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There are several campgrounds to choose from. We chose the Deep Fork campground because it offered several spots along the Fourche Maline River. Great fall views and perfect autumn weather. There was only one other overnight guest, although there were a few fisherman during the day.
We didn't use the restroom facilities, but they looked like they had seen better days. Fire rings and grills were okay. Concrete picnic tables.
Lots of hiking options throughout the state park. We saw some incredible views on the Robbers Cave trail. It was poorly marked, but even if you wander off the trail you will be okay. If you go too far you hit a dirt road the loops around the back of the trail and you'll know to circle back to the trail area.
The main camping area near Whispering Pines had a park office and a small grocery store. Not a huge selection, but you will find the essentials.
Cell service was spotty throughout. One spot you wouldn't have service and 30 feet further you'd have decent LTE (Verizon).
I would definitely visit again. The lake appeared to have some summer activities available, including a pool. But the autumn views and weather will be my choice time to visit.
This is definitely my all time favorite. I stayed at “tent t hill” primitive area. Spot number 3 and it was PERFECT! Wooded area, quiet, peaceful. Trail literally right across from the section.
My only complaint was it was hard to find. The signs are not very helpful.
Whispering Pines Campground is where we stayed within the state park. It was a beautiful and peaceful setting within the trees. The roads were paved so easy to push wheelchair around. Nice trails but not wheelchair friendly. There is a nice lodge that people can rent rooms and a nice meeting place overlooking the valley. We camped in the summer but fall camping would be beautiful with all the changing colors.
There are actives going on around the area you. An participate in so kids would love it.
https://www.travelok.com for reservations
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 learned about this campground through the owners activities with Veterans. We stayed for 7 days and we were able to have totally relaxed days as well as very active days. Right next to the river for kayaking, canoeing or just relaxing. Off-road vehicle trails a petting zoo on site. Check the web site for activities, there may be live music or a large gathering scheduled which may or may not be your thing. The only reason I rated it 4 stars is that it’s a work in progress. New cabins were being added and more trails were being cut while we were there.
If you're near the end (heading west) or got a late start heading east, detour north towards Potato Hill Vista for a flat area with a stone fire ring near Highway 88/1. You can throw down your tent here for the night. The side trail even leads to a parking lot off the highway if you're driving and want a place to camp or want someone to pick you up a few miles closer than Talimena State park.
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!