Places We Protect

Bluffton Preserve


A smiling woman in a fishing vest and waders casting a line on the edge of a river, with rock bluffs in the background.
Woman Fishing Woman Fishing at Bluffton Preserve © Dero Sanford

An Ozark paradise on the Archey Fork of the Little Red River!



Only minutes from downtown Clinton lies the Bluffton Preserve, a 989-acre tract of field and forest in the upper Little Red River Watershed. Coursing through it is nearly four miles of the beautiful Archey Fork of the Little Red River.

Perfect for hiking, camping, fishing, swimming or just exploring, the preserve provides a little something for everyone. It also serves as a demonstration site for a variety of conservation practices geared toward clean water and sediment reduction such as prescribed fire, unpaved roads best management practices and reforestation. The purchase of the property and the conservation work is made possible through generous gifts from Southwestern Energy, BHP Billiton and donors.

It is also home to a variety of wildlife. The yellowcheek darter, known only to swim in the waters of the upper Little Red River, can be found in the Archey Fork, along with an impressive suite of rare species. Bald eagles and osprey are a common site in the winter, while deer and turkey are prevalent year around. And let’s not forget the smallmouth bass!

The neighbors along Watergate Road and volunteers with Float VBC help us manage and maintain the property. Camping is available on a first come, first serve basis at the site near the swimming hole. The hunting rights are leased, so please refrain from hunting and be sure to wear your hunter orange when exploring during hunting season. We ask that you refrain from riding horses and ATVs in the area to help reduce the amount of sediment entering the river. And lastly, please enjoy but leave no trace!




989 acres

Explore our work in this region

Building Bluffton How do we balance conservation practices and recreational use at places like Bluffton Preserve? Join recreation team Leah Beck and Mitchell Allen as they take us behind the scenes in this webinar.

Help Support Conservation

Places like Bluffton Preserve and the conservation happening here are made possible through generous gifts from people like you.