Big Piney Ranger District

The Big Piney Ranger District is the largest district on the Ozark-St Francis National Forest, encompassing approximately 496,000 acres. The district boundaries include parts of Van Buren, Conway, Searcy, Newton, Johnson, Madison, and Pope Counties. This ranger district is the result of the consolidation of the old Bayou Ranger District (Hector) and the old Buffalo Ranger District (Jasper). Offices are maintained and staffed in both towns

The district can be characterized as one that has tremendous scenery with countless waterfalls and bluff lines, a rural and rustic setting, rugged mountains and jewel-like valleys, and unlimited outdoor recreational opportunities. The district has 4 wilderness areas, 1 research natural area, 4 wild and scenic rivers, nearly 60 miles of the Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail (rated one of the top 10 hiking trails in the U.S.), several renowned rock climbing areas (Sam’s Throne is regionally significant), and 2 scenic byways. The district also has the Moccasin Gap Trail System, a 28-mile multi-use trail which offers enjoyable riding trails, and is easily accessed from the Scenic Byway; the Brock Creek Trail System, a 37-mile single- and double-track motorized trail network; recreation sites that offer day use, as well as camping facilities; Pedestal Rocks, a unique geological formation that is known throughout the area; and several other Special Interest Areas. 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Areas for Mountain Biking at Big Piney Ranger District

Rock Climbing

Areas for Rock Climbing at Big Piney Ranger District

Lake and Pond Fishing

Areas for Lake and Pond Fishing at Big Piney Ranger District

River and Stream Fishing

Areas for River and Stream Fishing at Big Piney Ranger District

OHV Camping

OHV Trail Riding

Areas for OHV Trail Riding at Big Piney Ranger District

Target Shooting

Areas for Target Shooting at Big Piney Ranger District

Visitor Centers

Group Picnicking

Areas for Group Picnicking at Big Piney Ranger District

Scenic Driving

Areas for Scenic Driving at Big Piney Ranger District

Boating - Motorized

Areas for Boating - Motorized at Big Piney Ranger District

Boating - Non-Motorized

Areas for Boating - Non-Motorized at Big Piney Ranger District


Areas for Swimming at Big Piney Ranger District

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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