Address 1: 1980 Highway 278
City: West Wickes
Full Hook: Yes
This park-natural area stretches for 12 miles along the wild and scenic Cossatot River, Arkansas’s premier whitewater experience renowned as the best whitewater float stream in mid-America. Located in southwest Arkansas south of Mena, the Cossatot forms Cossatot Falls, a rugged and rocky canyon that challenges the most experienced canoeists and kayakers with its Class IV and V rapids. When the water is high, the paddlers are here. This National Wild and Scenic River is a watershed basin with flow levels dependent on rainfall. After significant precipitation, the river level rises, allowing experienced paddlers the opportunity to test their skills in challenging Class IV and V whitewater. At the river’s Cossatot Falls area, a rocky canyon with distinct ledges, the river drops 33 feet in elevation within 1/3 of a mile. Late winter to early spring is peak whitewater paddling season here. Class III-V whitewater is for experts only. Floatable river levels are usually limited to late-fall, winter and spring.
The park’s Brushy Creek Recreation Area at the Highway 246 bridge offers day-use facilities including picnic sites, a nature trail, restrooms and river access. A walkway high above the river provides barrier-free access on the west side.
Tent sites (no hookups) at the Cossatot Falls Area are $12/day (winter rate: $6/day).
For hiking enthusiasts, the park features the 14-mile River Corridor Trail and the 3.5-mile Harris Creek Trail.