The Illinois River Watershed Partnership wants you to “Take a HIKE” with us at our 30 acre Watershed Sanctuary in Cave Springs, Arkansas for the National Take A Hike day on Sunday, November 17th from 1:00-4:00 pm.

Stairway to the trail

Find this historical staircase on the nature trail

The IRWP is staying true to its mission statement by recently adding a ½ mile trail that gives you a bird’s eye view of the Cave, the spring, and the lake bed.  Something we feel very strongly about here at the Watershed Sanctuary is that if you are able to get out on the land and walk freely around the property via our new nature trail, that you will better be able to appreciate the natural beauty of Northwest Arkansas and hopefully share our passion for preserving, protecting, and enhancing the beautiful Illinois River Watershed that we live in.

Watershed Hiking Trail

A Fall day on the trail

As you walk along the trail you will be able to take in the beauty of some old growth forest that is rich in diversity with over 30 species of trees, rare wildflower species (seen in the spring), and great wildlife habitat throughout the property.  Identify tree species and landmarks along the trail as part of our Trail Quest.

When you reach the top you will be able to sit and relax on one of our two Aldo Leopold benches that overlook the cave and the lake.

Aldo Leopold Bench

View from one of our Aldo Leopold benches along the trail

Want to learn how to build your own Aldo Leopold bench?  Click here for the easy DIY plans.


Whether you are a birdwatcher, botanist, trail enthusiast, or just a weekend warrior, the Watershed Sanctuary nature trail will not disappoint.  After completing the ½ mile hike on our new trail, we hope you will venture further down the hill to the cave and take a stroll along the lake bed.

View of the lake bed from the trail

View of the lake bed from the trail

The cave, which is home to the endangered gray bat and the endangered Ozark cave fish, has been gated off to protect the environment where the endangered species live and thrive.  You don’t have to go into the cave to appreciate the beauty of uninterrupted spring water flowing out that provides the six acre lake with over six million gallons of fresh water per day.

After spending some time at the Sanctuary, we hope you will be inspired by all of the projects that hundreds of volunteer hours have accomplished.   Whether it is the trail section lined with chinquapin oaks, the newly built trail, or the rain gardens that get you excited to volunteer, we hope you will become a part of our ever growing family of volunteers that believe in the Illinois River Watershed Partnership mission and see the benefits that the Watershed Sanctuary has to offer the young and old alike within  our community.

Newly built hiking trails

Explore the new nature trail!

We hope you will join us to take a hike and explore the Watershed Sanctuary on November 17th, 2013 from 1-4pm.  Volunteer, make a difference, and become part of something that we can all be proud of for generations to come.


Related Posts:

5 for 5: Five Green Infrastructure Features at Five Razorback Greenway Trailheads

The Great Watershed Quest

100 Years Later… Draining the Lake at Cave Springs


Related Links:

Woodland Trail Guide

IRWP Tree Corps