Heron Pond

Heron Pond in the Cache River State Natural Area is located about 5 miles south of Vienna off Belknap Road.

From the parking area, the trail leads down to a footbridge over the Cache River at the point where it is joined by Dutchman Creek.  Mississippi kites and Louisiana waterthrushes are often seen from the bridge as well as Eastern phoebes hunting above the water.  The trail then winds through a wetland forest dominated by cypress and tupelo trees. The main trail is abundant with prothonotary warblers during the breeding season. After about 1/2 mile, a boardwalk leads into a forested bald cypress swamp that has remained relatively undisturbed for thousands of years. This section is home to barred owls, great blue herons, yellow-crowned night herons, seldom-seen but often-heard bird-voiced tree frogs, cottonmouth snakes, and many other interesting creatures. To view the state champion Cherrybark Oak tree, continue along the trail another 1/4 mile past the turnoff to the boardwalk. Many early spring wildflowers bloom along the trail including Indian pink, trout lily, spring beauty, etc.  A special treat is finding a white spider lily blooming in late summer. Heron Pond remains a favorite nature spot after many years of visiting at all times of year. The entire one-and-a-half-mile round trip trail along the Cache River is an easy walk with benches installed at several scenic viewpoints.

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