As you might imagine, the Ozarks offers a wealth of nature & wildlife viewing opportunities. Whether you're an amateur or professional photographer, or just someone that wants to view and experience what we have here in the Ozarks, the opportunities are almost endless.
Regardless of where you begin, wildlife is easy to find here in the Ozarks. All you have to do is go out to the Wildlife Observation Deck by the tackle shop, and look around. You might see our resident bald eagles, Isaac and Rebekah circling around their nest and raising their young... or you might just look down into the water, and see a big brown trout! Or, after an active day, sit back and relax under our covered pavilion while you throw some steaks on the barbeque. It makes an excellent place for evening card games and group meetings, too.
Here at the resort, we have beavers, otters, mink, raccoons, armadillos, bobcats, deer and possum, and yes, even the occasional black bear -- just to name a few. In addition, the area offers many opportunities to view beautiful scenery with wildflowers and birds in several public forest reserves, or on the river itself.
Beginning on our property is a 2.5 mile (one-way) nature trail on what used to be a railroad line used when Bull Shoals Dam was under construction in the early 1950's. The tracks themselves have long been removed, but left in its place is a beautiful trail that follows the river.
It's easy walking, and takes you through both scenic fields and woods. It's a wonderful way to relax and see wildflowers, birds, animals and more of the area's beautiful Ozark scenery. You'll pass under the old railroad bridge before winding up in Cotter's Big Spring Park, just underneath the historic R. M. Ruthven Rainbow Arch Bridge.
A few years back, the park underwent a major renovation by the local folks of the Cotter Care Crew, and is now a beautiful city park, and an educational & historical tribute to the railroad workers that put our little town of Cotter on the map.
The Rainbow Arch Bridge also underwent major repair and renovation in 2004, and now looks like it did when it was built in 1930. It's also had lights added which makes it something to see at night, too...
The park is a favorite for adults and kids alike. There is a swimming hole at the mouth of a natural spring creek there that has been in use for many years. The kids especially enjoy the rope swing! (Much cooler than your normal swimming pool!) And now AGFC has added a seasonal catch & release area for the kids under 16 and handicapped individuals to do a little fishing.
Travel Time: 2 minutes by car to the park, about 45 minutes
(one way) walking the trail
Cost: No cost
Waterfalls in the Ozarks come to life in the spring and winter, and are just a small part of what makes the Ozarks truly unique. Twin Falls and Falling Water Falls near Richland Creek Campground, Lost Valley between Boxley & Ponca, or Hemmed in Hollow in the Ponca WMA each provide breathtaking views that you'll remember for a lifetime... Photograph courtesy of Ozark Mountain Region.
For directions to each of these waterfalls, and tips for photographing them, click here.