by
Howard and Polk counties
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The Cossatot River is an outstanding example of an upland river in the Ouachita Mountains. As it flows southward, the river cuts through a series of east-west oriented ridges, producing magnificent rapids and waterfalls. The natural area supports at least two fish species endemic to the Little River system and numerous special plant species, including Browne’s waterleaf. The area is managed cooperatively with Arkansas State Parks (ASP). Portions of the site have been developed to enhance public visitation and environmental education opportunities. These developments include a visitor information center, a canoe launching area, solar restrooms, picnic areas, primitive camp sites, a hiking/nature trail, and a barrier-free pedestrian river walkway.


There are four different trails at this state park-natural area. Details on each can be found on the Arkansas State Parks website. Follow the links provided below.


The area may be reached by traveling U.S. Highway 278 (old state Highway 4) west from Umpire about 9 miles or east from U.S. Highway 71 at Wickes (about the same distance). State Highway 246 passes through the northern portion of the area between Athens and Vandervoort. The Visitor Center is located off of U.S. Highway 278.


Hunting is prohibited on this natural area.

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