Big Spring Nature Trail

Arkansas

Big Spring Nature Trail Facts

States: Arkansas
Counties: Baxter
Length: 2.75 miles
Trail end points: R.M. Ruthven Rainbow Arch Bridge, Big Spring Park and Denton Ferry
Trail surfaces: Ballast, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015176
Trail activities: Walking

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Big Spring Nature Trail Description

Big Spring Nature Trail is located in the heart of Cotter, once a railroad boomtown in north-central Arkansas surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. The city sits in a horseshoe bend of the White River, which offers beautiful scenery and gives the town its nickname of "Trout Capital, USA."

The wooded trail begins in Big Spring Park, an important recreational amenity for the community, offering athletic fields, picnic areas, a swimming hole and boat ramp. The park also has two special features: the Anglin-Tinnon Railroad Workers' Memorial, honoring the town's unique history, and the R.M. Ruthven Rainbow Arch Bridge, built in 1930 and included on the National Register of Historic Places. From under the bridge, the trail continues northeast along the east bank of the river on a former railroad bed, traveling nearly 3 miles to Denton Ferry.

Parking and Trail Access

Ample parking is available in Cotter's Big Spring Park, on the banks of the White River.

Big Spring Nature Trail Reviews

I ran this trail from His Place Resort all the way to the Big Spring Park in the morning. The trail consists of grey, crushed hard gravel, great for walking, running or biking. They even had a bench about a mile from my cabin. You can see the river for most of the way but its starts to get farther away as you head toward the park. Then as you get closer to the park, the River comes back into the view.
I wasn’t the only person out on the trail, there was a county truck checking out the trail and two other mountain bikers.
There is a rock cliff wall on the other side that overlooks the River. I even spotted two small caves that were right at the end of the trail. The trail is covered by tall trees so it was nice and cool for my run.
I was really excited I didn't have to drive somewhere to get in my run that morning. I heard it continues on once you pass the gate near the campgrounds but I didn't get to check it out.

Camping with the family at Denton Ferry, I took my son on a hike along the RTC to Cotter, Arkansas. It is a very quiet, peaceful trail along the White River with opportunity to spot wildlife and enjoy nature. The trail is well maintained, and ideal for hiking or mountain biking.

The park and swimming hole in Cotter make for a nice destination for a picnic, trout fishing and enjoying small town Arkansas.

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