Arkansas has more than 9,000 miles of rivers, streams and bayous.
Among the bayous found here is Bayou DeView. If you have never paddled here before you are in luck as the Bayou DeView Water Trail dedication is this Friday ( April 5) at 10 a.m. The location is the Sheffield Nelson Dagmar WMA at the Lake Hickson Access. After the dedication, you can experience the first float on the water trail- canoes will be available there if you don’t have your own.
The water trail is part of the Arkansas Water Trails project which is creating and mapping a system of canoe and kayak trails across the state. It is a project of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
For those unfamiliar with the area, Bayou DeView is a remote, natural bald cypress and water tupelo swamp with a diversity of plant and animal life. According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, birds you can see there include barred owls, prothonotary warblers, red-headed and pileated woodpeckers, great blue herons, wintering bald eagles and a variety of waterfowl. Watch for beavers, muskrats, deer and raccoons as they travel and feed along the bayou. Cypress-tupelo brakes are scattered throughout low-lying areas- some cypress trees there are more than 850 years old!
The bayou sits among some of the largest remaining natural bottomland hardwood forests in North America. The area gained international attention a few years ago because of sightings of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, a bird thought to have been extinct for over 60 years.
Here are some directions to get to the dedication: from I-40 in Prairie County, due to construction on I-40, take exit 193 and go south on U.S. Highway 63 for 2.5 miles. Turn east on U.S. Highway 70 and travel 20 miles. Turn north on Dagmar Road at the Sheffield Nelson Dagmar Wildlife Management Area sign. Stay to the left at mile 1.2 and mile 1.6. Travel 7 miles; the road ends at Lake Hickson Access. For more details on the dedication, contact AGFC watchable wildlife coordinator Kirsten Bartlow at 501-993-3910.
For more information on other Arkansas Water Trail across the state, visit here.
Here is also a photo gallery of Bayou DeView with photos by NWA Outdoor Writer Flip Puttoff.