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U.S. Forest Service

Southern Region Viewing Area


Crested iris. Dwarf crested iris (Iris cristata) is a wonderful native wildflower to come across when meandering through the Walnut Creek area. Photo by Susan Hooks.

Jack-in-the-pulpit. Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema atrorubens) is an interesting plant whose flowers are always just one sex, male or female and this unique wildflower may be male one year and female another year. Photo by Susan Hooks.

Walnut Creek

Forest: Ouachita National Forest

District: Womble Ranger District

Description: This site is located at the Charlton Recreation Area which provides camping, picnicking and swimming. Walnut Creek is a beautiful spring fed stream surrounded by an oak-hickory forest. Follow the old road and you can see a variety of wildflowers. Along the road you can see areas where water seeps from the ground which creates a unique habitat for ferns and sedges. Umbrella magnolia can also be seen along with many other plants species. In the spring you can see a several species of violets, phlox, geraniums, dwarf iris, and spiderworts among others. In summer the hydrangeas, mints, and sunflowers can be seen along the roads edge. For more information about the go the Ouachita National Forest's Charlton Recreation Area website.

Safety First: The viewing area is an old road which makes walking easy. Insect repellant is recommended to keep the ticks and chiggers away. This trail is fairly shaded which helps during the hot humid days in Arkansas. Be watchful of snakes.

Directions: Twenty miles west of Hot Springs, Arkansas, on U.S. Highway 270 to Charlton Recreation Area. Go to the end of Loop B, the road will continue a short distance to the northeast and until you see a trailer and shed. The road is heavily used as a trail and is easily seen from the small parking area near the trailer.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Quachita National Forest.

Closest Town: Crystal Springs, Arkansas.