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We tent camped here in April. We got here in the dark and it was hard to find a a spot but when we woke up the next morning we had a great view of the lake. The bathroom near the office was newer and had showers that you need quarters to use. Also had an old school playground but the kids had fun. We took a hike around part of the lake but the trail was pretty much unmarked.
Great spot. As most have said the main site that this link takes you to is up hill some ways from a creek that runs quite a way through the area snaking around and getting to various fill levels depending on recent weather. It also has great spots to see while hiking around. I've been here twice and loved both times. This second time I discovered there are it seems at least 2-3 more, seemingly established, campsites here. The ones that are not given here are along the same main road but along a separate turn off (IT IS NOT MARKED PRIVATE though there is private property marked in the area) that looks more suited for 4 wheel drive or at least something sitting higher than my small car. The furthest of these is essentially on the other side of the creek down from the main site. I can't speak to how nice they are to stay at but I imagine they are nice enough given how nice the main one is. I did walk through 2 and they didn't look bad as I walked through (the 3rd was occupied so I didn't get a look there just saw a person caming). All and all this place is great and I highly recommend. Just please don't take rocks and set up your own fire ring. The main has 2 already and the others all seem to have one. PLEASE PRACTICE LNT!!!
Our first visit was in November and the fall color was stunning.
Early March for this visit and definitely winter scapes…but still beautiful.
Trout fishing just steps away from camp and we had the whole campground to ourselves for the night.
The afternoon hours did have some rambunctious local teens, but they kept to themselves. Can’t blame them - I’d have hung out here in my teens too if I lived close.
Just up the road on the main lake they are building a new restaurant overlooking the lake. They are getting a new office and other upgrades too.
Kayak rentals and horse rides nearby. Plus lots of hiking.
We booked a Deep Ford campsite online but were disappointed when we arrived. The sites were really close together with almost no privacy. There were a lot of people parked in the campground lot for fishing during the day, so it felt pretty cramped. Luckily, you can change your reservation online. We drove around to all of the different tent sections and found a much better option at Eagles Nest. It was wooded and the sites were more spread out. It had a stone fire ring, a table, a grill, and a lantern pole. There are no bathrooms nearby, but there are several throughout the park that are just a quick drive away if you really need them.
If you're looking for less crowded spots, it seemed like Eagles Nest and Lake Wayne Wallace were the best options.
Nice amenities. Clean bathroom. Well maintained trails. I look forward to coming back to rock climb. Great for a weekend away or a family day trip. In warmer weather we definitely would have went kayaking. The most exciting thing for us was to explore with minimal research of the area. It felt like a treasure hunt!
To my understanding you do need to park to pay.
First time in the Ouachita national forest and we found a most excellent spot next to Lillard Creek off of 6010 Deadmans trail Rd. Would recommend a 4wd vehicle. There’s a short rock trail to go up to reach the campsite, also too narrow for my Tundra. Enough space for a family or if your going on a solo camp. Done hanging out at camp? There’s an awesome trail a little north of camp called Boardstand trail, take it east and you you can follow it to 8554 Red Bank, follow it south to Ouachita Trail, then follow it west until you reach Talimena Scenic drive, then you can walk along side the road to the Scenic view of where you were just hiking and bask in its glory! Next you’ll run up on 6010 deadman’s gap trail road again. Take it back down to your camp! Your back! It’s a good 6 mile hike that will get your heart going. Steep hills, beautiful waterways, gorgeous mountains! Nothing better! The creek water runs all the time so no need for your forest noise making machine. All the sounds you’ll need are by the fire and the Lillard Creek. It was a blast! Get out there and breath the fresh air! Peace and Love, Seth Armes
So sick of just sitting at home. Wait a minute …. we have a portable home. We have probably camped around 8 times since March. I we can do distance or virtual learning from any place that we can use the hot spot on our phones. Love the camping hate the “Rona”. Still haven’t caught any fish. Guess we’ll try again next year since we have winterized. At least for now….we shall see.
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.
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