Camping in Arkansas
July 9, 2009 2:10 PM   Subscribe

DallastoArkansascampingFilter: I'm looking to take my family (wife and Two children) to Arkansas for a long weekend of camping. Im looking for a semi secluded cabin area with fun activities around the cabin (Fishing, canoeing, swimming, hiking, etc..) Can anyone recommend any such areas? Also looking at the closest area near Tx, as i don't want to drive all the way across Arkansas to get there. Thanks in advance.
posted by flipmiester99 to Travel & Transportation around Arkansas (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I would also consider the ozarks area if anyone suggests a good spot around there.
posted by flipmiester99 at 2:13 PM on July 9, 2009

Friends and I went kayaking on the Mulberry River weekend before last and it's gorgeous up there, lots of caves, swimming holes, etc. However, it's in Ozark, AR which might be further than you want to go. The water is pretty low right now, but fish were flopping out of the water left and right and the scenery can't be beat (unless you're willing to drive to the Buffalo River but it's nearer to Missouri). When we stopped at Turner Bend campground for a shuttle they told us about lots of stuff to do: a swinging bridge, good hikes, a scenic byway, a really pretty waterfall, but unfortunately we didn't have time to go and see. They also rent cabins.
posted by Ugh at 2:52 PM on July 9, 2009

Lifelong Arkansan. Bad news, I think the best lakes are more towards the middle of the state, specifically the very gorgeous Lake Ouachita. Totally worth the drive though, I promise you that. We had a lakehouse there for years and they have several camping areas with lots of amenities. Here is a map of the state parks:

If you have any other questions about other parks, MeMail me. I am familiar with a lot of them, but not so much in southern Arkansas for the record. We really have a lot of lovely places to camp. I don't think you'll be disappointed in the scenery no matter which you pick, it's just a matter of the available activities.
posted by CwgrlUp at 3:02 PM on July 9, 2009

I've been told that DeGray Lake Resort State Park is really nice, but I haven't made it that far south from Fayetteville.

If you get the chance, float the Ozark National Scenic Riverway in the Missouri Ozarks or the Buffalo River in the Arkansas Ozarks. Both are amazing.
posted by Coyote at the Dog Show at 4:19 PM on July 9, 2009

Just vacationed at Mt Nebo State Park in a rental cabin. Fabulous time! The deer came up to the deck every morning and night to beg for food and the hiking and views were fantastic. There is a swimming pool right on the edge of the mountain rim so the view while swimming is breathtaking. The lake is at the bottom of the mountain though - about 25 mins to get down to it.

The friends I went with said Petit Jean State Park has a lake on top the mountain and they liked it better than Nebo. Also, the waterfalls at Mt Nebo were dried up due to lack of rain. I was told the waterfalls at Petit Jean do not go dry. They also mentioned that Mt Nebo was quieter and less visited but Petit Jean has more family type activities.

The drive was about six hours from Wichita Falls and well worth it!
posted by justlisa at 4:29 PM on July 9, 2009

Seconding Lake Ouachita. It's one of the clearest lakes in the US, and I believe it's mostly inside a National Park or something like that, so its very beautiful, without houses and such on the shores. There's a couple rock jumping spots, great hiking, and you can camp on the islands in the lake. I've gone there to vacation from Dallas and it's very, very much worth the drive. It's my very favorite lake.
posted by internet!Hannah at 4:58 PM on July 9, 2009

I just came to say that Petit Jean Mountain state park is my favorite in Arkansas. But, justlisa beat me to it, so seconding Petit Jean.
posted by Houstonian at 5:39 PM on July 9, 2009

Petit Jean is definitely a neat place. Personally, I don't care for the long windy drive up the mountain or the fact that you have to walk a long ways to access water. (Not drinking water, playing-in water I mean) :)
posted by CwgrlUp at 8:46 AM on July 12, 2009

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