Bordered on the east by the Mississippi River and with the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains running through the west, camping in Arkansas provides endless adventures. There is something for all lovers of nature and outdoor recreation in Arkansas. No wonder it is called The Natural State. The weather means that camping in Arkansas can occur most of the year, so lovers of the outdoors have plenty of opportunities to explore. Whether you are planning a visit to Arkansas for the first time or you are from the area, check out these great places for camping in Arkansas.
Northwest and North Central Camping in Arkansas
Mountains and rivers flow throughout the Northwest and North Central regions of the state. Here, campers can explore the Ozarks lakes, caverns, and beautiful scenery while camping in Arkansas.
If you love fishing, Beaver Lake is a great place to consider camping in Arkansas because it is a nationally renowned location for bass fishing. Beaver Lake is a man-made reservoir located in northwest Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains. Beaver Lake Dam Site Recreation Area and Campground located near Eureka Springs has 48 campsites along with a picnic area, swimming access, overlook, and recreational areas. The sites all have electric hook-ups and can accommodate three tents or one tent and one RV. Because of its location, campers are also located near natural caves and miles of trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding. Natural limestone bluffs surround the area, which is filled with hardwood and evergreen forests.
Also in the Northwest corner of Arkansas is Lake Fort Smith State Park. On the banks of Lake Fort Smith, this scenic park in the Boston Mountain Valley of the Ozarks is a beautiful place for camping in Arkansas. The park offers 30 campsites, ten cabins, a swimming pool, a marina with boat rentals, as well as group facilities, including a dining hall and two group lodges with full-sized kitchens. Park interpreters lead guests on nature hikes and lake tours year-round. For those looking to hike, it is the western terminus of the 240-mile Ozark Highlands Trail. There are also plenty of opportunities for fishing, kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking.
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Upper Delta Camping in Arkansas
The Upper Delta region of Arkansas is bordered on the east by the Mississippi River. It was once home to Ernest Hemingway and Johnny Cash. Visitors to this area can enjoy not only the great Missississippi, but also a 27-hole Andy Dye signature golf course, the many bike trails, cultural offerings, and other outdoor recreational opportunities here.
A beautiful spot for camping in Arkansas in this area of the state is Crowley’s Ridge State Park where scenic rolling hills and spring-fed lakes create a scenic backdrop for your camping adventure. The campground has five bunk cabins for group stays, four duplex cabins with kitchens and fireplaces, one rustic cabin with a kitchen, 26 campsites, picnic areas, hiking trails, pavilions, a 31-acre fishing lake, and a 3.5-acre swimming area.
The campground at Craighead Forest Park offers visitors a home-away-from-home atmosphere with rustic surroundings. The park has 26 tree-shaded asphalt pads equipped with five tent campsites right on the edge of the lake and a primitive camping area. In addition, the RV campground at Craighead Forest Park boasts 41 sites, all with water and electrical hook-ups. This 692-acre park offers so many recreational opportunities to enjoy including biking and running trails, bird watching, and a number of ball fields and playgrounds. For people who enjoy fishing, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stocks the lake with bass, bream, crappie, and tilapia.
Lower Delta Camping in Arkansas
Directly below the Upper Delta, the Lower Delta region is rich in culture and history. Sportsmen will appreciate the Lower Delta’s duck hunting scene and outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunities to spot waterfowl and other wildlife throughout the region.
Lower Delta camping in Arkansas is best for lovers of the water. Mississippi River State Park with its seven bodies of water is a regional favorite for anglers in search of largemouth bass, bluegill, red-ear sunfish, and catfish. The 625-acre man-made lake is also very popular with kayakers. For campers, Mississippi River State Park is a must. It has everything from primitive campsites to RV sites complete with water, sewer, and electricity. This is a great spot for family-friendly camping in Arkansas adventure.
Central Region Camping in Arkansas
This region is literally and figuratively at the center of it all. The State’s capital, commerce, tourism, outdoor activities – it is all here. You can explore Arkansas’s first state park and see the beauty that is Cedar Falls while camping in Arkansas in the Central Region. While the central region of Arkansas is home to the state capital, that does not mean that outdoor recreation is off the table. There is pretty much somewhere for would-be campers to find the perfect place for camping in Arkansas even here.
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West of Little Rock, Pinnacle Mountain State Park is a geographically diverse area spanning 2,365 acres with over 15 miles of trails, including seven miles of mountain bike trails. Besides hiking, you can spend time exploring the rivers or taking in one of the many programs offered by park staff. While camping is not available at Pinnacle Mountain State Park, campsites are available at Maumelle Park, located just a few miles to the east. There are both reservable and walk-in campsites with water and electricity, picnic shelters, and playgrounds to enjoy.
Southwest Region Camping in Arkansas
This corner of Arkansas is home to pristine lakes, the Ouachita National Forest, natural hot springs, spas, scenic byways, and a chance to dig for diamonds. This part of the state is home to Crater of Diamonds State Park, which is the world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public. Visitors can dig for diamonds and keep whatever they find! Crater of Diamonds State Park not only lets you hunt for diamonds, but it also includes a tree-shaded campground featuring 47 campsites with water, electric, and sewer hookups and five walk-in tent sites.
After mining for diamonds, head to the Ouachita Mountains. They are a perfect spot for camping in Arkansas. The Ouachita National Forest is open to dispersed camping for those who like to rough it, but there are also a number of campgrounds throughout the region. For those looking for a less wild and primitive camping experience, there are cabins and formal campgrounds like Crystal Campground and Winding Stair Campground with campsites for both tents and RVs. There are also a large number of recreation areas, making this national forest extremely family-friendly.
There are opportunities all over the state for camping in Arkansas. These campgrounds throughout the state offer campers the chance to enjoy the great outdoors and soak up the beauty that The Natural State has to offer. Wherever you are headed in the state, now all you have to do is pick a spot, set up camp, and relax.
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