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Mulberry River

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General Information

Description - It wouldn't be completely accurate to describe the Mulberry River as 50 miles of whitewater, but it would not be far from the truth for several months of the year. The river pours over ledges, shoots through willow thickets, and whips around sharp turns. Visitors to the Mulberry can expect basic Ozark Mountain scenery, narrow canyons, tree-lined bluffs, and dense woods. A good assortment of wildlife is found in the immediate area, including one of the state's largest concentrations of black bears. The stream itself is clear, cool and challenging.

The Forest Service operates two campgrounds, Redding and Wolf Pen, on the river, and three others, Shores Lake, Ozone and White Rock Mountain. Campsites are also available in conjunction with a couple of the outfitting operations. Supplies and other overnight accommodations are available in Ozark, a city located about 15 miles south of Arkansas Hwy. 23.

Recreation - These "wild" characteristics are what give the stream its class II and III rating, and high marks from the floating public. In drier times, the river takes on a completely different personality. Its a good place to swim, wade, skip rocks, and stalk the wary small mouth. The best floating during the summer months is on an air mattress at one of the local swimming holes.

The Mulberry River is a fine fishing stream provided you're on it at the right time. In early spring, its frequently too high and fast for a "laid back" fishing trip. In late spring and early summer, though, when things have calmed down somewhat, the river is an excellent choice when angling for small mouth, largemouth and spotted bass and green and longear sunfish. The potholes can be fished during drier months but getting to them may require some hiking up or down a slippery stream bed.

Climate - Arkansas has a temperate climate with the coldest temperatures near freezing during December, January and February. Daytime highs for these months usually reach 55 degrees F. Spring and fall temperatures are very mild with lows dipping to 44 degrees F and highs reaching 70 degrees F. July and August are the hottest months of the year with average temperatures reaching 90 degrees F. June and September average temperatures usually reach into the mid-eighties. Spring and winter months are the wettest of the year.

Location - The Mulberry River flows through the Ozark National Forest of Arkansas. The Mulberry's beginnings start deep in the Ozarks and continue until it joins the Arkansas River. This 50 mile river flows in a west-southwesterly course parallel with I-40 east of Ft. Smith. Although the Mulberry is located in some of the states wildest country, the stream is amazingly convenient with Arkansas Hwy. 23 less than a dozen miles north of Interstate 40.

Primary points of access include Arkansas Highways 23, 103, and 215 (all paved), and Forest Roads 1003, 1501, and 1504.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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More Information

Contact Information:
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, One Capitol Mall , Little Rock, AR, 72201, Phone: 501-682-7777, Fax: 501-682-2523

Additional Information:
Arkansas Rivers and Streams - Arkansas has numerous rivers and streams located throughout the state. We have information on 13 rivers, four creeks and one bayou.


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