East Fork Wilderness

Established: 1984
Acres: 10,688
Region: Ozarks
Section: Boston Mountains
Subsection: Boston Hills
State: Arkansas
Manager: Ozark National Forest (link)
Agency: U.S. Forest Service

The East Fork Wilderness takes its name from the East Fork of the Illinois Bayou, which bisects the wilderness from the northeast to southwest. The Area encompasses 10,777 acres along the southern edge of the Boston Mountains. East Fork’s terrain is characterized by flat or gently rounded ridges separated by hollows with very steep slopes of sheer rock walls. The elevation ranges from 800- 1,600 ft. The most unique feature of East Fork Wilderness is the presence of 3 upland ponds. These areas have exposed standing water during wet weather months and support plant communities normally encountered only in bottomlands. Some of the most beautiful scenery can be found by following the hollows upward from the creek. Waterfalls from a few feet to 20 feet high are common in these hollows. In some places the creeks are bordered by high, sheer sandstone bluffs. White oak, red oak and hickory are the principal hardwoods. Hiking is a popular recreational activity in this wilderness, as well as horseback riding.

Bear Creek in East Fork Wilderness
Bear Creek in East Fork Wilderness
Small waterfall in East Fork Wilderness
Small waterfall in East Fork Wilderness
Boulders in East Fork Wilderness
Boulders in East Fork Wilderness
Flooded East Fork Illinois Bayou River
Flooded East Fork Illinois Bayou River