Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Vacation Travel Guide
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge showing dangerous animals and zoo animals

Come face-to-face with some of the world’s largest species of cat in this educational wildlife refuge that houses rescued animals.

While the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge officially opened in 1992, its story stems back to the late 1970s when the Jackson family rescued their first lion, Bum. Today, the facility is one of the largest of its kind in North America and is home to dozens of tigers, lions, cougars and leopards, along with a few other species of large cat. Visit the refuge to tour its various habitats, watch feeding sessions and explore the Education Station to learn more about the plight of the refuge and its big cats.

Sign up for a trolley tour for the best overview of the park. Most of the refuge’s employees are biologists or zoologists so a tour presents a unique opportunity to ask questions of the trained professionals. Learn about the different habitats and the facilities of the 459-acre (185-hectare) refuge on the daily habitat tour, hosted each morning. Visit on the weekend for informative keeper talks from members of staff.

Explore the self-guided area at your own pace to watch cats playing in their habitats. Despite being dedicated to the plight of cats, the refuge also houses a few other rescued animals, including a number of bears. Look for the grizzly bear habitat adjacent to the gift shop. Stop by the Education Station to feel examples of fur and read informative displays about the life cycles of large cats.

The refuge offers accommodation so you can spend an entire weekend becoming acquainted with the animals. Bring your own tent or caravan to make the most of camping facilities or spend the night in the Zulu Safari lodges.

The Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is located just outside Eureka Springs in northwest Arkansas. Reach the refuge by car and use the on-site parking. There is a fee to enter the refuge, with all proceeds going to its development. The refuge is closed on Christmas Day.

Top things to do in Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Top Hotels Close to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Sunny Dawn Acres
Sunny Dawn Acres
2.5 out of 5
1251 Madison 8645, Huntsville, AR
Situated on a river, this guesthouse is 4.4 mi (7.1 km) from Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and within 12 mi (20 km) of Beaver Lake and Quigley's Castle. Hobbs ...
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Sunny Dawn Acres
Fox Wood Cabin
Fox Wood Cabin
Eureka Springs, AR
Located in the heart of Eureka Springs, this cabin is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and within 6 mi (10 km) of Beaver Lake and Quigley's ...
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Fox Wood Cabin
 Stay 4 nights & 5th is FREE! ~ Quiet Luxury ~ Dragonfly Mountain
Stay 4 nights & 5th is FREE! ~ Quiet Luxury ~ Dragonfly Mountain
Eureka Springs, AR
Situated in a rural location, this romantic cabin is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Pine Mountain Theater and 3 mi (4.8 km) from Eureka Springs Historical Museum. Eureka ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (65 reviews)
Absolutely Great
"I visit Eureka Springs often & have stayed in various places around & this was by far my favorite. Most relaxing & enjoyable for a much need time away."

Reviewed on Sep 8, 2021

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Stay 4 nights & 5th is FREE! ~ Quiet Luxury ~ Dragonfly Mountain
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Super 8 by Wyndham Eureka Springs
Super 8 by Wyndham Eureka Springs
2 out of 5
3010 East Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR
The price is $84 per night from Oct 3 to Oct 3
Super 8 by Wyndham Eureka Springs
Sunny Dawn Acres
Sunny Dawn Acres
2.5 out of 5
1251 Madison 8645, Huntsville, AR
Sunny Dawn Acres
Fox Wood Cabin
Fox Wood Cabin
Eureka Springs, AR
Fox Wood Cabin
 Stay 4 nights & 5th is FREE! ~ Quiet Luxury ~ Dragonfly Mountain
Stay 4 nights & 5th is FREE! ~ Quiet Luxury ~ Dragonfly Mountain
Eureka Springs, AR
Stay 4 nights & 5th is FREE! ~ Quiet Luxury ~ Dragonfly Mountain
Iris Hill Glamping - " Otis " pod - 5th night FREE
Iris Hill Glamping - " Otis " pod - 5th night FREE
Eureka Springs, AR
Iris Hill Glamping - " Otis " pod - 5th night FREE
Iris Hill Glamping -"Ted" pod - 5th night FREE
Iris Hill Glamping -"Ted" pod - 5th night FREE
Eureka Springs, AR
Iris Hill Glamping -"Ted" pod - 5th night FREE
Iris Hill Glamping - " Ginny " pod  5th night FREE
Iris Hill Glamping - " Ginny " pod 5th night FREE
Eureka Springs, AR
Iris Hill Glamping - " Ginny " pod 5th night FREE
The Crescent Hotel and Spa
The Crescent Hotel and Spa
3.5 out of 5
75 Prospect Ave, Eureka Springs, AR
The Crescent Hotel and Spa
Best Western Inn of the Ozarks
Best Western Inn of the Ozarks
2.5 out of 5
207 W. Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR
The price is $90 per night from Oct 11 to Oct 11
Best Western Inn of the Ozarks
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.