Railroad Prairie Natural Area occupies portions of the abandoned right-of-way of the former Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific railroad along U.S. Highway 70 between Carlisle and DeValls Bluff. Its long, linear shape encompasses a variety of habitats and communities including prairie, herbaceous wetland, oak woodland, and forest. A large portion of Railroad Prairie consists of tallgrass prairie, a habitat that was once much more common across the Grand Prairie of eastern Arkansas (Mississippi Alluvial Plain). Today, less than 1 percent of the prairies that occurred across this region remain. Parts of the prairie have been little disturbed and are dominated by grass species typical of tallgrass prairies such as big bluestem, little bluestem, switchgrass, and Indiangrass. Along with grasses, the natural area contains a diverse complement of forbs including narrow-leaved sunflower, long-bracted wild indigo, and compass plant. The natural area also provides critical habitat for several species now considered rare throughout the state.
From Interstate 40 take the Carlisle exit (State Highway 13) and travel to the intersection with U.S. Highway 70. Turn left (east) on U.S. Highway 70. The prairie lies along the north right-of-way of Highway 70 beginning just east of Carlisle and extending to DeValls Bluff.
Specific types of hunting are allowed on this natural area. For details, see the Railroad Prairie Natural Area WMA listing in the current Arkansas Hunting Guidebook. Take all necessary safety precautions when visiting this area.