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Our first time staying at this campground left us on the fence. We enjoyed the openness and campsites are spacious. Nice bathroom facilities. Nice playground but it was taped off during our stay due to covid. We encountered lots of snakes. I shooed a few off the road and they disappeared as soon as they slithered into the grass, so to me it’s pretty risky walking around or letting kids play in the grass because you can’t really see snakes if they are hiding under the grass. They lock a gate every night at the entrance to the campground, however they do give you the code to the padlock.
While in college, and subsequent thereto, I frequently visited Sugar Loaf Mountain for day hikes. The locations and names of “parks” are confusing on Dyrt so I would note that the camping area is called Sugar Loaf Park. I think this is a beautiful area of the state and the mountain is located W-NW Greers Ferry Lake and Dam. There is a $5 day entry fee if you drive in and $2 for walk in. The camp sites are $16 (no hookups) & $18 (30/20 amp) per night. Overnight camping is only allowed mid-May through mid-September but is otherwise available for day use year around. I personally think this is the preferred camping area around Greers Ferry Lake bc of the hiking and views, which I am more into. If that is your thing, Sugar Loaf is a solid spot for you to visit. Plenty to do and see within a 10-15 mile radius that can keep you busy for several days. Would recommend.
I often distinguish in my reviews the places I find preferable for families and those I think are better for people with no kids. I didn’t think about this until I started camping with my 3 boys, all currently under 4. Greers Ferry Lake is one of those places. However, as I said in a review of “Heber Springs,” if I’m reviewing campgrounds here, it isn’t accurate to review “Greers Ferry Lake.” Instead, you would probably be camping at Devil’s Fork Rec Area, Dam Site Rec Area & Campground, Sugar Loaf Campground (in Higden, AR), or Cove Creek Rec Area & Campground (in Quitman, AR). I’ll review those separately; reviewing “Greers Ferry Lake” for prospective campers isn’t all that helpful, in my view.
Despite that, I’ll just say that I love the town of Heber Springs which is located on the Lake. It may be because I have so many memories in Heber from my time in college so I should drop that disclaimer. I also love Sugar Loaf; there’s some great hiking and views. As for Greers Ferry generally, the lake is north of the dam on the Little Red River. There is a ton to do on the lake from fishing, boating/skiing, swimming, etc and it’s a very, very clean lake. The Dam Site Marina has boat rentals, tackle, etc and it’s really nice. For anyone who likes to or is planning on doing a lot of water activities on their trip, the [area around Greers Ferry Lake] is definitely a great spot for anyone wanting to camp with a family due to the lake’s proximity to civilization (ie WalMart) if you need it, activities, amenities, and cleanliness. Plan a trip.
I spent many years in Arkansas while completing my undergraduate and graduate degrees, and I frequently visit as I live in NE Oklahoma. Heber, as we called it, was only about 40 minutes from the university and it was a frequent hot spot for all of us in the spring and fall. It isn’t all that accurate to say “Heber” is the location for camping. Instead, Heber is a small community about 60 miles north of Little Rock on Greers Ferry Lake. The lake is NW of the Little Red River Dam, which is likewise NW of Sugar Loaf Mt (also a great place for hiking). There are several campgrounds all around the lake, but one of the most popular is the Dam Site Campground. I say that to say, since this is a site for campground reviews, any “review” of camping at Heber Springs isn’t accurate. Instead you want to look for reviews on the Dam Site Campground, the Narrows, Cove Creek or the Red River Trout Dock. Nevertheless, I have tons of memories at Heber and the way I describe it to people is this: it looks like God stepped on a mountain, leaving a huge foot print, then filled it with water. Since the lake “shore” is largely straight rock face, this is the best way I can describe it. The water is beautiful. There is tremendous fishing and floating just below the dam on the Red River. It’s absolutely worth a trip - hands down. It’s also a place where you could plan a week long trip. Plenty to do, see, eat, etc. If you care, I think it may be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in the fall. So to me, I’d go in the fall or late spring. Lastly, and my favorite, since there are cliffs everywhere around the lake, one of the favorite past times of students is to cliff jump. There are cliffs of various heights all around the lake, but there is one in particular that’s right at or just over 100 ft. It’s a right of passage at the university I attended. Fun times. Go; it won’t disappoint
I completed my undergrad and graduate degrees in Arkansas about 30ish miles north of Little Rock. While living in Arkansas, my brother and I traveled all over the state, including a visit to the Blanchard Springs Caverns and recreation area. Hiking through the caverns and around the recreation area is phenomenal. The caverns make you feel like you’re looking at something made my aliens. It’s really pretty amazing. It’s also enormous inside the cave. For us, it was a day trip excursion. However, we did explore all around the recreation and campground area. I’ve camped all over Arkansas and what I’d say is that this is probably a great place for primitive tent camping and/or backpack/hammock camping. I have three small boys and it wouldn’t be my first choice for a family camping trip, albeit very very cool. The campground is small, maybe 30 or so spots and heavily wooded. The terrain isn’t conducive to kids unless you’re ok constantly being concerned about injuries. There are lots of cool swimming holes, moving water and falls nearby with it’s close proximity to Mirror Lake and Sugar Loaf Mt. definitely worth a trip if you’re close by, but not something I’d make a multi-hour trip for. Also wouldn’t stay there more than maybe two nights. I’d say if you’re camping somewhere relatively close, work in a day trip to Blanchard Springs. If you are like me and have kids, and you’d have to travel anything beyond an hour or two to get there, it’s not worth it. There are too many beautiful places in AR and you’d probably drive by more than one of them to get to Blanchard Springs. I’m giving it 3 stars for that reason alone. If I were rating based solely on the sites, activities, etc. I’d give it 5.
The tent site that we had was great. (Site 37) It was right by the water with tons of room and a nice, level ground. Some hammock trees were nearby as well.There was a shared water spigot near the site.
You park in a small lot behind the tent sites and carry your things a short distance.
The bathrooms were clean, but they were quite a distance from the tents. This was my one and only complaint about this SP.
In the warmer months, starting in May, they rent out kayaks, paddle boats, and canoes. There is also a small concession stand you can order from.
My husband caught one fish while we were there from our camp site. It’s very handy being that close to the water.
There is a great hiking trail around the lake. About 3.5 miles if you combine the cabin trail with the Huckleberry trail. It was an enjoyable hike. There were people of all ages enjoying it.
We would definitely camp in this spot again!
As the oldest State Park in The Natural State, in my opinion, Petit Jean sets the standard to which other parks should aspire. We frequently visit Petit Jean every year (2-3 times) and often joke that it serves as “home base” for our camping adventures. It’s just that good. If we’re unsure about where to head next, we always fall back on Petit Jean. By analogy, I view Petit Jean like a PB&J or a grilled cheese. Both are solid options every time, and you can’t go wrong with either. The same is true of Petit Jean. The campgrounds are generally clean and well kept. I also really like the spacing of the sites, as sometimes the sites in state parks make you feel like you’re right on top of your neighbor. Loop A is typically filled with larger campers, as those sites have sewer, and those sites are generally much larger than other areas. Since we have a PUP, I personally prefer Loops B or C. I have camped in D but it is the oldest camping area in the park and it shows. The bathhouse in that area isn’t as nice. Conversely, the bathhouses in Loops B and C are great. Even if the only site available is in D, I’d say it’s still absolutely worth going. The bathhouses are nice and clean, the amenities are numerous, and the scenery is unbelievable. The trails are fantastic, playground is great, and the food at the Lodge is phenomenal. We make it a point to eat in the Lodge at least one night of any trip. However, I would add, there is also a breakfast buffet in the mornings that’s a can’t miss for the price and convenience. Essentially, it is unequivocally the perfect park for a family with kids. However, it’s also perfect for anyone who may think they may want to go camping. In fact, even the most experienced camper would love this park and what it offers. It’s an absolute can’t miss and anyone debating whether they should go should pull the trigger immediately! (NOTE: I would note that you should be aware of a HUGE car show that occurs in the park every Fathers Day weekend. It is absolutely packed and unbelievably loud with old cars and motorcycles. If you go on Fathers Day weekend, do not expect any peace and tranquility whatsoever - you won’t find it.).
Camped here with 3 teenagers and a 3 year old just before it was shut down in March 2020 for COVID. We planned to go to Haws Creek but it was closed due to flooding, so we got in late in the evening. It was during Spring Break week but there were still spots. We didn't pick the best one (inside the loop) because it was dark when we got there, but even so it was still flat and enough space from neighbors. The spots on the outside of the loop have more privacy so I'd recommend one of those.
We spent two nights and did make the hike to Twin Falls. Had to carry the 3 year old some just to keep a decent pace, but it was worth it. You'll have to ford the creek at least once and the trail isn't easy, but it's well marked enough that you can't miss it. Two of the teenagers wanted to quit after about 2 miles, which was still a beautiful hike, but the rest prevailed on them for the last half mile and they were glad they did.
There are a number of other waterfalls and trails nearby, and in summer the creek would be a lot of fun. The tradeoff for going in March and the falls running well is cold water and cooler weather though.
As others mentioned, no phone service (a blessing) and no showers, but fairly clean toilets.
The only complaint was our firepit had recently had all the ash removed. Starting a fire 2 feet deep in a barrel with no air flow proved a challenge, though we eventually got it going. I recommend bringing some of your own starter wood because the area was picked fairly clean of all but small sticks.