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Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism

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Arkansas State Parks

Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center
Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center features a three-story education, exhibit. The center adjoins the southern boundary of Craighead Forest Park. The nature center grounds include a 5.5-acre prairie, 2.5-acre pond and approximately 100 acres in woodlands. <br><br> The education comple...
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Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center
Description: The Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center sits on 170 acres of land in Fort Smith that were previously part of Fort Chaffee. The building overlooks Wells Lake, a popular local fishing and picnicking destination!

Built in the fertile Arkansas River Valley, the center focuses on the wide variety of animals and birds that call the area home.

Wildlife to Watch: In addition to resident Canada geese and small mammals and turtles calling the center home, many colorful songbirds stop by on their journeys to and from wintering grounds farther south. While many visitors come to the center for the interesting exhibits inside, just as many find the trails, native plants on the grounds and canoeing or fishing in the lake just as enjoyable.

Special Tips: Closed Mondays

Other Activities: A huge aquarium between the “mountains” contains fish and turtles from the Arkansas River. Models of fish and an information-filled display let guests try their hand at catching fish replicas and learning about the variety of fish swimming in our waters.

Ownership: AGFC 
Size: 170 acres 
Closest Town: Barling

RestroomsParkingFishingHikingPicnic tablesSmall BoatsDrinking Water

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Canada Geese - photo by Bruce Taubert
Use link below please

Driving Directions:
From I-40 take the Fort Smith/Van Buren exit (Exit 7) onto I-540. Go south 11 miles to Zero Street (Exit 11); turn left onto Zero Street. Travel 4 miles and turn right on Veterans Avenue. Take a right on Ft. Smith Blvd. at the first stop sign. Follow Ft. Smith Blvd., which turns into Wells Lake Road, approximately 2 miles. The Nature Center and Wells Lake are on the right.

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Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center : Wildlife Viewing Area