Fred Berry Conservation Education Center on Crooked Creek 

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Grounds and Trails

Bring your binoculars, camera or sketch pad – you might catch a glimpse of a white-tailed deer, a mink or some of the 112 species of birds that have been spotted at Fred Berry Conservation Education Center on Crooked Creek.

Exploration is easy along almost 6 miles of hiking trails. Bird and butterfly checklists are available at the education center. As you enjoy the trails, remember to watch for signs of the animals that live there.

Woodland Edge Trail - 1-mile loop (0.6 mile of this trail is wheelchair accessible). Enjoy the sights and sounds along this self-interpretive watchable wildlife trail. It begins at the parking lot on the west side of Kelly’s Slab. Head downstream through a riparian-buffer restoration area and wind along the edge of an open field. Features of this trail include views of Crooked Creek, woodland streams, a wildlife garden that showcases native plants and steps leading down to the bank of the creek.

Creek Bottom Trail - 2-mile loop. This trail begins near the pavilion. Stroll along Crooked Creek, a blue-ribbon smallmouth bass stream. Catch-and-release fishing is allowed, so pack fishing gear and a license. Watch for easy access to the creek bank at the halfway point. Turtles bask in the sun and great blue herons patiently stalk sunfish. From here, either return by the same route or take the old farm road back through the field to the starting point. Keep your eyes and ears open for eastern wild turkey, northern bobwhite quail and other species of Ozarks wildlife.

Creek Bluff Trail - 0.9 miles, one-way. Access this trail near the creek access on the Creek Bottom Trail or mid-trail from near the education building. Enjoy the view of Crooked Creek as you go. Keep your eyes open for bald eagles and, in summer, painted buntings. Note: The southwest end of this trail is occasionally closed to accommodate trap-shooting practice.

  • Trails are open daily, sunrise to sunset.
  • ATVs, firearms and littering are prohibited.
  • No bicycles or horses on walking trails.
  • Pets must be on a 6-foot leash and under control at all times.
  • No hunting.
  • No smoking beyond trailheads.
  • Fishing is catch-and-release only. A valid Arkansas fishing license is required.

Upland Archery Trail - 0.3 miles, one way. Archers and hikers are invited to share this watchable wildlife trail. The path skirts the boundary of a 3-D archery course and a promising wildlife viewing area. It’s a regular hangout for whitetailed deer and eastern wild turkey, and provides habitat for bobcats, barred owls, coyotes and more. Archers may be firing at designated targets adjacent to the path so, for safety, hikers must stay on the trail. Archers must obey all range rules.

Woodland Stream Trail - 0.6 mile loop. Begin this primitive trek from the southwest end of the Creek Bluff Trail or from near the firing range parking lot. It features a small, picturesque tributary of Crooked Creek, an old logging roadbed and a lovely Ozark woodland.

 

Trail Tips

  • Give wild animals plenty of space. If you want a closer look, use binoculars or a spotting scope. Move quietly for a better chance to see wildlife. Remember, you are sharing these trails with other visitors and the animals that live here.
  • Don't feed wildlife.
  • All animals here - including snakes - are protected. Don't harass or collect wildlife.
  • Collecting plants, rocks and fossils from the grounds is prohibited.
  • Watch where you put your hands, feet and seat. Poison ivy, stinging nettle and sandburs can be unpleasant encounters. Wasps, bees and other stinging insects react unkindly when threatened.
  • Drink plenty of water and use sunscreen while hiking.
  • Keep the grounds free of litter and report trail damage or obstacles.