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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!
A great campsite, one of the best in Oklahoma in fact. some sites are large enough for small trailers. But with no electric or water hookups at the sites (there is community water) they are limited to “the right folks ;)” Tent camping is fantastic too of course. Even better. It’s a no reservations campground which is nice but be prepared to dispersed camp in the National Forest if needed on popular weekends. The fall color is stunning. Campfire rings, grills and tables at each campsite. Standard NFS fair.
The trails are what really shines here. The Ouachita National Recreation Trail passes by the camp and ties you into hundreds of miles of adventure.
During the summer the trail can be a little hard to follow. Fall too if the leaf fall is heavy. But watch for blue blazes on the trees and you are good. A great set of volunteers keep this trail system in great shape!
If interested in the entire trail, Ike even just an overnight there is a great guidebook out there by Tim Ernst. Super details with great mileage records and maps.
Lots of 4wd fun around too if you look in the right place!
This is a hands down favorite in the late spring and mid fall. Check it out for sure!
We stayed at the Blue Jay Drive Campground and it was beautiful! We had three sites 14,15 and 17 number 15 was beautiful right on the lake neighbors were coming by and asking if they can take pictures of the site 15. Make sure you take plenty of water there is no water not even one spigot. They have a vaulted restroom similar to a portapotty. We took our own portable potty and thank god we did so. I would definitely take some seven dust for the little critters at the campsites. It’s very quiet at night and there’s so much to do there.
Due to rain and cloudy weather spent 3 nights for electrical hook up, I have solar system so with long periods of no sun just as easy to plug in and pay versus running generator,I have 2 freezers full of meat's for the winter in South Texas at RV park.
Located on the south shore of Pat Mayse Lake is the beautiful Corps Of Engineer campground Sanders Cove Recreation Area. This three loop campground is nestled among stunning trees and is a wonderful place to RV camp.
With two boat ramps you will have no issues putting your boat in the water. The swim area was kinda dull but better than nothing.
There is a serious fishing tournement held every year, Uncle Jesse Big Bass Classic Fishing Tournament, started by Denver Pyle who played Uncle Jesse on The Dukes of Hazzard fame, Denvers wife continues to hose this tournement in Denvers name today.
Check out my FPV tour of SAnders Cove ecreation area on my YouTube channel here…
One of the of Our favorite stays in a Oklahoma State Park. This place really does a great job at catering to all types of outdoor activities. Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, train ride, kayaking, and fishing galore. The tall cypress tress are incredible the water is cold despite it being in high 90’s. I highly recommend visiting in early spring or fall the humidity is a hash during summer or during our recent visit 13 August 2020. We had a premium RV site on river in Acorn section that had a level concrete pad with water and 30/50 amp hook up. I definitely recommend this area for large rigs.
Great weekend! It is still hot but cooler in the evening. We were able to secure a campsite at the last minute. It was crowded but to be expected. The water was nice and we had a great time canoeing on the river. Deer were everywhere in the evening. Def will be back, beavers bend never disappoints!