Arkansas January 04, 2019
Hike In This Experimental Forest In Arkansas For An Adventure Like No Other
Within the Buffalo National River resides a serene living laboratory. The Henry R. Koen Experimental Forest has the perfect hike for families or anyone just wanting a quick escape into nature. Let’s learn about this unique area and take a stroll through the forest.
Take a trip to the Henry R. Koen Experimental Forest for an easy, yet beautiful hike.
The Koen Interpretive Trail is a short but sweet hike in the experimental forest that's handicap accessible and completely family friendly. The trail is under a mile but does have different spurs to add about another half mile. To get to parking area of this trail, take Highway 7 north out of Jasper and drive four miles to County Road 79 (also known as Erbie Campground Road). After .4-miles turn right at the sign for the trail. If you'd like to see a map, use
Unlike the rest of the forest around the Buffalo, this area serves a specific purpose.
The research forest was created in the 1950s to help scientists better understand the local ecosystem as well as sustainability and hydrology. The upland hardwood forest works as a living laboratory for the Southern Research Station (a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service) to conduct studies on shortleaf pine reproduction, watershed observations, and more.
The experimental forest isn't restricted to Southern Research Station scientists only, anyone can come enjoy the interpretative trails.
This area is perfect for families with young scientists since the trail is filled with informative markers. More than 30 species of trees are marked along the trail to educate hikers about the different native and non-native flora in the Ozarks.
The trail also has a lovely picnic area.
Bring lunch and turn your quick hike into a full-fledged day trip.
No matter if you're going for educational purposes or you're just looking for nice walk, the Koen Experimental Forest is quite the little adventure.
Even though the Koen Experimental Forest is the smallest of its kind in the state, the accessibility of this area will quickly make it a family favorite.
Have you taken a stroll through this unique forest? We would love to hear about your trip in the comments below!
Most folks don’t remember that the Buffalo National River used to be this
forgotten state park.