What to know
The 625-acre Bear Creek Lake was constructed atop Crowley's Ridge in east central Arkansas in 1938. It lies within the north end of the St. Francis National Forest, and two national scenic byways - the Great River Road and the Crowley's Ridge Parkway, pass nearby. This USDA Forest Service lake on Crowley’s Ridge has more than 15 miles of shoreline, and this makes for an abundance of good fishing for big bluegill and redear when the fish are in shallow water on the spawning beds. Look for beds of spawning fish on the gradually sloping banks, particularly near points, and also in the backs of the wider (and therefore shallower) coves. The peak of spawning activity usually occurs during the new moon in April and again on the new moon in May. Anglers visit the lake in search of its largemouth bass, bluegill, red-ear sunfish and blue and channel catfish. Abundant wildlife readily seen in the national forest includes whitetail deer, squirrel, raccoon, rabbit, wild turkey and a wide variety of other birds. The campground features 17 campsites [14 Class AAA with water/electric/sewer hookups and three Class D Walk-in Tent Sites]. Each paved site includes an adjacent, extended hardened living area with picnic table, grill, lantern hanger, and tent pad. A barrier-free bathhouse is centrally located. In a separate location on the lake, the park's Lone Pine Campground offers 14 Primitive RV/Tent Sites with no hookups and vault toilets nearby. The park also has picnic areas, a swim beach, boat ramp, and hiking trails. Camping is paid through self-pay stations located at the campgrounds. Make reservations by calling the park office.