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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.


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

Poison Springs State Forest Sand Barren & Oak-Pine Forest Preserve
Hunting Natural Areas
Coastal Plain
Year Added
Hunting Allowed?
Wildlife Management Area
Poison Springs WMA
Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission
Featured by
Ouachita and Nevada counties
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Poison Springs State Forest Sand Barren & Oak-Pine Forest Preserve includes more than 435 acres of sandhill barrens and woodland vegetation which support many rare species. Portions of the site are treeless, supporting sandhill grasslands and scrubby barrens, while others support woodlands with margaretta oak, Arkansas oak, and bluejack oak. Much of the balance of the upland areas supports a mixed shortleaf pine-loblolly pine-oak forest while beech-holly-oak forest is found along streams. Although not old-growth, these forest stands are relatively mature compared to others of their kind in the Coastal Plain. Wooded seeps and open marshes are found in some areas. The area falls within the Poison Springs State Forest and is managed in cooperation with the Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC).


The natural area includes seven non-contiguous tracts. The following directions guide visitors to the original two tracts acquired by the agency. From State Highway 57 and State Highway 24 at Chidester, travel 1.6 miles on State Highway 24 east to Scott Story Road (County Road 361). Travel south 1.35 miles to the north boundary of the Woods Unit. From this point, it is approximately 2.4 miles to the northeast corner of the barrens unit.


Specific types of hunting are allowed on this natural area. For details, see the Poison Springs WMA listing in the current Arkansas Hunting Guidebook. Take all necessary safety precautions when visiting this area.