CLOSED for April

Due to the risks associated with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and some complaints of groups not adhering to the social distancing policy, the Gates Rogers Foundation board has voted to close the Nature Center through the month of April, 2020.

We will re-evaluate the status again the first of May. We feel that we will be supporting the Governor’s policy for Arkansas with this decision.

We don’t make this decision easily and hope to see the community back at the Nature Center once it reopens.

Spring Family Scavenger Hunt

Bring the family and hike our trails. Print a copy of our Scavenger Hunt list here, or shoot a picture of it on your phone when you reach the kiosk, and head out for a fun day of Social Distancing Outdoors!

Remember to pack out any trash you bring in and don’t remove items from our trails. Just check them off the list!

Parking available across from the Gate. Hike into our nature center using the trail head located to the right of the gate. Bring a water bottle and wear comfortable shoes.

(Click the image for Printable PDF)

Visiting South Fork for the first time?

We’re a short drive off Hwy 65, on Greers Ferry Lake. Click here for easy directions!

South Fork is OPEN!

South Fork Nature Center is Open!

We are open for walk-in visitors who practice social distancing. Our 2 miles of trails are budding and blooming. This is a great way to get some good exercise and relaxation. Some of our benches provide great views of the lake.

We at Gates Rogers Foundation want you to have a positive, safe experience. Please do not congregate in groups and allow everyone their space. Please take all trash home with you. As the weather warms up, you may want to bring your drinking water and possibly bug spray. Enjoy our beautiful trails, our budding trees and our sights and sounds of the forest!

Follow us on Facebook at @SouthForkNatureCenter for more information and future scheduled events.

Happy 2020 from South Fork!

The team at South Fork Nature Center would like to wish you a new year full of excitement & wonder!

We’re grateful for all the amazing visitors who have come to explore our Greers Ferry Lake trails, from elementary students watching caterpillars wiggle, to the conservation groups that team up to preserve our unique lakefront ecology.

Remember that the trails at South Fork are open every day, year round! We’re not far from the recreational area on Greers Ferry Lake off Highway 330. Feel free to enjoy the beautiful woodlands – bring a friend, a camera, or even a pet!

If you’re a teacher, scientist, artist, or just a nature buff, you might be interested in joining our docent team (ask us how!)
If you’d like to host a class or group event, we have experts ready to guide you!
If you’d like to contribute your love of nature in another way, please consider a tax-deductible donation to our efforts.

May 2020 be the year you reconnect with nature in a magical way. We hope to be a small part of that.

Summer Cleaning

Shout out to our trail maintenance team led by Don Culwell, Bob Verboon, Chris Graham and Charles Thompson! They’ve been busy as bees removing fallen trees from the trails this summer. Also, Philip Miron dutifully cuts the grass on the trails and the side of the road coming into South Fork.

Thanks boys, we couldn’t do it without YOU!

Firm Foundations Home Schoolers

SFNC Hosts the Firm Foundations Home School Group

by Krissi Graham

If someone wanted to introduce a hive of homeschoolers to Entomophagy [en-to-moph-a-gy; noun: the practice of eating insects, especially by people] they should use the facilities at South ‘FORK’.

That’s exactly where Dori Cornelius brought 21 nature enthusiasts on May 10, 2019. For several in the group, it was their first hike at South Fork, and their first taste (myself included) of meal worm larvae. Many feigned temporary vegetarian status to avoid the peer pressure of consuming Top ‘Leaf’ grade ‘A’, precooked, flavored, and packaged edibles from Amazon. But no one missed out on the profound data associated with this lesser known dining habit. Would any cattle farmers consider this as an alternate knowing the percent protein is much higher in a 200 calorie entree? Compare the data yourself at

For more info on our culinary experience, or to inquire about this Christian faith-based group and their weekly family/educational activities, email Dori at