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This place was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! So beautiful with all the pine trees and being so far out from everything. The closest store/town is about 45 minutes so be sure to bring everything you need with you. Super close to the Talimena Scenic Drive and Horse Thief Spring and plenty of ATV/UTV trails. The park hosts were amazing and came to check on us throughout our stay. The park was still under construction for upgrades and repairs to their septic systems and equipment but didn’t bother us. We will DEFINITELY be returning with friends because it’s just to pretty not too!!!!
This place was pretty busy the weekend we camped here but we booked early and found a spot away from others. The water is brown but nice and cold for the summer so we couldn’t complain! We got some rain which sucks but we never let a little rain ruin our camping adventures. Would definitely come back to check out the cabins and camp again!
Of the 23 campsites, we choose #1. A single campsite that we doubled up in. One of our group of 4 arrived early last Friday morning and our campers all were there by 5pm. We had enough room four 3 vehicles and one trailer. It was pretty foggy for the entire trip so I am sure that the Emerald Vista view would have offered a bit of wow, but nevertheless we found time to enjoy our company.
On Saturday we found ourselves on the 2.5 mile Mountain Trail Loop. The beautiful hike heads out of the camp, around the mountain to a rocky vista which probably has a cool view (again…foggy) and then back on the opposite side of the highway (which is almost always in earshot from the trail but not intrusive) to the campsite. From both the turnback point, and the beginning of the trail are opportunities to hope on the much larger Ouachita Trail.
Back to the campsite. A circular campsite with 2 human dropping stations. I didn't see any water, but we never looked. Almost every type of camper type was there, from RVs down to single tents. The high temp for the weekend was about 56 and the place was packed solid.
Payment is via a pay station as you come in. The ranger will come around in the morning some time and check your stubs. We paid $8 per night for a single camp site.
We spent 3 nights in a campground on loop C and loved it (we have 4 boys under 12). There is a picturesque babbling creek that runs by most of the campsites, and we could have spent at least a couple days just exploring up and down the creek. There’s generally enough firewood around. Some of the sites are a little close together and most just have one tent pad, so with a bigger group (ie 2-3 tents) you’ll need a double site or just get two.
Lake swimming is super simple but we enjoyed it. There’s a dock a little way out from the shore to swim to and jump off of. The bottom is covered with leaves, but hey, it’s a lake. There are decent trails right around the park for hiking, but also many other great options within an hour from the site.
We loved it, will be back.
Oh - no cell service. You can decide whether that is a good thing or not (I loved it). If you’re really desperate, you can drive 5 mins down the road and get a signal.
We will BE back!! I’ve lived in OK for 30+ years and didn’t know of Cedar Lake in the Quachita mountains near Heavener, OK. It’s incredible!! Clean site, right in the national forest. At the time we went they had a camp host that met you, took you to your site, and checked in on us several times during our three night stay. She was really friendly, helpful, and our two boys thought she was the best when she gave them Smokey the Bear pins! While they do have bathroom and shower facilities our section of camps were down along with several others do to septic tank system issues that they were waiting on parts to arrive to fix. They provided portable toilets in the interim which worked fine. There is a really fun trail that runs right around the entire lake, and it’s a little over two miles. Nearly all natural terrain throughout the hike which makes it especially nice. Though we didn’t visit they have a section also for equestrian camping and riding as well as RV hookup sites. Can’t speak highly enough of this camping area!
Love this camping spot!! Right next/near the Cossatot river/ rapids with easy access spot. Wish I could say the same thing about the gravel logging road in ! O.o OH MY LORT!! It will test your suspension!! There are only 6 “pull up to” camp sites, and a couple “hike” to. The campsites are gravel and good luck putting your tent spikes in!! Ain’t gonna happen…. there is NO water except what you bring with you or if you pull some from the river. The “bathroom” is your basic (pit) out-house, so bring ya “Poo-pourri!! Awesome hiking trail! So all and all we will be back even if we have to drive that dang logging road again!!