There's a new reason to get outdoors in central Arkansas.

Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area was officially added to Arkansas' System of Natural Areas on Wednesday and it's full of opportunities to learn and explore.

The 373-acre tract, located in Pulaski County just west of Pinnacle Mountain State Park, will protect several rare plant and animal species, and offers to visitors rugged, low-impact activities such as hiking, mountain biking and climbing.

To date, Rattlesnake Ridge is known to be home to three species of state conservation concern: the Southeastern Bat, the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake and Wright’s Cliffbrake, a western desert fern. The area is also the Eastern-most point of the Western Diamondback habitat.

“Offering part of the area for low-impact uses such as hiking and climbing will be a hands-on way to educate the public about the value of conservation, while highlighting the kind of work we do in the System of Natural Areas across the state,” Stacy Hurst, Department of Arkansas Heritage director, said in a press release. “Rattlesnake Ridge will provide a unique experience for outdoor enthusiasts.”

The ridge on the property is the watershed divide between the Big Maumelle and Little Maumelle rivers.

The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission will manage the natural area, which was recently acquired by The Nature Conservancy in Arkansas. Learn more about Rattlesnake Ridge on the Nature Conservancy's website.