Champion Baldcypress Tree Trail
- From Ethel, AR and Hwy. 17, turn east on Ethel Road and travel 1.5 miles.
- Turn right on Bisswanger Road and travel 1.5 miles.
- Turn left on Refuge Road at the Smokehouse Hill entrance and travel 1 mile to the entrance to the White River National Wildlife Refuge.
- Travel 1.8 miles on Refuge Road to the trailhead and parking area on the left.
From Highway 58 in Sitka (Sharp County), turn west on Rock Creek Road and travel 3.2 miles. Cross the bridge over Rock Creek and turn right into the parking area. The trail begin across the road.
The Champion Baldcypress Tree Trail is a 2.8-mile, out-and-back hike. Follow the trail about 1 mile and veer left. Foot traffic only. The trail may be wet and muddy; waterproof boots are recommended.
Know Before You Go
The Champion Baldcypress Tree Trail is in the South Unit of refuge. Roads are closed Dec. 15-March 1 in the South Unit of the refuge. Roads in the refuge are prone to flooding various times of the year. Check water levels and road closures before visiting. A $20 Annual Public Use Permit is required to hunt, fish, launch boats and camp on the refuge (free for 15 and younger). Learn more at fws.gov/refuge/white_river.
Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge lies mostly in the floodplain of the White River, near its junction with the mighty Mississippi River. Fertile soils, productive forests and 300 lakes interspersed with streams, sloughs and bayous create a haven for native wildlife.
During the hike to the tree, observe the forest; there is no telling what might be seen. Baldcypress trees often are selected by many bird species, such as wading birds and bald eagles, for nest building and raising their young. Black bears use these trees for denning and to escape seasonal flooding of the bottomlands. Frogs, toads, skinks and snakes seek cover among the trees’ massive nooks and crannies, and the fruit (cones) produced by the trees are eaten by ducks, wild turkeys, songbirds and squirrels.
Check fws.gov/refuge/white_river for deer, turkey and small game hunting seasons, and wear hunter orange when appropriate. Furbearer trapping is permissible with a Special Use Permit. Leash pets for their safety.
Primitive camping (no water, sewer or electricity) is permitted only in designated campsites and dates as listed in map legend. All sites are first-come, first-served. Pack out all trash. Visit the Refuge User Brochure at fws.gov/refuge/white_river/ for more information.
H Lake Water Trail
Check out the nearby H Lake Water Trail, a 3.3-mile, wooded loop in Arkansas’s Big Woods.