June 17, 2023 Bell Slough Wildlife Management Area (WMA)

Mayflower, Faulkner Co.

 Meet at 7:00 a.m. at the Bell South (Boardwalk) entrance.  The AGFC Bell Slough WMA covers 2,040 acres and is a mix of wetland moist-soil units (MSU), bottomland hardwood forest, prairie, and hickory-oak and pine forest.  We’ll walk the Kenny Vernon Nature Trail, a 2.25 miles loop which is mostly level walking on dirt/gravel.  Wear sturdy walking shoes.  The trail has interpretive signs, a photography blind, plus an observation viewing area that looks out over the marshy MSUs, which can contain herons, night-herons, egrets, bitterns, and shorebirds in season.  Breeding birds include numerous warbler species, vireos, tanagers, orioles, chats, cuckoos, eagles, and more.  Many blooming wildflowers can be seen along the trail, attracting numerous butterflies.

Be aware that in winter, you can walk the levees around the wetland units, except for 30 days before and after duck season. The reason is the WMA is a waterfowl rest area in winter.

Take Exit 135 off I-40 at Mayflower.  At the commuter lot turn onto Interstate Drive, which parallels I-40, down to Grassy Lake Road.  Cross Palarm Creek bridge and turn left into the WMA parking lot.  Look for Cliff Swallows nesting under the bridge.  GPS: 34.938599, -92.418301.