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Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

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.


Best Lodging Options Near Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

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2 Story log Cabin on 50 Acres. Large Fireplace, hot Tub, Covered Porch
2 Story log Cabin on 50 Acres. Large Fireplace, hot Tub, Covered Porch

2 Story log Cabin on 50 Acres. Large Fireplace, hot Tub, Covered Porch

Eureka Springs, AR
     
    0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Eureka Springs, this cabin is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from Quigley's Castle and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. Beaver Lake and Pine Mountain Theater are also within 9 mi (15 km).

    Sunny Dawn Acres
    Sunny Dawn Acres

    Sunny Dawn Acres

    1251 Madison 8645, Huntsville, AR
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      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 State Park and Pine Mountain Theater are also within 12 mi (20 km).

      Hogscald Hollow Beaver Lake, Kayaks, Hot Tub, Fire Pit, ON Water, Amazing Self-guided Waterfall Tou
      Hogscald Hollow Beaver Lake, Kayaks, Hot Tub, Fire Pit, ON Water, Amazing Self-guided Waterfall Tou

      Hogscald Hollow Beaver Lake, Kayaks, Hot Tub, Fire Pit, ON Water, Amazing Self-guided Waterfall Tou

      Eureka Springs, AR
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Eureka Springs, this vacation home is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Beaver Lake and within 6 mi (10 km) of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and Quigley's Castle. Pine Mountain Theater and Eureka Springs Historical Museum are also within 12 mi (20 km).

        Stay 3 Nights & 4th is Free! ~ Quiet Luxury ~ Dragonfly Mountain
        Stay 3 Nights & 4th is Free! ~ Quiet Luxury ~ Dragonfly Mountain

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        Eureka Springs, AR
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          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 Springs District Court and Eureka Springs City Auditorium are also within 6 mi (10 km).

          Fairy Hut, Book 3 Nights , get the 4th Night Free
          Fairy Hut, Book 3 Nights , get the 4th Night Free

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          Eureka Springs, AR
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Eureka Springs, this historic vacation home is 2.5 mi (4 km) from Pine Mountain Theater and 3 mi (4.9 km) from Eureka Springs Historical Museum. Eureka Springs District Court and Intrigue Theater are also within 6 mi (10 km).

            Iris Hill Glamping - " Ginny " pod 5th Night Free
            Iris Hill Glamping - " Ginny " pod 5th Night Free

            Iris Hill Glamping - " Ginny " pod 5th Night Free

            Eureka Springs, AR
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Eureka Springs, this cottage is within 3 mi (5 km) of Pine Mountain Theater, Eureka Springs Historical Museum, and Eureka Springs District Court. Eureka Springs City Auditorium and Basin Spring Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Iris Hill Glamping -"ted" pod - 5th Night Free
              Iris Hill Glamping -"ted" pod - 5th Night Free

              Iris Hill Glamping -"ted" pod - 5th Night Free

              Eureka Springs, AR
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Eureka Springs, this cottage is within 3 mi (5 km) of Pine Mountain Theater, Eureka Springs Historical Museum, and Eureka Springs District Court. Eureka Springs City Auditorium and Basin Spring Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Iris Hill Glamping - " Otis " pod - 5th Night Free
                Iris Hill Glamping - " Otis " pod - 5th Night Free

                Iris Hill Glamping - " Otis " pod - 5th Night Free

                Eureka Springs, AR
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Eureka Springs, this cottage is within 3 mi (5 km) of Pine Mountain Theater, Eureka Springs Historical Museum, and Eureka Springs District Court. Eureka Springs City Auditorium and Basin Spring Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).