The Chaplin Nature Center offers its visitors a great combination of pleasant woodland trails mixed with an informative visitor center and great programs for kids. While here, you'll experience well manicured forest trails, peaceful views of the Arkansas River, and the quiet solitude only nature can provide.
Need to Know
The Visitor Center hours change seasonally, so be sure to check the park website for the current hours of operation.
Starting at the parking area near the Visitor Center, begin on the Prairie Trail as it makes its way around the moved grass area to the south. Near the end of the trail, take a left at the first trail junction onto the Lost Prairie Trail. The Lost Prairie Trail winds its way through pleasant hardwood forest to a junction with the Spring Creek Trail. Make a left here, looping around to a junction with the Old Maintenance Road and River Trail. Continue on the River Trail, meandering through rooted, dense forest until you eventually pop out near the Arkansas River. This is a great spot to stop and enjoy the riverbank, taking in the views while snacking on your lunch and grabbing some water.
When you're ready to continue on, head south on the trail as it loops back through the forest to a junction with the Bluff Trail. Make a left on the Bluff Trail and soon you'll arrive back at a service road right near the parking lot from which you started.
Flora & Fauna
Expect to find wildflowers here in season, as well as the occasional squirrel and other forest critter.