Charlton Recreation Area is located 20 miles west of Hot Springs along Highway 270. Picnic, swim, hike, and fish along picturesque Walnut Creek, a cold, spring-fed mountain stream in the heart of the Ouachita National Forest. This historic recreation area features a captivating native stone dam that forms the swimming area and rustic bathhouse built by the Civilian Conservation Corps federal work program in 1935. Information about Charlton Recreation Area. Information about Charlton Recreation Area - Spanish Other recreation sites within the Caddo/Womble Ranger District
A lot of RV and tent site camping sites. Nice scenery and the park host was very helpful. We stayed in area C (A, B, C are the different areas) on a super busy weekend and weren't to cramped. Spacious tent sites just off a creek with fire rings, picnic tables, and good proximity to clean toilet/shower facilities. Would visit again.
The camp is beautiful and quiet. Walnut Creek is always cold, the swimming is great! Most of the campsites are roomy, and the camp is well maintained. The trails in the area connect to the Ouachita National Scenic Trail, and the views are pretty impressive. 6 generations of my family have camped there.
This is a nice campground with three loops (primitive, partial, and full hookups). Loop A, atop a hill, has the forested primitive sites, and is the prettiest of the three loops. There are also some cool primitive sites at the end of Loop C, a few of which overlook the creek. For popup or RV campers, the sites on loop B offer a nicer setting than Loop C, in my opinion, but neither are bad.
The swimming area at the entrance of the campground is a big draw, accessible to the public for day use, and has quite chilly water. On the hottest summer days, it's a better bet for cooling off than warm lake water on nearby Lake Ouachita. The temperature takes your breath away at first, and then you're good. There are platforms for jumping into the swimming hole, a few picnic areas, and grassy and rocky slopes where people grill food and lounge around. Bring beach towels, something to sit on, and sun protection!
My fiance and I went to Charlton Rec. Area to get away for labor day weekend. Overall the camp was nice. A creek ran through the camp with plenty of tree cover. Near the camp entrance the creek was dammed to create a swimming hole. Many visitors came during the day for the swimming.
Most of the sites were for trailers and RVs, with only a few tent campsites. The camp was clean and had bathrooms with running water. They were in good condition, but pretty far from the tent camping. Surprisingly there weren't any mosquitos, but plenty of Daddy Long Legs. Each site has a pad for parking, BBQ pit, picnic bench (bring a tablecloth), and fire ring with grittle/grill. Camp was lacking trailheads with just one starting in camp. The trail itself was much longer than anticipated; distance wasn't marked and it needed some maintaining. It took you up along the mountain ridge with wonderful views in the areas with less brush.
I'd go back and explore some more. If you're in the area check out Lake Ouachita, Crooked Creek Falls (45 min), or the Vista off Hickory Nut Mountain Rd (20 min).