Lorance Creek Swamp at Lorance Creek Natural Area in Arkansas in United States, North America.
Lorance Creek Swamp at Lorance Creek Natural Area in Arkansas in United States, North America Lorance Creek Swamp at Lorance Creek Natural Area in Arkansas in United States, North America. © Harold E. Malde

Places We Protect

Arkansas

Lorance Creek

The peaceful solitude of nature just minutes outside of Little Rock.

Why You Should Visit 

Lorance Creek Natural Area is easily accessible and located just minutes from downtown Little Rock. The natural area conserves a cypress-tupelo swamp and adjacent uplands. Interpretive signs along the trail and a boardwalk describe the history and natural features of the area. Quiet and peaceful during the day, Lorance Creek comes to life during evening and at daybreak with a chorus of owls, frogs and other animal sounds.

The boardwalk is shaded by bald cypress and water tupelo trees. Swamp blackgum, a rare tree in Arkansas, is fairly common at the edge of the swamp. The area is interconnected by a network of small streams and seeps that support almost 600 plant species, including: 

  • arrow arum
  • bur-reed
  • Louisiana hop sedge
  • royal fern

Rare plants include hardhack, Devil's bit and Carolina ash. Carolina ash is at the northern edge of its range. 

More than 125 bird species and 25 amphibian and reptile species are known from the site, including the rare bird-voiced tree frog. Wood ducks nest in hollow trees, barred owls hoot early in the morning, and herons roost in tall cypresses. Beavers, otters, and water moccasins are common. Migratory birds, such as the prothonotary warbler, can be seen in the spring and summer. 

Location

Pulaski and Saline counties

Size

525 acres. Jointly owned and managed by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and The Nature Conservancy with and additional lands under a conservation management agreement with Entergy.

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site 

The first tracts at Lorance Creek were purchased by the Conservancy and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission in 1989 to conserve the swamp and adjacent uplands important in protecting groundwater quality. The natural area supports over 587 species of plants (seven of which are considered rare), 125 species of birds, and 25 amphibians and reptiles, including the rare bird-voiced tree frog that lives in the tops of cypress trees. It is an important area for migratory birds.  

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing 

Since the intital purchase, the Conservancy has acquired additional uplands to buffer the natural area from developlent.  Stewardship activities include prescribed burns to keep the upland woods healthy and clear of debris, and removal of non-native species.

Stroll the Boardwalk

Interpretive signs along the trail describe the history and natural features of the area.

Learn About Plants

The boardwalk is shaded by bald cypress and water tupelo trees. Swamp blackgum, a rare tree in Arkansas, is fairly common in the upper portion of the swamp. 

The area is interconnected by a network of small streams and seeps that support a rich wetland flora of over 300 species, including

  • arrow arum
  • bur-reed
  • Louisiana hop sedge
  • royal fern 

Rare plants at the site include hardhack, Devil's bit, and Carolina ash. Carolina ash is at the northern edge of its range.

Look and Listen for Animals

More than 100 bird species and 25 amphibian and reptile species are known from the site, including the rare bird-voiced tree frog. Wood ducks nest in hollow trees and herons roost in tall cypresses. Beavers, otters and water moccasins are common. Neotropical migrants, such as the prothonotary warbler, can be seen in the spring and summer. 

Lorance Creek is open to the public. A fully accessible, paved footpath and elevated boardwalk allow visitors access to the swamp interior. There is a restroom on site.

Insect repellent is suggested. Bring binoculars to view the many bird species present at Lorance Creek.