How to Prepare for Your Visit View All
The Simpson Preserve rises from a gentle base to steep upper slopes and two narrow ridgelines with the ephemeral upper Rush Fork stream flowing between them. This piece of land contains excellent examples of Arkansas' rich natural diversity. A hike to the ridgetop glades is rewarded with sweeping vistas of the surrounding Ouachita Mountain landscape.
Hot Spring County, near the border with Garland County.
Trap Mountain contains four general habitats:
Nearly two dozen species of butterflies, including the rare diana fritillary (Speyeria diana); 60 bird species, including hawks, warblers, kinglets, tanagers, vireos and woodpeckers; white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus); black bear (Ursus americanus).
The Ouachita Mountain ecoregion of Arkansas and Oklahoma comprises a landscape of more than eight million acres with rugged mountain ridges, broad valleys, and the headwaters of several large river systems. The complex geological formations and soils of this forested landscape have created tremendously diverse habitats for a wide variety of species. With roughly four dozen species found nowhere else in the world, the Ouachitas are one of North America's hot spots for endemism.
Dr. and Mrs. John B. Simpson of Hot Springs donated the original 348.5 acres of ecologically unique land to the Conservancy in 2000 to establish the preserve. In 2004 they made an additional donation of 200 acres. The preserve protects six rare species of plants.
The Conservancy has purchased two additional tracts consisting of 160 acres, bringing the preserve's total area to 708.5 acres.
The preserve is a demonstration site for oak ecosystem restoration and is part of a cooperative program with the state’s Game and Fish, Natural Heritage and Forestry commissions, the USDA Forest Service and others. The Conservancy is using prescribed fire to restore the preserve’s woodlands to a more open structure.
Elevations range from 660 to 1,273 feet with some steep inclines. There are a few old forest roads but no marked trails.
Sturdy hiking shoes, long pants (to protect against occasional patches of poison ivy), and insect repellant are recommended. Carry plenty of drinking water.
The property is gated. Contact the Conservancy's Arkansas field office at (501) 663-6699 or email@example.com for directions and access information.