10 Best Camping Sites in Arkansas

One of the popular things about the State of Arkansas is the natural beauty it holds. Better known as the ‘Natural State,’ the variety of scenic features, including rivers, lakes, and state parks, make it the perfect destination for a camping trip.

The State also mainly experiences moderate temperatures, which makes it a place you can go camping the whole year-round. There are several activities perfect for the whole family across the majority of campsites. You can ride ATVs, go swimming in the lakes and rivers, hiking on a vast number of trails, and sightsee the wildlife, birds, and beautiful landscapes.

If you are thinking of taking a trip to Arkansas, there are several campsites to choose from. Getting the right kind of campsite suited to your preference may be tricky, but we got you covered. Here are some of the best campsites in Arkansas.

1. Willow Beach Recreational Area and Camping Beach

 

© Willow Beach Marina

One of the best places to go camping in Arkansas is the Willow Beach Recreational Area and Camping Beach.  The place is perfect for the whole family, with all kinds of fun activities, including playgrounds for the kids, fishing, boating picnic spaces, and much more.

The Campground is located near David. D. Terry Lock and minutes away from Little Rock, the largest city in Arkansas. Here you can get back to civilization, do some shopping, and be back in your tent in an instant.

The campgrounds come with several important amenities, including electricity, water hookups, picnic shelters, boat ramps, playgrounds, and hot showers.

Willow Beach comes with a forested area along a waterfront, providing a lot of opportunities. You can go hunting in the forest, or go fishing in the river. The River is famous for Bass, Crappie, and Bream, which can be amazing to cook over a fire as you teach your kids about surviving in the wild.

There are at least 21 campsites, so you don’t have to worry about space for your tents or RV’s.

2. Buffalo National River Park

© nps.gov

Ever since Congress designated the Buffalo National River Wilderness, the park has increased to 34 933 acres, most of which can be explored. The park is run and managed by the National Park service.

Buffalo National River Park comes with one of the most scenic rivers in the State, which allows you to boat as you take in the breathtaking scenery.  The river flows through the Ozarks, carving out a beautiful seabed, with dolomite, sandstone, and limestone left as a result. Expect to find some pools, river falls and enjoy one of the cleanest rivers in America.

The Buffalo River Wilderness is divided into three different sections, including the Upper Buffalo Wilderness, the lower and Leatherwood Wilderness. In the Upper Buffalo area, the river is at its wildest and will be a great place to test your boating skills. The Lower Buffalo Wilderness is the largest stretch, where the water is smooth, as it joins Lower Buffalo and Leatherwood.

© National Park Service

Camping is allowed anywhere within the wilderness, giving avid campers a chance for absolute seclusion, and at the same time, a chance to test out their survival skills.

There are many wild animals in the Park, including white-elk deer, mink, river otters, raccoons, possums, and much more.  

The park has ample space and will accommodate a huge number of campers at any one time

3. Greer Ferry Lake

 

© Dkbrawley

The Greer Ferry Lake is located in the Little Red River, Cleburne County, Arkansas.  The Campsite comes at the foot of a mountain in the Ozarks, with multiple recreational activities suited to make your camping trip as productive and enjoyable as possible.

There are over 200 camping areas, fully equipped with electric services, flushing toilets, good drinking water, showers, playgrounds, swimming points, and picnic shelters.

© Stephanie Fletcher / Vrbo

The campsite comes with fishing activities all year round, with trouts bred in the dam flows with the river providing some great fishing adventures for campers. The campsite also comes with extensive trails sure to provide some challenge. You can hike any one of these trails as long as you adhere to the safety measures advised by the park staff.

Enjoy the natural view of the Lake and the picturesque backdrop as you camp under the night sky.

If you are looking for directions to the campsite, go 15 miles north of Little Rock, on the U.S 67-16, for at least 50 miles towards the North of AR 5.

4. Lake Ouachita National Forest

 

© Arklahoma Hiker

Lake Ouachita National Forest allows for one-day camp trips or extended stays with multiple activities sure to provide some memorable time at the park.  There are at least 30 camping areas with over 700 miles of hiking areas.  There are two kinds of campsites at the park, those open all year round and those open only during the fall and winter periods.

There are a couple of picnic areas in the park, including Collier Springs, Dutch Creek, Horsethief Springs Kulli, and more.  You get the option of having a picnic near sight or on the rolling fields.

When it comes to water activities, the park will provide you with enough everything, from boating to fishing. With the park’s 400 miles of springs and at least 1,600 acres of lakes, you are sure to find something to do on the park’s waters.

© Arklahoma Hiker

Campers who also love exploring ad a bit of hiking will find Lake Ouachita National Forest a haven. The 700 miles of hiking areas come with different kinds of terrain and vegetation, which help provide an awesome experience. 

A great thing about the ark is that it also comes with trails for Horseback riding, biking, and ATVs.

5. Gamaliel Campground on Norfork Lake

© Recreation.gov

The Campsite is located in Bennett’s Bayou area of Norfork Lake. The area comes well covered with trees, meaning you will rarely complain about a lack of shade. There are several secluded areas for those looking for some extra quiet, plenty of water sports, and amazing trails.

In terms of campers’ facilities, they can get at least 60 camping areas, with electricity and enough water.  The kids can always enjoy the playground and the swim beach. 

The Norfork Lake on the park comes from the North Fork River located in Northern Arkansas.  The area attracts diverse wildlife, which will be on view as you explore more of the campground.

Some of the things you can do for recreation while at the campground include sailing and fishing, hiking through the trails, scuba diving, interacting with the fish, and just some general relaxation, away from the hustle bustle of normal life.

The campgrounds allow for pets, with a maximum number of people per group being ten. Campfires are allowed, with the maximum number of cars per group being 2.

6. Mount Nebo State Park

© SterlingB2122 / YouTube

Located a couple of miles west of Dardanelle, Mount Nebo State Park should be top of the list on the place you can explore if you are ever in Arkansas. The park sits at the top of a flat-topped mountain providing stunning views of the Lake Dardanelle, mountain ranges, and the Arkansas River.

The Camp is at least 1,350 feet and comes with several fascinating activities that will make it ideal for the whole family. There are beautiful natural springs, waterfalls, beautiful hiking trails, boating and fishing sports, swimming, playgrounds, and many more.

Mount Nebo Park is especially popular among campers and RV enthusiasts due to the unique trail systems that carry historical value.  For instance, the Bench trail features certain features built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1993.

The Campsites is functional all year round and comes with at least 34 camping spots, 15 cabins available for hire, pavilions, a visitor’s center, and a gift shop. For camper’s, you will get access to electricity, water hookups, grills, picnic tables, modern bathhouses, and an amphitheater. 

© Arklahoma Hiker

You also have the option of camping on the mountainsides, where you may lack basic amenities but will get some of the most breathtaking views in the State.

7. Lake Catherine State Park

 

© Arklahoma Hiker

Lake Catherine State Park is one of the more peaceful campsites in the State. The park provides a serene environment being that it is located in the Ouachita Mountains, which provides some great sceneries and privacy not found in many places.

The park sits in a 1,940-acre piece of land with at least 68 campsites that offer amazing Lake and Woodlands’ views. Apart from camping, visitors also have the option of hiring log cabins, which are in plenty. The park also accommodates RV’s, with ample space for parking.

Some of the activities you can expect to participate in while camping here include hikes, boat tours, and horseback riding, fishing, and much more.

© Chapter 3 Travels

There are at least four trails within the park, with the most popular being the Fall Branch Trail. It comes with a waterfall and a beautiful suspension bridge that allows you some beautiful natural beauty views.

8. Hickory Creek Campground

© Recreation.gov

The lake can be located on other shores of the Ozarks in the Northwestern part of Arkansas. The area is expansive, with opportunities to participate in several activities.  

The campground has several natural sites and features perfect for making your explorations more interesting.  One of the main features is the Towering Limestone Bluffs; several naturally made caves plus several trees on the whole park provide shade for campers and during trails.

The camp also has a shoreline created by the dam installed for flood control.  There are at least 400 miles of shoreline to enjoy the view from, with the option of swimming in the conservation pool.

The campgrounds come with several facilities to help ensure your time at the campsites is as fun and relaxing as possible. Some of the things you can expect to find include picnic areas, flush toilets, water, campfire spots, and group picnic areas for groups and families.

Some of the recreational activities for campers visiting the area include fishing, where campers can try their hand and getting some anglers, bass bream, and many more. The available trails provide a chance for bikers and hikers to enjoy their hobbies as they check out some of the wildlife found in the campgrounds.

9. Lake DeGray, Alpine Ridge

 

© amyashcraft / Hipcamp

The Alpine Ridge, located around the DeGray Lake, is a campground comprising of only 49 campsites, making it one of Arkansas’s smaller campsites.  The campsite is located o a more remote area of the Lake, and being smaller, means that there are fewer people there, making it ideal for anyone looking for some solitude.

The campgrounds come with several trees which help provide much-needed shade. In terms of basic amenities, the campsite will provide you with good restrooms, playgrounds to keep the kids busy, swim beach, and boat ramps.

There are several fishing spots on the lake banks, and even more when you take your boat out. You can enjoy some short walks around the park or lie back and meditate on the banks of the lake.

The camp may smaller than other campsites, but it can still accommodate RV’s and campers alike, so don’t be shy about your huge home on wheels; as long as your bookings are made, you will get enough space to enjoy a great camping trip.

10. Hot Springs National Park

 

© ZRFPHOTO / Getty Images

Hot Springs National Park is one place with stunning beauty and rich cultural history, with hundreds of years of visitors coming to quench their curiosity. The place is relaxing with beautiful vegetation and hot springs, which earned it the nickname “American spa.” The place has around four areas naturally created to go and dip in the soothing hot springs. 

You can visit several bathhouses, which were initially built over the springs offering you one of the best natural spas you can ever experience.

© Brandonrush

The park also comes with several other features that are guaranteed to attract visitors for centuries to come. Some of these features include thermal springs, mountain views, creeks, and geology, making the park one of the most beautiful places to visit in Arkansas.

You can also go birding and watch different birds all year round at the park. Photographers can also come here for a shoot or two due to the picturesque nature f the park. Hiking and biking are also part of park activities, and enthusiasts can always hop on a bike or trek and explore the park.

Conclusion

No matter which campsite you end up choosing, make sure you have a good time and make as many memories as possible. 

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