Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area - Wickes, AR - Arkansas State Parks



1980 Hwy. 278 West
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Welcome to Cossatot River State Park Natural Area
The Cossatot River is an outstanding example of an upland river in the Ouachita Mountains. As it flows southward, the river cuts through a series of east-west oriented ridges, producing magnificent rapids and waterfalls. The natural area supports at least two fish species endemic to the Little River system and numerous special plant species, including Browne’s waterleaf. The area is managed cooperatively with Arkansas State Parks (ASP). Portions of the site have been developed to enhance public visitation and environmental education opportunities. These developments include a visitor information center, a canoe launching area, solar restrooms, picnic areas, primitive camp sites, a hiking/nature trail, and a barrier-free pedestrian river walkway.

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Within Facility
On-Site Facilities
A 16,000 square foot visitor center includes a wildlife observation room, an exhibit gallery featuring life above and below the water, two meeting rooms, and a hands-on laboratory. The center gift shop features Arkansas and Cossatot River gifts. This facility was funded through the Amendment 75 1/8-cent conservation tax. Primitive camping is available at the Cossatot Falls, U.S. 278, Eds Banks, and Sandbar Areas. Group camping area is available at ther River Ridge Group Camping Area by reservation only. Please contact the park for more details.

The park has four trails. The River Trail begins at Highway 246 and traverses 14 miles of the river corridor to the Highway 278 access. It connects four of the five river access areas. The Harris Creek Trail begins just off of Highway 278 near the Baker Creek bridge and meanders through 3.5 miles of mature forest between Harris Creek and the river. The Waterleaf Interpretive Trail begins at the visitor center and includes a section of barrier-free trail along the ridge top. This .5-mile trail goes down the north slope to the Highway 278 river access. Brushy Creek Interpretive Trail starts on the west side of the river and provides barrier-free access to a pedestrian walkway over the river. The trail continues to the picnic area on the east side of this recreation area.

Nearby Facilities
South of the area are U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation areas on Gillham Lake. To the north are U.S. Forest Service campgrounds and day-use at Shady Lake, Bard Springs, and Albert Pike Recreation Areas. Daisy State Park to the east provides camping on Lake Greeson, and Queen Wilhelmina State Park west of Mena offers both camping and a modern lodge on the second highest peak in the state. Several privately-owned lodging facilities are also nearby
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