RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Shady Lake

Scenic 25-acre lake in remote mountain setting.The Civilian Conservation Corps developed the Shady Lake Recreation Area in 1937. The Shady Lake Trail traverses Saline Creek and passes the historic Shady Lake Dam. It continues along the eastern edge of the campground. The trail is ideal for day hiking. Mountain bikers may also use the trail. Individual campsite temporary closings: For your safety, the following campsites are closed while being evaluated for risk of flooding: B12, B14, B18, B20, B21, C1, C2, C3, C4, D4, D6, D8, D10

National Forest
Drive In
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Picnic Table
Sanitary Dump
Sewer Hookups
Trash Available
Water Hookups
Shady Lake is located in Arkansas
34.37 N
-94.024 W
Get Directions
Take Arkansas Hwy. 84 west of Glenwood, AR; turn northwest on Arkansas Hwy. 246 at Athens, AR; turn right (north) at sign, drive 3 miles on Forest Service Road 38.
6 Reviews of Shady Lake
Not the worst

The camp volunteer is very nice and helpful. I always felt safe and the camp wasn’t overcrowded. The lake was gross and there were nasty Canada Geese everywhere, but overall pretty nice.


The times I have been there hasn’t been very many other campers in the area. I went with my in-laws, about 20 of us all together, and we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. There’s not a ton to do there. There is a good size lake for fishing and a short trail for day hiking. Other than that, it’s just sitting around the campfire. Nothing wrong with that, I kinda prefer it that way. Just don’t expect much activity to do other than being a good ole camper. Hope this helps.

Perfect for Basic camping

Been camping here since I was 3 and love it every time. Campground has 4 loops. Loop A, B and D have mostly water and electricity hook up. Loop C has nothing but is my favorite because of its proximity to available camping near the creek. All campsites in the campground that were located on the creek have been removed because of the flood in Albert Pike many years ago. Each loop has a bath house with flushing toilets and showers.

Sadly the lake is not really swimming appropriate anymore because they do not clean it. Something to do with some protected species of minnow or something. But it is beautiful. Camp host is extremely friendly and always willing to help and answer questions.

Overall campground is simple and quiet but one of my favorite places to spend my time.

Quiet Forest Service campground

All sites are 1st come ,no reservations . About 16-20 sites with water and electricity. Water spigots around park for dry campers to fill their tanks. Campsites are pretty well spaced for the most part. May get busy around holidays since the Albert Pike recreation area doesn't allow camping now.No motors allowed on the lake(I think trolling motors are OK). Usually quiet during the week. Bathhouses are fairly clean except for bugs(LOL , you are in the woods). Hiking trails in the area if you are in to that. Great place for kids to explore the creek and learn to love camping.

Peaceful and quiet!

Loved my overnight stay at Shady Lake! Slept right above a babbling creek and heard peaceful water flowing all night. Campground caretaker Billy was friendly, knowledgeable and available. I'll definitely come back!

First to Review
our favorite campground

Shady Lake is a great place to get away from it all. It has a beautiful lake, a creek and trails to hike on. There is tent and RV camping sites.