The Mulberry River is located in Newton, Johnson, and Franklin counties in Arkansas and flows 56 miles from its headwaters in the Boston Mountains to its confluence with the Arkansas River. Visitors to the Mulberry can expect basic Ozark Mountain scenery—narrow canyons, tree-lined bluffs, and dense woods. A good assortment of wildlife is found in the immediate area, including one of the state’s largest concentrations of black bears. Eagles can be seen feeding along the river during migration periods. The stream itself is clear and cool.
The state legislature has designated the Mulberry River as a state scenic river.
April 22, 1992. From its origin to the Ozark National Forest boundary.
The Mulberry River has been recognized by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission as one of the premier smallmouth and spotted bass fisheries in Arkansas, and the Arkansas Smallmouth Bass Management Plan recognizes the Mulberry River as a “quality stream” for smallmouth bass.
Canoeing, camping, swimming, and fishing are the primary forms of recreation. The Mulberry is an extremely popular canoeing river, with Class I to Class II rapids. Traditional floating months are late fall to June, but conditions can vary according to local rainfall. Readings between 2' and 4' are ideal, while 4.5' and beyond are considered dangerous. Canoeists should also make a point of checking local weather forecasts. A heavy rain can quickly transform the Mulberry into a rampaging torrent. Because of the chance for these sudden rises, visitors are advised that camping is recommended to be at least 100 feet from the river.
The river has numerous public access points along its length which contribute to recreation use, Forest Service roads and State Highway 215 provide the major access to the river. The most commonly used access points include Arkansas Highway 103 near Oark, Wolf Pen Recreation Area, High Bank Canoe Access, Byrd’s Campground (private) at Beech Grove, Redding Recreation Area, and Turner Bend Campground (private).