Chalk Bluff Natural Area

Chalk Bluff, Clay County, is situated on the north end of the Arkansas portion of Crowley's Ridge where the St. Francis River cuts through the Ridge and divides Missouri's "bootheel" from Arkansas. Despite its name, Chalk Bluff has no chalk deposits. Rather, its soils are derived from sedimentary materials consisting of light-colored clays, silts, and sands. If exposed, such soils are subject to severe erosion and favor the development of steep slopes and deep ravines. At Chalk Bluff these ravines contain a few beech trees and are characterized by extensive stands of pawpaw and Christmas fern. An upland oak-hickory forest clothes most of the remainder of the area. Clay County holds a long-term lease on this natural area for development and operation of public-use facilities on a part of it. Visitors can hike on three different trails at this natural area; two paved loops and one unpaved with steps leading to the river.

Hunting is prohibited on this natural area.

From U.S. Highway 62 in St. Francis, travel west on County Road 341 for 1.5 miles. At intersection, turn right and go north on County Road 347 for 1.5 miles to the natural area.

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