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State of Arkansas Parks

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USA Parks
River Valley Region
Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge
Mockingbird ©
Cool Swim ©
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10448 Holla Bend Road
Dardanelle, Arkansas   72834

Phone: 479-229-4300
Email: park email button icon
Holla Bend NWR, established in 1957, is located 8 miles down river from Dardanelle, Arkansas. The refuge is situated on a bend of the Arkansas River which was cut off when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers straightened the river in 1954 for flood control. Refuge lands include over 7,000 acres of agricultural fields, bottomland forest, and open water.

The refuge's primary purpose is to provide a winter home for a portion of the millions of ducks and geese that use the Mississippi Flyway each year. During these spring and fall migrations as many as fourteen species of ducks and four kinds of geese will stop by the refuge for a short visit. During the winter, it is not uncommon for the refuge to host up to 100,000 ducks and geese at once. Bald eagles are also common in the winter from December through February.

Spring brings thousands of neotropical migratory songbirds that use the refuge as a rest area on their journey from Central and South America. Many species of vireos, warblers, buntings, and orioles inhabit the woodlands, during this time. Most only stay for a short time to rest, but others use the refuge as a nesting area. Herons, egrets, and other wading birds feed in shallow pools and alligators can be seen in the refuge lakes and ponds.

Nature of the Area
The primary goals of the habitat management programs at Holla Bend NWR is to provide feeding and resting areas for migratory waterfowl. Cropland management and the use of cooperative farmers is the main tool for accomplishing this goal. These farmers plant milo, soybeans, corn, and winter wheat. The soybeans and milo are harvested by the farmers while the corn and wheat are left as food for the wintering waterfowl. Other refuge residents also benefit from this practice, such as deer, turkey, and quail.

Scattered among these farm fields are several small impoundments. These areas are not wet all year and when they dry up in the summer, plants such as millet and smartweed will grow there. These plants and especially their seeds are very important to waterfowl because they are a high source of energy. In the winter these areas fill with water again and are very popular as a food source for the ducks that spend the winter here. The refuge plants bottomland tree species in areas along the old river channel and allows refuge farmers to hay fallow farm fields to maintain some tall and short grass areas.

The old Arkansas River channel borders three sides of the refuge and in the winter serves as an excellent night roosting site for all the migratory waterfowl using the refuge. Together the farm fields, water impoundments and old river channel provide a wonderful home for winter waterfowl and other refuge wildlife.

History of the Area
Refuge lies along the Arkansas River and is bounded by an old oxbow that was created when the Army Corps of Engineers cut a channel through the bend in the river to promote navigation and flood control.

The refuge protects 7,000 acres of bottomland hardwoods and wetlands and provides habitat for wintering waterfowl, bald and golden eagles and migratory song birds.

 Hiking Trailyes

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
September 29 Only For Hunters by Vicki
park review stars; one to five We went last summer,and walked all over the place. We saw gramble hooks for butchering deer, all over the place and no wildlife. We were very disappointed when we went back last winter to see the waterfowl. We were denied access because we were not hunters, and the officer told us there were no waterfowl to see anytime. He told us they only flew over the park. We were very disappointed, and we think it should not be called a refuge. Holla Bend Killing Field would be a more fitting name for it.
January 3 If you love nature, this is a must see!! by Shenee Gilbert
park review stars; one to five My husband ans I went to photograph bald eagles and we were not disappointed! We seen so much wildlife! We will be putting Holla Bend on our go to list of places we love to go to. The restrooms provided were very clean and we felt safe using them. The entrance fee of $4 is very reasonable. The map is easy to use and the roads were well maintained. There are many trails to explore but due to a back injury my husband was unable to make the trek on this trip, so the drive-through ease of the park was perfect. And we spotted and photographed our eagle right from the car!! We will be back many times and highly recommend everyone of all ages and abilities to go to the park!!
May 21 Awesome wildlife photography
park review stars; one to five Im lucky enought to live about 5 min from holla bend cause it is just amazing. If u ever get the chance to go you should.
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Area Campgrounds
Ivy's Cove RV Retreat
321 Bradley Cove Road
Russellville, AR
Nearby Hotels

Holla Bend NWR is located about 5 miles southeast of Dardanelle, Arkansas. From Dardanelle, take State Highway 7 South to State Highway 155 East and go about 4 miles to the refuge entrance. Once you enter the refuge the office/visitor area is about 1/2 mile down the road on the right.

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State of Arkansas Parks