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

Stinking Bay Island Walking Trails

Trail Length (mi)
8.21
View Trail

Aberdeen Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
3.36
View Trail

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

THIS TRAIL IS CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS.
Trail Length (mi)
0.22
Route Type
Out & back
View Trail

Maddox Bay Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
45.50
View Trail

Demonstration Area Trail

THIS TRAIL IS CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS.
Trail Length (mi)
0.11
Route Type
Out & back
View Trail

Red Cat Area ATV Trails

Trail Length (mi)
30.50
View Trail

Big Island Chute Trail

THIS TRAIL IS CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS.
Trail Length (mi)
0.27
Route Type
Out & back
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 from March 1st through December 15th.

Observe the wonders of a mature bottomland hardwood forest in the Ethel Bottoms area of the refuge’s South Unit. The highlight of the trail is the largest tree in Arkansas, a Bald Cypress estimated to be over 1,000 years of age and over 14 feet in diameter. Follow the trail 1.2 miles to the Champion Cypress. This trail may be muddy or inaccessible during periods of high water.

To reach the trailhead from Hwy 1, follow Hwy 17 south to Ethel. In Ethel turn left at the Ethel store and follow the blacktop around the dogleg curve to the south. The road will become unpaved, and then turn left onto Refuge Rd towards the Ethel refuge entrance at Smokehouse Hill. Turn right at the refuge entrance and continue over the concrete Essex Bayou bridge. After approximately one mile, there will be a gravel trailhead parking area and signboard on the left.
Trail Length (mi)
1.17
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / intermediate
Moderate
Estimated Time
1 hour
Route Type
Out & back
Trail Activities
Birding
Hiking
Wildlife watching
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 year round during daylight hours. The Upland Trail is a one-mile, paved-loop trail that is ADA-accessible. It offers interpretive panels and benches. The trail can be accessed from the parking area located off of Highway 1, or from the visitor center parking area. No motorized vehicles are allowed and pets must be on a leash.
Trail Length (mi)
0.81
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
30 minutes
Route Type
Loop
Trail Activities
Accessible trails
Birding
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
Wheelchair friendly
View Trail

Cook's Lake Area Special Use Trail

Trail Length (mi)
11.40
View Trail