The Natural State is named this way due to all the natural treasures it has to offer. There is greenery everywhere you look. Camping is a very popular activity – parks, rivers, lakes, forests, mountains, and everything in between invite visitors to explore, enjoy, and spend the night. Arkansas climate is very moderate, so camping is possible almost all year round, except maybe the middle of winter and the height of summer. Camping is a wonderful family activity in every state, but what makes Arkansas stand out are its pristine lakes, plentiful rivers, and waterfalls, natural woods with bears and bold eagle nests, and green mountains with their cliffs, rocks, and spectacular views to the plains below.
Campers have a wide range of options for active recreation: boating, canoeing, hand-gliding, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, golfing, swimming, fishing, and rock climbing. You can even dig for diamonds! Most Arkansas campsites offer reservations, so book in advance to secure your spot.
We collected 10 best and out of the ordinary camper friendly parks and places:
This park is managed by the National Park Service and offers 13 campsites. Some of those sites are wild, others have electrical hookups.
The river is known for its quiet waters and is popular for canoeing, floating, swimming, and fishing. It runs for 135 miles along the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
The most popular campsite is Lost Valley. People love it because of the views it offers. The trail to the site is relatively easy and will take you through forest, along the river, its waterfalls, cliffs, bluffs, and a natural bridge. It will end with a cave for your exploration. Hikers will see plenty of wildlife, especially elk.
This camping site is very popular among families and scout groups. People love grilling, swimming, fishing, and hiking here. The territory is flat, so you won't find views here. Motor boat enthusiasts won't be able to enjoy their sports here, as the lake is a boat-free zone.
What visitors will find is plenty of pristine water, greenery, and easy trails. The park is located just an hour from Little Rock in Perryville.
This lake is located about 2 hours from Little Rock and is known for its crystal clear water and beautiful shoreline. The Greers Ferry area is very rich with parks and campsites - a whopping 13 parks and 1,200 campsites. Campers and hikers are very welcome here. Water sports enthusiasts have plenty of options too – the deep water allows boating, water skiing, sailing, and diving.
The lake is teeming with native fish, which is stocked by Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner. Just below the dam, U.S Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a trout hatching facility.
Family favorite campsite is Choctaw. It offers 30 picnic sites with grills, and has boat ramps, swimming area, and lake views. If you come for the views, choose a nearby Sugar Loaf Mountain recreation area.
This is the only campground right in Little Rock. Needless to say, this park is very popular during summer among local city dwellers. It offers fishing pier, showers, a boat ramp, and picnic tables with grills. Camping lovers can choose between 129 spots and should reserve them in advance.
This park is great for families who want to have a short day trip and still get all the pleasures water activities can offer.
This State park is famous for the submerged timber under all its 26,000 acres and only 7 foot depth. This lake is amazing for mayflies and fish. Families come here for safe swimming and fishing. Largemouth and white bass are plentiful here!
This lake is 3 hours away from Little Rock, so people flock here for a few day camping. Bird watching is also great at Millwood – eagles live all around the lake.
Wooded Saratoga and anglers' favorite White Cliffs are popular campsites. The first one has a playground, fishing pier, and a boat ramp. The latter is situated along the east bank of Little River and great for angler fishing.
This camping area is known for its spectacular views. The park is located about 3 hours from Little Rock in the Ozark National Forest.
Richland Creek is not easily accessible because it does not have paved roads. So only the most determined campers will get to enjoy one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Arkansas, miles of hiking, and great swimming.
This lake is an impressive 34,000-acre water reservoir on the Arkansas River. It is famous for its bass. So famous, in fact, that is often featured in national bass fishing competitions.
This recreation area has 83 campsites, equipped with bathroom and hot showers. Visitors will enjoy boat ramps, picnic tables, and group pavilions.
This is one of only two Arkansas parks that offer hand-gliding activities for adrenaline seekers. Mount Magazine is the other one.
Mount Nebo boasts trails all around it, total of 14 miles. The trails lead to beautiful Sunrise and Sunset Points where visitors can marvel at the nature's beauty. The park also offers 4.5 mile moderate mountain biking bench trail. Bikers can enjoy historic springs and Fern Lake on the way.
This park offers 41 campsites. Queen Wilhelmina features plant and wildlife facilities, hiking, and picnicking areas.
Second highest peak in Arkansas, 2,681-foot Rich Mountain, is located in this park. Visitors, who don't feel like camping, can stay at a “castle in the sky” resort on top of the Rich Mountain.
This park is popular all year long, but gets very busy during fall season as tourists flock to see the changing leaves.
Burns park is close to Little Rock, easily accessible and offers tent and RV camping. This park covers 18,000 acres and is the largest municipal park. Its visitors can enjoy two 18-hole golf courses. There is also a dog park, baseball and softball complexes, a Bonzai BMX track, a soccer field, a tennis center, various playgrounds, and camping. Another words, it has something for everyone. Park explorers will enjoy a pre-Civil War cabin and a covered bridge. Families will love a seasonal amusement park, archery field, and beautiful trails that can take them all that way to the Arkansas River.