7 stellar camping spots found across Arkansas

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Camping is a great way to enjoy the state’s natural beauty. Many opportunities to pitch a tent or pull up a camping trailer can be found throughout the wide range of geographic environments found here. Arkansas is home to mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, prairies and each area provides a portal to enjoying nature and the outdoors. Below is a sample of the many varied camping choices that can be found across the state.

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1.Cove Lake

Cove Lake near Paris, Arkansas.

You’ll find this mountain lake along Scenic Ark. 309 in the shadows of Mount Magazine, the state’s highest peak and home to a state park of the same name. Cove Lake features swimming, hiking, camping, and fishing in its 160-acres in the Ozark National Forest. There are 28 family-unit campsites, 24 family-unit picnicking sites, restrooms with hot showers, drinking water, and boat launching ramp. Boating and jet skis are allowed on Cove Lake. The lake is home to catfish, bass and perch. It is stocked every other year, although a small amount of catfish are stocked annually. From Paris take Ark. 109/309 south then turn southwest on Ark. 309 and go 9 miles. The roads are negotiable by camping trailers. For more information call 479-963-3076.

2.Gunner Pool Recreation Area

Stretching along the scenic North Sylamore Creek, campsites are shady and private but have no electrical or water hook-ups at Gunner Pool Recreation Area. Campsites have grills, tables, lantern poles and tent pads. Trailhead access to Sylamore Hiking Trail is located within the campground. Just minutes away is Blanchard Springs Caverns, where you can enjoy guided walking tours or get down in dirty with a wild cave tour adventure. Access is by a steep, winding, dirt road, not recommended for large recreation vehicles. For more information, call 870-269-3228.

3.Woolly Hollow State Park

Mountain biking at Enders Fault Trail is one of the many activities that can be found at Woolly Hollow State Park.

This state park, around 45 minutes from Little Rock, has 30 updated AAA 50 Amp sites (two accessible) and 10 waterfront tent sites. The new Enders Fault hiking and biking trail will keep campers busy during the day as will a walk around the lake on the scenic Huckleberry trail. Also of note, Lake Bennett was named the best swimming spot in Arkansas by the Weather Channel last year. The park is located at 82 Woolly Hollow Road in Greenbrier. For more information call 501-679-2098 or visit arkansasstateparks.com/woollyhollow.

4.Lake Sylvia Recreation Area

This picturesque area is home to 27 camping sites (19 electric and 8 tent-only), there are several trails here including access to the Ouachita National Recreation Trail. The Wildcat Mountain Bike trail isn’t far nor is Scenic Highway 7. Camping facilities are available on a first-come, first-serve basis from mid-spring to early-fall.  To get here, go nine miles south of Perryville on Ark. 9, then west on Ark. 324 for four miles. For more information, contact the Winona Ranger District of the Ouachita National Forest at 501-889-5176.

5.Beech Point Campground at Mississippi River State Park

Mississippi River State Park.

Located within Mississippi River State Park and the St. Francis National Forest, Beech Point Campground features 14 sites with full hookups and amenities. The campground forms a peninsula in Bear Creek Lake, a 625-acre man-made lake known for largemouth bass, bluegill, red-ear sunfish and blue and channel catfish. For more details, call 870-295-4040.

6. Lake Ouachita State Park

Lake Ouachita State Park in Mountain Pine is located on the eastern shore of Lake Ouachita, the largest lake (40,100 acres) in Arkansas. Camping is popular here and the park is currently in the midst of campground renovations. When complete, the total number of campsites available at the park will be 94. Fifty-eight of these are class A sites (which have electrical hook-up and amp service, etc.) and 36 are Class D (Hike-In Site, Tent) sites.

Camping at Lake Ouachita State Park.

Surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest, the park is home to hiking trails like the Caddo Bend Trail and is known nationwide for the largemouth bass fishing opportunities found on the lake.  Water activities such as boating, water skiing, scuba diving and kayaking are also popular at the lake. For more details call 501-767-9366 or visit arkansasstateparks.com/lakeouachita.

7.  Buffalo National River

This area maintains numerous campgrounds throughout the park. The park visitor center is at Tyler Bend, 11 miles north of Marshall on U.S. 65.

Enjoy!