Just southeast of Conway lays more than 4,000 acres of public land set aside for the enjoyment of area residents. The Camp Robinson Special Use Area borders the eastern shore of Lake Conway and includes dedicated spaces for sport shooting, archery, dog training, watchable wildlife, hunting, and more.
“We want to help folks find their outside,” said Hollie Sanders, assistant chief of education for the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission. The special use area delivers on that promise, offering both natural and purpose-built amenities that serve a variety of users in every season.
Observe Nature and Wildlife
As you would expect with a space managed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, visitors to the special-use area have the opportunity to observe wildlife in its natural setting. Camp Robinson SUA is a public space managed for wildlife and people.
“This is a shared space with wildlife,” says Sanders.
One of the easiest ways to observe wildlife and explore the special-use area is on the 4.5-mile Woodlands Auto Tour. The loop tour includes five stops with interpretive signage detailing the different types of ecosystems existing within the park. Visitors should feel free to responsibly explore the area surrounding each stop.
Camp Robinson SUA has also emerged as a regional destination for bird watching. The professionally managed habitat brings dozens of species to the area. It is one of only two locations in central Arkansas to have been designated an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society.
Sharpen Your Shooting Skills
For those residents and visitors looking for a responsible and safe place to use firearms, Camp Robinson SUA is also home to the Dr. James E. Moore Jr. Firing Range. The facility offers a 50-yard pistol range, a 200-yard rifle range, and skeet, trap and 3-D archery ranges.
The recently renovated range has an emphasis on safety infrastructure and is professionally staffed. The firing range also hosts educational programming and on-site staff are available to answer questions from visitors.
Fees are $3 per person for pistol and rifle ranges and $4 per 25-shot round for skeet and trap. 3-D archery is free, although archers must register in the range house prior to shooting. Spotting scopes are available for rent for $2. No ammunition is sold at the facility. Eye and ear protection is provided. The range is open to the public 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday.
Exercise Your Animals
Some of the most frequent users of the Camp Robinson SUA are sporting dogs and their owners training for and competing in field trials. The Pepper’s Pond retriever training area on the south side of the property offers 26 acres of purpose-built environment to train dogs—particularly retrievers—for anything they may encounter during a hunt.
The SUA is also a frequent destination for horseback riding. Horse owners will find stalls, corrals, and other helpful amenities to make an extended or overnight stay comfortable.
With so much to offer and so many user groups, visitors to Camp Robinson Special Use Area are encouraged to look up seasonal hunting regulations and use area schedules before visiting. Please remember to #RecreateResponsibly when visiting any outdoor spaces by leaving it just as you found it. For more information about public areas for people and wildlife visit afgc.com.