Ouachita National Forest

Joined
Dec 21, 2017
Messages
85
Location
North Carolina
Me and 2 of my kiddos are headed from NC to Mead, OK to pick up our patriot camper trailer tomorrow. On the return trip, we are thinking of stopping somewhere to camp over night, likely on 30 APR (MON). Considering Ouachita National Forest is only 4-6 hrs from Exploration Outfitters, it seems like a logical choice.

That said, can anyone point me to a primo camping area out there? Would love to a great view, near water if possible for our one night stay. The kids are ages 9 and 6.

I would also love any info you all would have w/ regards to open fires, etc...

-Chris
 

fjfodee

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Joined
Dec 20, 2006
Messages
1,392
Location
Lower Left AR.
Shady Lake is a nice spot for easy camping. They have power at some sites and good bathhouses if needed. Lots of creek frontage. Make sure you travel around the lake once you enter. That’s where the good spots are.

Albert Pike is somewhat nearby, but no camping is allowed at the park anymore. There are lots of secluded spots upriver that are primitive camping. Very cool area as well.

Fires are allowed as long as there is no burn bans in effect. We’ve had plenty of rain so you should be good. Not much in the way of towns that are close. There is a gas station or two nearby though.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Messages
1,367
Location
Foothills of Arkansas
Agree on shady lake but you might want to call first , a tornado went through there a month or so ago and did some damage , congrats on the patriot, Matt will treat you right. My son in law bought a X1 a few months ago and loves it. Here’s s pic of shady lake
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fjfodee

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Dec 20, 2006
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Location
Lower Left AR.
Took a Friday and Saturday trip to Albert Pike with the wife. Plan was to explore some Forrest roads from south of Mena over to A.P. and stay the night at a friends cabin. This first spot is one I’ve been wanting to see for a while now. Really cool and secluded with a river crossing. River was up so I didn’t attempt.

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weakspleen

Nachos rule!!
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Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
162
Location
Little Rock, AR
Guess where we drove through today too lol! I missed the peak Fall colors because of work and other commitments, but we made a 200 mile run from Millwood State Park area to Little Rock going through the National Forest today. There were still a few golden leaves left, but not many.

And I very much recommend Burl's Country Smokehouse in Royal. The beef jerky is excellent.



 

weakspleen

Nachos rule!!
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Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
162
Location
Little Rock, AR
Went on another run through the Ouachitas today. Started at Holla Bend, then past Ola and Plainview to check out part of FS Road 67, it stretches along a lot of miles on that ridgeline. We rode the easy part to the comms tower about half way across the first part of the ridge. I'm looking forward to doing the rest. After that, we drove across the top part of the forest over to Flatside Pinnacle and back home, about 200 miles on this trip too.

Along the Arkansas River on Holla Bend NWR.


A bit of frost at Holla Bend.


Comms tower on FS Road 67.


Route.


Ouachita Trail at Flatside Pinnacle.
 
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