BIKING, CAMPING, FISHING, HIKING, HORSEBACK RIDING, OFF HIGHWAY VEHICLE, PICNICKING, RECREATIONAL VEHICLES, SWIMMING
Cold Springs Office (479)675-3256
PO Box 417
2190 E Main St
Booneville AR 72927
Poteau Office (479) 637-4174
PO Box 2255
Jct Hwy 71 & 248
Waldron, AR 72958
Poteau-Cold Springs Ranger District is a 334,000 acre unit with a complex mix of natural resource management programs and public use opportunities. Caring for the land is its hallmark, 120,000 acres are dedicated to a unique, nationally recognized project designed to restore the fire-dependent Shortleaf pine/Bluestem grass ecosystem and help restore the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. The area has also been recognized as Arkansas first Birding Area, designated a neo-tropical migratory bird viewing area.
If you enjoy scenic driving check out Forest Road 158, along the crest of Poteau Mountain, just a short distance from the Poteau Mountain Multi Use trail. This route traverses the mountain top and is designated as the Poteau Mountain Rustic Road Auto Tour. This 22 mile auto tour displays spectacular vistas, both pull-in and window vistas while traveling. There are two picnic tables with fire rings designed for day use, although camping is not restricted. Along this route is wildlife viewing opportunities, a historic stage coach crossing, a historic house place with a large natural spring/food cellar, and access to the Poteau Mountain Multi Use Trail.
Access to the tallest waterfall in the Ouachitas is off Poteau Mountain Rustic Road Auto Tour, the trail is approximately 4.6 miles round trip and is considered a moderate hike. Along the route is the rugged and remote 10,884 acre Poteau Mountain Wilderness Area. Located on the north side of the mountain, it includes Slate Falls and Ruggles Cascade and it offers full wildlife hunting and viewing, hiking, and camping opportunities. Vehicles are prohibited.
Approximately 40 miles to the east is the districts second wilderness area, the 6,000 acre remote and rugged Dry Creek area. Outside the boundary but adjacent to the northwest portion of Dry Creek Wilderness Area is Lake Vista Overlook. Enjoy a panoramic view to the north, east and west overlooking the Petit Jean River Valley and come almost eye-level with the tallest mountain in Arkansas, Mt. Magazine.
More spectacular adventure awaits you back on the south side of the district. Along the crest of Fourche Mountain lies the Ouachita National Recreation Trail. The total trail extends from eastern Oklahoma to almost central Arkansas. Approximately 22 miles of this National Recreation Trail are on the Poteau-Cold Springs District. Use of this trail is designated for foot travel and mountain bike enthusiasts only. Primitive camping is allowed anywhere along the trail, outside of riparian areas along drains where sensitive species of plants could exist.
To add more outdoor recreation opportunities the district supports two pistol, rifle and/or shotgun shooting ranges, Buck Ridge and Brushy Hollow Memorial Shooting Range. Both facilities, as most of our services, are free. Like turkey, deer, bear, squirrel, quail or rabbit hunting? This 334,000 acre unit offers some of the finest. The entire 334,000 acres of the Poteau/Cold Springs are open to the public for free hunting. The only areas where hunting is not allowed are developed recreation areas.
Poteau-Cold Springs Offices located in Booneville (479-675-3233) and Waldron (479-637-4174) are just a phone call or a visit away for more information on district opportunities.