Kenny Vernon Nature Trail
Nature Trail Distances
Round trip around outer loop - 2.25 miles
North Loop - 1.75 miles
South Loop - 1.3 miles
Wildlife and Habitat
The 2.2.5-mile trail is named for Kenny Vernon, an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologist who was instrumental in its creation. The trail has a crushed shale surface and few elevation changes.
Bell Slough (pronounced "slew") is usually shallow but seasonal floods cover low-lying parts of the trail. Bell Slough WMA (2,050 acres) includes upland pine-hardwood forests, bottomland hardwood forests and cypress-tupelo lakes and sloughs. The wetlands are managed as a waterfowl rest area, with water control structures that allow AGFC staff to seasonally flood and gradually drain the land to attract waterfowl, wading birds and shorebirds.
Be on the lookout for migrating songbirds during spring and fall migration. Summer is best for reptiles and amphibians, with numerous turtles, frogs, toads and snakes. Also, watch for white-tailed deer and other mammals such as beavers, muskrats and swamp rabbits.
Nearby Palarm Creek is a good place to catch crappie and catfish. Lake Conway also offers crappie, catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill and redear sunfish. Check the current Arkansas Fishing Guidebook for details.
Bowhunting for deer and squirrel hunting are popular on the WMA along with other small game, turkey and waterfowl. Check the current Arkansas Hunting Guidebook for details.
Jim Kress WMA/ Big Creek Natural Area
N 34.93919, W -92.41791
- From Interstate 40 Exit 135 at Mayflower, turn south on Interstate Drive, immediately east of the exit.
- Continue on Interstate Drive past Gibson Bridge Road and over Palarm Creek, to Bell Slough Wildlife Management Area (1.5 miles total). Turn left into the parking area.
Faulkner County EMS
Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office
AGFC Russellville Regional Office
Stop Poaching Hotline