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U.S. Forest Service

Southern Region Viewing Area


Aerial view of Richardson Bottoms. Aerial view of Richardson Bottoms. Photo by David Saugey , 2008.

Fragrant pond lily Fragrant pond lily (Nymphaea odorata) is a beautiful aquatic wildflower that is pollinated by beetles. Photo by Charles and Diane Peirce.

Richardson Bottoms

Forest: Ouachita National Forest

District: Jessieville Ranger District

Description: This 100-acre site can be described as a former loblolly plantation wetland created when beaver dammed a small creek flooding the plantation and killing the trees. This area provides opportunities to view upland plant species of the nearby pine/hardwood forest, wetland and aquatic plant species along the edges and in the open water. A wide variety of wetland, riparian and upland woody and herbaceous plants can be observed at this site.

Wildflower viewing: Wildflowers found in the open water include Utricularia gibba (bladderwort), Brasenia schreberi (watershield), Ceratophyllum demersum (coontail), Nuphar advena (yellow pond lily), Nymphaea odorata (fragrant pond lily), Potamogeton pusillus (small pondweed), and Spirodela polyrrhiza (giant duckweed). Plants found at the waters edge include Sagittaria gramniea (grass-leaved arrowhead), Sagittaria platyphylla (arrowhead), Sparganium androcladum (bur-reed), Eleocharis obtusa (blunt spike rush), Typha angustifolia (narrowleaf cattail), Arundinaria gigantea (giant cane), Hydrolea ovata (blue waterleaf), Ludwigia alternifolia (seedbox), Iris virginica (southern blue flag), and Cephalanthus occidentalis (button bush). Plants found in the riparian area include Uvularia sessilifolia (small bellwort), Apios americana (groundnut), Asimina triloba (pawpaw), Arisaema dracontium (green dragon), Eupatorium perfoliatum (clasping boneset), Hydrangea arborescens (wild hydrangea), Hypericum mutilum (dwarf St. Johnswort), Impatiens capensis (jewelweed), Melanthium virginicum (bunchflower), Osmunda regalis (royal fern), Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple) and Verbesina helianthoides (crownbeard).

Safety First: There is a trail that leads to an elevated viewing area. Be careful of slippery surfaces. Insect repellant is recommended to keep the ticks and chiggers away. Be watchful of snakes. This area can get hot during summer; drink plenty of fluids. Further, protect yourself from the sun by using long clothing or sun block.

Directions: Richardson Bottoms is located in both Garland and Montgomery counties in Arkansas. It is approximately 25 miles west of the junction of Arkansas Highways 298 and 7, or approximately 5 miles east of the town of Story on highway 298.

Directions from Story: Travel east on Arkansas Highway 298 for 5.5 miles to Forest Service Road 37300 and the sign for Richardson Bottoms. Turn right and follow signs 2.5 miles to the site.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Ouachita National Forest, Jessieville Ranger District.

Nearest Town: Story, Arkansas.

For More Information:

Jessieville Ranger District P.O. Box 189 Jessieville, AR 71749 Phone: 501-984-5313