south arkansas arboretum

Explore the Beauty of South Arkansas at the South Arkansas Arboretum

Are you ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting nature of Arkansas? Look no further than the South Arkansas Arboretum, a stunning nature park nestled in El Dorado. As Arkansas’s 50th state park, the arboretum is dedicated to preserving the diverse flora and fauna of the West Gulf Coastal Plain while offering an incredible outdoor recreation experience.

With over two miles of paved walking trails, the South Arkansas Arboretum beckons you to explore its captivating landscapes. As you wander through the park, you’ll be greeted by the vibrant beauty of blooming azaleas and dogwoods, creating a picturesque scene that will take your breath away.

What sets the South Arkansas Arboretum apart is its unique location within the city of El Dorado. It’s a natural oasis conveniently nestled amidst the hustle and bustle of urban life. You can escape into nature without venturing too far from the vibrant city atmosphere.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the wonders of the South Arkansas Arboretum, a nature park in El Dorado.
  • Immerse yourself in the beauty of blooming azaleas and dogwoods.
  • Enjoy over two miles of paved walking trails, perfect for outdoor recreation.
  • Experience the unique combination of nature and urban life in El Dorado.
  • Escape into a serene natural sanctuary without venturing too far from the city.

Essential Information

South Arkansas Arboretum

The South Arkansas Arboretum, also known as the botanic garden and wildlife sanctuary of South Arkansas, is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Operated by South Arkansas College, the arboretum is located in El Dorado on Timberlane Road and is open year-round.

Visitors can explore the arboretum from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday – Saturday, and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Sundays, except for designated holidays. The best part? Admission to the arboretum is completely free! So, you can enjoy a day surrounded by nature without breaking the bank.

The South Arkansas Arboretum offers ample parking at the adjacent El Dorado High School, making it easy for visitors to access. Once inside, you’ll find yourself immersed in a diverse collection of native trees, including majestic pines and hardwoods. The arboretum’s well-maintained walking trails provide a peaceful and scenic environment for relaxation and exploration.

Plan Your Visit

To make the most of your visit to the South Arkansas Arboretum, it’s a good idea to come prepared. Here are some essential tips:

  • Dress comfortably and wear appropriate footwear for walking trails.
  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellent.
  • Don’t forget to bring water and snacks, especially if you plan to spend a few hours exploring.
  • Consider bringing binoculars for birdwatching or a camera to capture the beauty of the flora and fauna.

Whether you’re looking to connect with nature, learn about native plants, or simply enjoy a peaceful day outdoors, the South Arkansas Arboretum has something for everyone. Plan your visit today and discover the natural beauty of South Arkansas.

Park Highlights

I had the pleasure of exploring the South Arkansas Arboretum and discovered its many highlights that make it a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts and families alike. The park offers a variety of hiking trails that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the native plants and trees that thrive in the West Gulf Coastal Plain.

One of the standout features of the arboretum is its well-maintained walking trails. These trails wind through the park, offering scenic views of the surrounding natural landscape. As I strolled along the paths, I was captivated by the vibrant colors of blooming wildflowers and the soothing sounds of birds singing in the trees.

“The South Arkansas Arboretum is a haven for nature lovers, offering a tranquil retreat where visitors can reconnect with the natural world.”

In addition to hiking, the arboretum provides a range of family-friendly activities that are both fun and educational. Families can bring a picnic and enjoy a leisurely lunch in the park’s pavilion, surrounded by the beauty of nature. There are also designated areas for bird-watching, allowing visitors to observe a variety of bird species in their natural habitat.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking for a peaceful escape, the South Arkansas Arboretum is a hidden gem that offers something for everyone. Its well-maintained trails, diverse native plant life, and family-friendly activities make it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

The South Arkansas Arboretum at a Glance:

Trail Name Difficulty Level Distance Features
Nature Trail Easy 0.5 miles Scenic views, educational signs
Wildflower Trail Moderate 1 mile Wildflowers, bird-watching spots
Tree Trail Easy 0.75 miles Identify native tree species
Family Adventure Trail Easy 1.5 miles Interactive activities for kids


Educational Programs South Arkansas Arboretum

When visiting the South Arkansas Arboretum, there are plenty of activities to keep you engaged and entertained. Whether you’re seeking outdoor recreation or educational programs, the arboretum has something for everyone.

One of the most popular activities at the arboretum is taking leisurely walks or going for a run on the well-maintained paved trails. These trails offer picturesque views of blooming azaleas and dogwoods in the spring, providing a serene and beautiful environment to immerse yourself in nature.

If you’re interested in learning more about the local flora and fauna, the arboretum hosts educational programs that are both informative and interactive. These programs provide visitors with the opportunity to learn about native plants and trees, as well as engage in hands-on activities that deepen their understanding of the natural world.

Table: Educational Programs

Program Description
Guided Nature Walks Join our knowledgeable guides on a journey through the arboretum, where you’ll learn about the different plant species, wildlife habitats, and the importance of conservation.
Junior Naturalist Program Designed for kids aged 7-12, this program offers hands-on activities and games that teach children about the natural world and how to protect it.
Botanical Drawing Workshop Discover the beauty of plants and enhance your drawing skills in this guided workshop led by a professional botanical artist.

With its range of activities, the South Arkansas Arboretum offers a blend of outdoor recreation and educational experiences. Whether you’re exploring the trails or participating in an educational program, you’ll have the opportunity to appreciate the natural wonders of the West Gulf Coastal Plain in a family-friendly setting.


south arkansas arboretum

The South Arkansas Arboretum is a beautiful destination for nature enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts alike. While the arboretum itself does not offer on-site accommodations, there are plenty of lodging options available in the nearby city of El Dorado and the surrounding area. Whether you prefer the convenience of a hotel, the charm of a bed and breakfast, or the adventure of camping, there is something to suit every traveler’s needs.

If you’re looking for a comfortable and convenient stay, there are several hotels located within a short distance of the arboretum. These hotels offer a range of amenities, including spacious rooms, complimentary breakfast, and fitness facilities. Some popular options include the Hampton Inn El Dorado, Holiday Inn Express & Suites El Dorado, and Comfort Suites El Dorado.

For those who prefer a more intimate and personalized experience, El Dorado and the surrounding area also offer a selection of bed and breakfasts. These charming establishments provide cozy accommodations and warm hospitality. Some notable bed and breakfasts in the area include the Loft on Washington, The Rosemary Inn, and the 1890 Williams House Inn.

If you’re seeking a more adventurous experience, camping is a great option. There are several campgrounds and RV parks in the area that provide facilities for both tent camping and RV camping. Some popular choices include DeGray Lake Resort State Park, Lake Ouachita State Park, and Cane Creek State Park.

Table: Accommodation Options

Accommodation Type Examples
Hotels Hampton Inn El Dorado
Holiday Inn Express & Suites El Dorado
Comfort Suites El Dorado
Bed and Breakfasts Loft on Washington
The Rosemary Inn
1890 Williams House Inn
Campgrounds DeGray Lake Resort State Park
Lake Ouachita State Park
Cane Creek State Park

With a range of accommodations to choose from, visitors to the South Arkansas Arboretum can find the perfect place to rest and recharge after a day of exploring the beauty of the arboretum and the surrounding area.

Exploring the Area

Aside from the South Arkansas Arboretum, visitors to the area can immerse themselves in the scenic beauty of southern Arkansas. The region is renowned for its lush greenery, rolling hills, and stunning landscapes. From picturesque lakes to towering forests, there is no shortage of natural wonders waiting to be discovered.

For those seeking more outdoor adventures, nearby parks and trails offer a plethora of opportunities. Here are some of the top recommendations:

  • Ouachita National Forest: Spanning over 1.8 million acres, this vast forest is a haven for hiking, biking, and camping enthusiasts. With its diverse wildlife and breathtaking vistas, it provides an unforgettable experience for nature lovers.
  • Crater of Diamonds State Park: Known as the world’s only diamond-bearing site open to the public, this park offers visitors the thrill of searching for diamonds in a plowed field. It’s a unique and exciting experience for all ages.
  • DeGray Lake Resort State Park: Nestled on the shores of DeGray Lake, this park offers a wide range of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, and golfing. The beautiful lake landscape provides a serene backdrop for relaxation and exploration.
  • Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area: This park is renowned for its challenging whitewater rapids, making it a popular destination for adrenaline-seeking kayakers and rafters. The river’s beauty and ruggedness create an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts.

“The natural beauty of southern Arkansas is truly awe-inspiring. Whether you’re traversing the trails of Ouachita National Forest or searching for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The region’s diverse landscapes and abundance of outdoor activities make it a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.” – Local Visitor

Remember to check the park websites or visitor centers for any additional information or permits required. So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the scenic wonders of southern Arkansas.

Table: Nearby Parks and Trails

Park/Trail Location Activities
Ouachita National Forest Multiple locations Hiking, biking, camping
Crater of Diamonds State Park Murfreesboro, AR Diamond hunting, camping, hiking
DeGray Lake Resort State Park Bismarck, AR Boating, fishing, golfing
Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area Wickes, AR Whitewater rafting, hiking

Services and Facilities

The South Arkansas Arboretum offers a range of services and facilities to enhance visitors’ experiences. Whether you’re looking to relax, explore, or learn about the park’s rich history, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the key amenities you can enjoy during your visit:

Pavilion with Picnic Tables

Need a break from your nature walk? The arboretum features a spacious pavilion equipped with picnic tables. It’s the perfect spot to sit down, enjoy a packed lunch, and soak in the picturesque surroundings. Whether you’re visiting with family or friends, the pavilion provides a convenient and shaded area to rest and recharge.


Convenience is key, especially during outdoor adventures. The South Arkansas Arboretum offers clean and well-maintained restroom facilities. They are easily accessible for visitors, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free experience. So you can focus on exploring the park and immersing yourself in the beauty of nature.

Interpretive Signs

Interested in learning more about the arboretum’s flora, fauna, and history? Look out for the informative interpretive signs strategically placed throughout the park. These signs provide valuable insights and educational content, enriching your visit with interesting facts and stories. Delve deeper into the natural wonders of the South Arkansas Arboretum as you explore its well-marked trails.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and make the most of the South Arkansas Arboretum’s services and facilities. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful picnic spot, a convenient restroom break, or valuable educational resources, the park has you covered. Take advantage of these amenities and enjoy a memorable experience surrounded by the wonders of the West Gulf Coastal Plain.

Table: Park History

Year Milestone
1965 Establishment of the South Arkansas Arboretum
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After exploring the South Arkansas Arboretum, I am truly amazed by the natural beauty it has to offer. The well-maintained walking trails provide the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the diverse flora and fauna of the West Gulf Coastal Plain. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll, the arboretum’s scenery is breathtaking.

Not only does the South Arkansas Arboretum offer outdoor recreation, but it also provides educational programs for those interested in learning more about the local ecosystem. From guided tours to hands-on activities, there are plenty of opportunities to delve deeper into the fascinating world of native plants and wildlife.

If you’re planning a visit, be sure to take advantage of the additional resources available. The park information brochure will guide you through the arboretum’s history and highlights, while guides on plants and wildlife will enhance your understanding of the natural wonders you encounter along the way. These resources are invaluable in making the most of your visit to the South Arkansas Arboretum.

So, whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, I highly recommend adding the South Arkansas Arboretum to your itinerary. It’s a hidden gem that will leave you with a profound appreciation for the beauty and biodiversity of Arkansas’s natural landscapes.


What are the operating hours of the South Arkansas Arboretum?

The arboretum is open from 8:00 to 5:00 Monday – Saturday, and 9:00 – 5:00 on Sunday, except for designated holidays.

How much does it cost to visit the South Arkansas Arboretum?

Admission to the arboretum is free.

Where can I park when visiting the arboretum?

Ample parking is available at the adjacent El Dorado High School.

Are there any accommodations available at the South Arkansas Arboretum?

No, the arboretum does not offer on-site accommodations. However, there are nearby lodging options in El Dorado and the surrounding area.

What are some nearby attractions in the South Arkansas area?

Visitors to the area can explore the scenic beauty of southern Arkansas, including other parks and trails for outdoor activities.

What services and facilities are available at the South Arkansas Arboretum?

The arboretum features a pavilion with picnic tables, restrooms, and interpretive signs.

How was the South Arkansas Arboretum established?

The arboretum was established in 1965 with land acquisition and development funded by federal grants.

Can I access additional resources at the arboretum?

Yes, the arboretum provides a park information brochure and guides on plants and wildlife for visitors to enhance their experience.

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