Sturdy hiking shoes, insect repellent and sunscreen are recommended. View All
This preserve features half a mile of river frontage and several large bluffs overlooking Crooked Creek and an old railroad trestle. The creek is considered one of the finest smallmouth bass fisheries in the nation. Also found on this site are bluff-top glades and savanna plant communities with a suite of Arkansas wildflowers.
Lowland and streamside areas have been converted to pasture, which is dominated by non-native species. Native river cane (Arundinaria gigantea) is dominant along the south side of the river. Limestone glades along the cliff have some native glade species including big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida), and tall dropseed (Sporobolus clandestinus).
Redbud (Cercis canadensis) and dogwood (Cornus florida) trees provide early springtime color in the predominantly oak woodlands.
Showy wildflowers include:
Plants of state conservation concern include Ashe's juniper (Juniperus ashei) and purple beardtongue (Penstemon cobaea).
Crooked Creek is home to many aquatic species found only in the Ozarks. Ozark endemics such as the checkered madtom (Noturus flavater), a native miniature catfish, and the Arkansas saddled darter (Etheostoma euzonum euzonum), are of special concern because of their limited range. Also found on the preserve are two hawk species considered rare in Arkansas: Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii) and red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus).
The Conservancy received the land in 2001 as two gifts. William Riley Brooksher of Washington state and his sister Nita Zimmerer of California made the initial donation of 71 acres, followed by 44 adjacent acres donated by their cousins Dan and Robert Brooksher of Georgia and Louisiana.
The preserve is part of a larger Crooked Creek conservation partnership that includes a nearby Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Management Area and a privately owned tract under conservation management.
The Conservancy and partners are preparing restoration and educational interpretation plans for the Crooked Creek conservation area. Stewardship activities will focus on restoring native plant communities and stabilizing stream banks to reduce river sedimentation.
The Conservancy and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have entered into an agreement to create a primitive public float camp on the Brooksher Crooked Creek Preserve.
Terrain throughout the preserve ranges from level and easy to steep and rough. One can access the river on foot, but there are no marked trails. There are several tall bluffs on the property overlooking the river. Bluffs are not fenced; please use extreme caution when hiking near the edges.
Sturdy hiking shoes, insect repellent and sunscreen are recommended. Bring water shoes for river activities.