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Chuck’s Blog — “Trails Less Traveled: Ranch North Woods Preserve”

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  • Chuck Dovish
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Ranch North Woods Preserve is a conservation success story.

This “oasis in the city,” as it’s called in West Little Rock, was privately owned and slated for new development as a subdivision; that is until The Nature Conservancy stepped in and came to the rescue. “Saving the last great places on earth,” was definitely the case here.

Ranch North Woods is 234 acres of fields, forests and wetlands along the Little Maumelle River, bordering Pinnacle Mountain State Park. There is a 1.2 mile loop trail (that is very muddy during wet weather months — so come prepared). But, to really experience and explore Ranch North Woods, you have to be on the water. This is a floater’s magical haven —not to mention it’s a great for doing a little fishing on the side, as well.


Image courtesy of The Nature Conservancy

The 1.7 mile portion of the Little Maumelle Water Trail within the preserve will take you through the heart of this lush paradise to view nature’s beauty, including wildlife and waterfowl. You can even spend a night or two here— on the water!  A floating campsite lets you experience Ranch North Woods in a totally different way under a spectacular starlit night sky with all the sounds of the night creatures!

So, for a special solitude of its very own that is so convenient to the Little Rock metro area, you must put Ranch North Woods Preserve on your list to explore this summer!

See it for yourself virtually when “Trails Less Traveled: Ranch North Woods Preserve” premieres on Arkansas PBS and “Exploring Arkansas” social media outlets Wednesday, June 17, at 2 p.m., including FacebookYouTube, and on the Engage Arkansas PBS App, available for free in the App Store and Google Play Store. Want to see it — or share it — on a bigger screen? Watch AR PBS-1 in primetime on Thursday evening after “A Place to Call Home” to see the full segment on broadcast!


If you’re in the process of planning an in-person visit to paddle or camp, don’t miss a chance to enter to win an Arkansas PBS prize pack! From now to Aug. 12, whenever you watch a segment and, then, share a photo on the Engage Arkansas PBS app, you’ll be entered to in a random drawing for an exciting collection of Arkansas PBS and “Exploring Arkansas” swag and/or experiences. Check out details and rules at