Not far off a busy highway lies what is, in my opinion, one of the best natural areas within the city of Little Rock. The William Kirsch preserve is a quiet oasis of water and trees and wildlife right in the city.

It is a place to get away from it all without getting too far away.

There are many other outdoor activities in Little Rock that you might want to look into as well.

Cypress trees in the water of the Little Maumelle River under a clear blue skyPin

William Kirsch Preserve

The preserve sits in the northwest corner of Little Rock at the foot of Pinnacle Mountain State Park at the back of the Ranch North Woods neighborhood.

To get to the park take the busy Highway 10 and turn into the Ranch, drive a short distance and there you are!

The preserve has 230 wooded acres along the Little Maumelle River with walking trails, biking trails, canoe and kayak launches, and picnic areas. You will be able to reconnect with nature at the William Kirsch preserve without making a long drive or venturing too far from home.

Once considered for land development, the property was purchased by The Nature Conservancy to be conserved and preserved.

The Nature Conservancy is a global, non-profit organization that according to their website is “working to create a world where people and nature can thrive.”

Their mission is to, “conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.” Their vision is “a world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfill our needs and enrich our lives.”

The Nature Conservancy began in Arkansas in 1982 and has helped to conserve more than 325,000 acres across the state. They own approximately 30,000 acres in Arkansas many of which are open to the public to enjoy.

They work with private landowners, businesses, public agencies and other organizations to conserve and restore the lands and waters of the Natural State.

I think that you will love a visit to the William Kirsch Preserve. We did!

You might be interested in learning more about the best outdoor activities in Little Rock.

After you turn off of the highway and drive through the neighborhood you will come to a gated parking area. Please do be respectful and aware as you make your way to the preserve that you are driving through a place where people live and children play.

The William Kirsch Preserve is open only during the daylight hours. The gates in and out of the parking area are locked from dusk to dawn. A phone number is provided on the gate that you can call on the off chance that you don’t make it back to your car before dusk and find yourself locked in.

After you park you will make your across the railroad tracks into the preserve…don’t forget to look both ways before you cross!

We were fortunate to have a gorgeous fall day with bright blue skies when we visited this natural area.

Shortly after you enter the preserve and begin walking down a gravel path you will see a trail to the right that will lead to a spot where you can launch kayaks or canoes into the cypress studded waters of the Little Maumelle River. There were some picnic tables in this location as well.

Cypress trees in the water of the Little Maumelle River under a clear blue skyPin

There are a couple of trails that you can choose to walk. We took one that follows around the preserve and along the river. There are others that cross the property through the middle.

The whole place is stunning with gorgeous trees, fields, and waterways everywhere you look.

Do be aware that this is a low lying, river bottom area, so if you are visiting after there has been some rain you might encounter muddy areas on the trail. Wear shoes that are appropriate for potentially muddy conditions!

We didn’t and found ourselves picking our way along any bit of high ground we could find to save our white tennis shoes.

man walking his dog along a trail at William Kirsch Preserve in Little RockPin

This is a particularly gorgeous place to spend some time out on the water. You can bring your own kayak or canoe, but as you walk the river trail you will come to a field that has a small boardwalk reaching out into the water, additional picnic tables, and, best of all…a couple of canoes have been provided for public use.

boardwalk reaching into the Little Maumelle River at William Kirsch preservePin

As you paddle along you will discover that the views from the water are gorgeous.

There is one area in particular with a perfect view of Pinnacle Mountain across the river.

We were so impressed with this nature preserve. It is lovely and quiet and a perfect little get away right in the city!

We can’t wait to go back and take our own kayaks to explore further.

By the way, dogs are allowed in the preserve, so if you live nearby you might find it to be a good place to take your pet for a walk.

Two Rivers Park and Pinnacle Mountain State Park are both near the William Kirsch Preserve.

If you want to learn more about things to do in the city of Little Rock you can check out our Little Rock bucket list post!

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