Hidden in the Ozark Mountains is an almost 1000-acre tract of land that includes hiking and mountain bike trails, campsites, paddling and fishing opportunities, and picnic areas. Bluffton Preserve is managed by The Nature Conservancy with the support of local and statewide volunteers. Situated along the Archy Fork of the Little Red River, Bluffton Preserve feels like it’s far removed from civilization while being only minutes from Clinton, Arkansas.
With over 5 miles of trails, there are some great day hikes through the hills above the Archy Fork. These trails are a mixture of hand and machine-built paths with varying degrees of difficulty. For mountain bikers, there are trails from beginner (green) to advanced (black). You can find great trail maps at Trailforks. Much of the trails were built by Affordable Trail Solutions. You can find some great videos of their work at the Preserve below.
and Azalea Hollow, Stoneroller, and Prickly Pear.
The Archy Branch of the Little Red River offers paddling options and if you like casting a line for some smallmouth bass, you’ll be in heaven. We hope to get back out there soon to float from the Preserve to Clinton. Keep an eye out for the Yellowcheek Darter, an endangered small fish that lives in the area.
Camping is on a first-come, first-served basis. there are several sites along the river plus two hike/bike sites higher up in the hills. These are basic sites, with no electricity or water. Some do have fire rings and/or picnic tables. In the winter months, keep an eye out for Bald Eagles and Osprey, hunting along the river.
Please remember to Leave No Trace when visiting. ATVs and horses are not allowed in the Preserve. Put Bluffton Preserve on your list of destinations to visit this year.