Trails

Dale Bumpers White River NWR has hundreds of miles of trails open to both foot traffic and ATVs when designated by yellow blaze on the trees. There are many trails that allow the public to access several parts of the refuge during high water and low water. The trails listed below are open to hiking only to give visitors a chance for solitude and greater wildlife viewing opportunities. 

Just outside of the visitor center is the Upland and Bottomland Hardwood Trail that takes you from the uplands, down the escarpment, and into the bottoms. The bottomland portion of this trail can be accessed when the gauge reading of the White River at St. Charles is 28 feet or lower. These trails are open year-round during daylight hours.

Below are ATV trail maps that include refuge boundaries and are geo-referenced. You can use them with a GPS-enabled mobile device to see your location while on the refuge. You will need to import the PDF files to a geo-referenced PDF reader, such as Avenza. These maps should only be used as a reference as some of the trails may be incorrectly identified on these maps. ATVs and UTVs are only allowed on yellow-marked trails and are prohibited on gravel roads. 

NORTH UNIT:

SOUTH UNIT:

Roc Roe/Red Cat/Aberdeen

Indian Bay

Crooked Lakes 

Big Island Chute

Maddox Bay

Ethel Bottoms

Brown Shanty 

Jacks Bay

 

Levee Loop

Big Island Chute Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
22.81
View Trail

Brown Shanty Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
43.95
View Trail

Crooked Lakes Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
39.20
View Trail

Ethel Bottoms Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
46.25
View Trail

Indian Bay Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
12.26
View Trail

Jacks Bay Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
10.93
View Trail

Levee Loop Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
49.30
View Trail

CCC Levee Trail

Open March 1 — October 31The 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 1930s. This half mile trail ends at the bank of the White River offering a great spot to watch for wildlife or to simply enjoy the view. (Dogs must be on a leash)
Trail Length (mi)
0.22
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
20 Minutes
Route Type
Out & back
Trail Activities
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Maddox Bay Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
45.50
View Trail

Demonstration Area Trail

Open March 1 — October 31THIS TRAIL IS CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS.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 20-foot tower offering views of open fields for observation of flora and fauna.
Trail Length (mi)
0.11
View Trail

Red Cat Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
30.50
View Trail

Big Island Chute Trail

Open March 1 — October 31The Big Island Chute Trail is located on the Wildlife Drive a few miles past the visitor center. This one-third 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. (Dogs must be on a leash)
Trail Length (mi)
0.27
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / intermediate
Moderate
Estimated Time
15 Minutes
Route Type
Out & back
Trail Activities
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Roc Roe Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
18.86
View Trail

Bottomland Hardwood Trail

Trail Length (mi)
1.49
View Trail

Wilcox Acres Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
8.16
View Trail

Cook's Lake Area Hiking Trail

Trail Length (mi)
1.56
View Trail

Champion Cypress Tree Trail

Open year roundThe 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 Highway 1, or from the visitor center parking area. The trail is open all year during daylight hours. 
Trail Length (mi)
1.17
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
25 Minutes
Route Type
Loop
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Cook's Lake Area Hiking Trail Spur

Trail Length (mi)
0.48
View Trail

Upland Nature Trail

Open March 1 — December 15Directions to Trailhead: From Highway 1, turn south on 17 and travel to Ethel. Turn left at Ethel store and follow the paved road to the refuge entrance. Enter the refuge through the Ethel entrance and turn right towards Smokehouse campground. Drive past Smokehouse until you come to a "Y" intersection. Turn left passing over Essex Bayou and travel for approximately 1 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, and then turn left at the trail intersection taking the smaller trail to the tree. (Dogs must be on a leash)
Trail Length (mi)
0.81
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / intermediate
Moderate
Estimated Time
1 Hour
Route Type
Out & back
Trail Activities
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Cook's Lake Area Special Use Trail

Trail Length (mi)
11.40
View Trail

Stinking Bay Island Walking Trails

Trail Length (mi)
8.21
View Trail

Aberdeen Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
3.36
View Trail