Short Ozark National Forest Trip | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Short Ozark National Forest Trip

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=Jack=

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Bentonville, AR, USA
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I took a drive down to the Ozark National Forest in Fayetteville, Arkansas yesterday to see what this place is about. The main camp grounds were closed. However, I did find some back roads and trails. One trail leading up was blocked by large, strategically placed boulders. Steel barriers were blocking all the other trails, but people had cut down the fences to get around them. I suppose that's the only way to get to the good spots. Some of those trails looked rugged.

There were a few camping spots along the back roads, so I stopped to make camp for dinner. I cooked some chicken breast with cajun seasoning and green beans, and washed it down with a cold A&W Root Beer. While I was cooking, I could hear a small animal rummaging around near my camp. I didn't investigate. Perhaps it was just an armadillo or opossum since it was late.

Afterwards, I packed up and headed home. Before I got on the highway, I made sure to air up my tires and remove the rocks from my tread.

I included a screenshot of google maps, and I circled the area where I made camp. There is a campsite beside the lake to the south, but as I mentioned earlier, it was closed. Bummer.

Maybe I'll revisit this place again if/when they open the gates.
 

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=Jack=

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Don't be like me and just load up and make the drive. I learned my lesson about doing a bit of research beforehand. Lucky for me, the location I chose was about an hour away from my home. I made the best out of the trip (you take a risk being spontaneous). However, the location I chose to camp wasn't exactly desirable. I'd recommend checking out the location's website for more information about conditions, hours, reservations, fees, restrictions, closest towns, water, restrooms, and points of contact in case of emergencies.

As for Hot Springs and the Quachita National Park, a guy I work with rides bikes competitively (#3 in the state) and camps there every year. He has also camped at Devil's Den, Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area and the Ozark National Forest (Not Weddington, where I camped), and he says those places are great. He mentioned Devil's Den is very rugged, so if that's more your style, check it out. I've heard a lot of good things about Byrd's Adventure Center at the Ozark National Forest, and I'm planning on visiting that place this year.
 
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grubworm

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We just got back a few days ago and really enjoyed it. We came up thru El Dorado and veered west and hit White Oak Lake State Park and it was nice and then went up past Ozark and camped on Mulberry River at Redding Rec area and Indian Creek. Loved it. Good kayaking and camp sites right on the river with a bath house for hot shower. Then dropped down and camped at Daisy State park on lake Greeson and had a great site right on the lake with kayaking and paddle boarding and then half hour away was Crater of Diamonds to go dig around in. Pretty good trip and all the parks were nice and clean.

Heres Mulberry River ...

P1000164.JPG
 
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bmwguru

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We just got back a few days ago and really enjoyed it. We came up thru El Dorado and veered west and hit White Oak Lake State Park and it was nice and then went up past Ozark and camped on Mulberry River at Redding Rec area and Indian Creek. Loved it. Good kayaking and camp sites right on the river with a bath house for hot shower. Then dropped down and camped at Daisy State park on lake Greeson and had a great site right on the lake with kayaking and paddle boarding and then half hour away was Crater of Diamonds to go dig around in. Pretty good trip and all the parks were nice and clean.

Heres Mulberry River ...

View attachment 104465
Isn't Byrds on the Mulberry river?
 
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grubworm

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Isn't Byrds on the Mulberry river?
Yeah, its just a few miles east of the Redding State Park we stayed at. We turned right before it and headed back down south, so we didn't see it, but it is nice area all along there. We stayed one night in the Hot Springs area and it was really packed and full of people all over, the northern area up on the Mulberry was very quiet and we hung out at Indian Creek rec area for a long time and not one person came thru. Very nice!
 
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Trigger

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Contributor I

Arkansas is great. The state puts a lot of effort in their state parks. We stayed at Queen Wilamenia State Park back in March and it was good. It’s on the Oklahoma /Arkansas border in Arkansas. We came from the Tulsa Area and hit the scenic byway from the west. While on the main road, I noticed a lot of gravel roads/trails. I’m looking forward to exploring those with more time. According to the map they intertwine through the hills but appear to run parallel with the scenic byway.

The park itself was ok. It did have nice bathrooms/showers. The hiking and the views were great. The campsites however were very close together. We had neighbors 10 yards away. If you didn’t want to cook, they had a restaurant in the lodge.
 
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