With the swamps and wetlands in The Natural State, people often wonder if there are alligators in Arkansas.
The answer is: yes. There are alligators in Arkansas but they are usually in specific areas.
Alligators have lived in Arkansas for thousands of years. Unfortunately, we lost a large part of the alligator population due to unregulated market hunting and their wetlands being drained.
These days, you’ll mostly find alligators in the southern portion of Arkansas.
Where do alligators live in Arkansas?
Alligators enjoy living in two main locations in southern Arkansas.
1. Arkansas Post National Memorial near Gillett
Over a dozen alligators in lengths up to 14 feet can be found in the waters of Arkansas Post National Memorial. -source
This is an excellent park to spend a beautiful day in Arkansas. It contains over 3 miles of accessible sidewalks and trails. Be sure to pack a lunch because there are also plenty of picnic tables and restrooms for your crew!
Take your camera to capture a photo of an alligator!
“Located at the northern edge of the Gulf coastal plain, the Arkansas Post’s native growth ranges from prairie grasses and lowland hardwood forests to wetland marshes near the bayous and river. It remains a place of great beauty, with deer, turkey, alligator, raccoon, and migratory and resident birds, particularly bald eagles and waterfowl in the winter months.” -source
2. Millwood State Park near Ashdown
“Alligators can be observed during the warm months of the year at Millwood State Park in the southwestern region of Arkansas, and they are an important part of the aquatic habitat here.” -source
Millwood State Park is also where you want to be for some excellent fishing in Arkansas! Folks love the bass fishing in this lake.
Don’t worry. Alligators are lazy during the day and humans aren’t on the menu anyway! (However, alligators have been known to kill people. Read all about it here: Do Alligators Eat People?)
You’ll find Millwood State Park here:
1564 Hwy. 32 East
Ashdown, AR 71822
Alligators have also been spotted in Beard’s Lake near Millwood State Park in Ashdown.
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Are there alligators in the Arkansas Ozarks?
Although alligators have lived in Arkansas for thousands of years, you probably won’t find any in the Arkansas Ozarks. Since they can’t handle the harsh winter temperatures, Arkansas alligators prefer to live in the lower third of Arkansas.
Don’t miss this: How Fast Can Alligators Run?
Does Little Rock have alligators?
Alligators don’t typically live around Little Rock. However, you can find them at the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center (which is one of the BEST free things in Central Arkansas) as well as at the Little Rock Zoo.
Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “The 16,232 square foot building on 3.4 acres in Little Rock, overlooks the Arkansas River and is within the Julius Breckling Riverfront Park. The site is a part of the River Market District, and is adjacent to the Museum of Discovery, Clinton Foundation Store and the Clinton Presidential Library.” -source
Is there an alligator that lives at Bona Dea Trails and Sanctuary?
After a recent tip about an alligator that might live in the Bona Dea Sanctuary in Russellville, I decided to do a little investigating. I spoke with the Army Corp of Engineers and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and both confirmed that there is indeed an alligator that lives in the area.
He was relocated to the Bona Dea Sanctuary years ago and lives a very happy life.
Also, don’t miss this: [SHOCKING] Are Alligators Dinosaurs?
Record Breaking Alligator in Arkansas
I could never imagine hunting for an alligator. The terror I would feel just seeing one in the same water as my boat would just be too much.
However, people hunt for them every year here in Arkansas.
In fact, in 2020, four friends landed a monster alligator that was nearly 14 feet long and 800 pounds in Lake Merrisach in Southeast Arkansas.
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