White River National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Hiking Trails

Credit: USFWS

Credit: USFWS

White River has hundreds of miles of trails open to foot traffic and ATV's when designated by yellow blaze on the trees. The trails listed below are open to hiking only to give the visitor a chance for solitude and greater wildlife viewing opportunities.


CCC Trail (Open March 1st - November 1st)

The CCC trail is located along the Wildlife Drive a few miles from the Visitor Center. The trail takes visitors over a levee and water control structures that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the early 1930's. This 1/2 mile trail ends at the bank of the White River offering a great spot to watch for wildlife or to simply enjoy the view.


Observation Tower Trail (Open March 1st - November 1st)

Located on the Wildlife drive between the CCC trail and the Big Island Chute Trail is the Observation Tower Trail. This is a short 200 yard walk to a twenty foot tower offering views of open fields for observation of flora and fauna.


Big Island Chute Trail (Open March 1st - November 1st)

The Big Island Chute Trail is located on the Wildlife Drive a few miles past the Visitor Center. This 1/3 mile trail takes visitors to the Big Island Chute that branches off the White River. This trail has a wonderful collection of different tree species that have been identified with interpretive signage along the walk.


Champion Cypress Tree Trail (Open March 1st - December 15th)

Click here for trail map.

Directions to Trailhead: From hwy 1, turn South on 17 and travel to Ethel. Turn left at Ethel store and follow the paved road to the Refuge entrance. Enter Refuge through the Ethel entrance and turn right towards Smokehouse campground. Drive past Smokehouse campground until you come to a “Y” intersection. Turn left passing over Essex Bayou and travel for approximately one mile. Trailhead will be on your left.

Hiking the Trail:

This trail is 1.2 miles one way to the largest tree in the state. Follow this trail for approximately 1 mile, then turn left at the trail intersection taking the smaller trail to the tree.


Bottomland Hardwood Trail (Open Year around when water levels are below 28 ft at St. Charles)

Located behind the Visitor Center, this trail is a 1.5 mile trail offering different views of Uplands, Bottomland hardwoods, an open pond, and from the bank of the White River.


Upland Trail (Open Year Around)

The Upland Trail is a one mile paved loop trail that is handicap accessible. It offers interpretive   panels and benches. No motorized vehicles are allowed and pets must be on a leash. The trail can be accessed from the parking area located off of Hwy One, or from the Visitor Center  parking area. The trail is open all year during daylight hours.

Last updated: May 10, 2013