Arrow-Wood Conservation Area is located near the center of Shelby County, 2.5 miles north of Shelbina. The conservation area is adjacent to Highway 15, and the North Fork Salt River runs through the 153-acre tract. Shelbyville, the county seat, is 4.5 miles north of the area.
The Department of Conservation purchased the property for Arrow-Wood Conservation Area in January 1988 primarily to protect the southern arrow-wood, Virburnum dentatum L. growing on the mostly wooded tract.
The area also provides opportunities for hunting and for access to the North Fork Salt River for stream fishing.
Southern arrow-wood is a small to medium sized white flowering shrub with long slender branches. Native Americans used the branches to make arrows. At the time of purchase, this site was one of the few known locations for this species of conservation concern. The acquisition has resulted in the protection of this southern arrow-wood population and will allow management to increase its size, health, and vigor. Selective harvesting and thinnings are conducted to improve conditions for southern arrow-wood.
The woodlands on Arrow-Wood Conservation Area are growing on river bottom sites and upland hill sites. A wide variety of trees and shrubs grow both adjacent to the river and on upland slopes. There are beautiful displays of spring wildflowers at the base of the bluffs above the river bottom.
Shortly after the property was purchased, an access was constructed to the North Fork Salt River. The access entrance road off of Highway 15 leads to a parking lot adjacent to the river. Determined users can launch small boats and canoes over the stream bank for river floating and fishing. The river meanders through the area for almost one mile allowing ample opportunity for bank fishing. Hunnewell Access is the next developed access downstream 19.75 miles and is located one mile west of the town of Hunnewell on U.S. Highway 36. Boaters should check locally on river water level and other conditions which might make floating difficult or dangerous.