Richardson Bottoms is a 100-acre swamp that was
flooded when beavers dammed a small creek.
Located in the Ouachita National Forest in both Garland and Montgomery
counties in Arkansas,
the bottoms have a unique combination of plants and standing water that provides
opportunities for seeing wildlife not found in the more characteristic
pine/hardwood forests nearby.
The marsh provides nurseries for waterfowl,
wading birds and songbirds, a place for water dependent species such as
turtles, frogs and salamanders, and an abundance of insects.
Commonly seen wildlife includes deer, beaver, wood ducks, mallards and
turtles, plus (seasonally) songbirds such as scarlet tanagers, orioles,
finches and indigo buntings.
Richardson Bottoms is approximately 25 miles west of the junction of Arkansas Highways
298 and 7, or approximately 5 miles east of the town of Story Arkansas on highway 298.
Directions from Story:
Travel east on Arkansas Highway 298 for
5.5 miles to Forest Service Road 37300 and the sign for Richardson Bottoms.
Turn right and follow signs 2.5 miles to the site.
Close to the north shore of Lake Ouachita on the Garland/Montgomery
Richardson Bottoms location:
The area originally was a moist hardwood forest dominated by sweet gum and
pin oak trees.
Weyerhaeuser Company logged the area in the early 1980s and
replaced the trees with a loblolly pine plantation.
Beavers made use of the pine saplings and built a series of dams along a
seasonal stream leading into
Irons Fork Creek, creating 100 acre wetland.
The flooded land is now
wet year-round and supports a suite of aquatic and wetland plant and animal
With the development of the marshland, the
Ouachita National Forest saw an opportunity to protect a habitat known
nowhere else in the Ouachita's. Richardson Bottoms was designated as a
Wildlife Viewing Area and provides habitat for migrating wetland bird
Vascular Plant Species Inventory of Richardson
Bottoms Wildlife Viewing Area