Friday, June 14, 2024

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Camping In The Ozark National Forest

Haw Creek Falls Recreation Area

Dispersed Camping Ozark National Forest

Image from The Dyrt camper 2SHOE S.

Campers at Haw Creek Falls Recreation Area are lucky enough to get to pitch their tents among some of the Ozarks gorgeous old growth hardwoods, near Big Piney Creek and the Ozark Highlands Trail. You should have plenty of privacy at this first-come, first-serve site, but take caution if rain is in the forecast. A gullywasher could come through, and park rangers tend to shut this campground down if theres a chance of flooding. In clear weather, though, this spot is a real treat, close to the lovely Haw Creek Falls.

Neighbors arent too close, and right smack dab in the middle of days of hiking! Great location unless there is a deluge, and you might get flooded out or stranded until the water goes down. The Dyrt camper Kris J.

When you get back to civilization, celebrate your newfound love of the Ozarks with a little regional pride from Fayettechill, an outdoor apparel company based in Arkansas. Or stock up before you head out, and youll be all set for days playing in the creek, singing campfire songs, and exploring the Ozarks vast cave network all the things that make this mysterious corner of the world a national best-kept-secret.

Scenic Driving For The Easy

I have always loved a calm drive through the countryside. I have sorted out many of lifes complications on long drives and also made many memories.

A drive like this makes some folks want to crank up the Alabama Arkansas Song.

Taking a scenic drive through the Ozarks offers many opportunities to see things you may have never seen before!

For example, the Ozarks are home to several beautiful canyons in Arkansas, the Little Golden Gate Bridge of Arkansas, a full host a towns with weird names, and even dinosaurs deep within the Ozark Mountains!

This makes the Ozark National Forest one of the favorite places for visitors in the spring when the dogwood and redbuds are in bloom, and in the fall when the Forest turns into a brilliant display of oranges, reds, yellows and greens. -source

While youre out enjoying the scenic drive, be sure to stop in one of Arkansass BEST coffee shops!

Excellent Fishing For Anglers

Some of the BEST fishing in Arkansas is located in the northern portion of Arkansas. In fact, this is one of my favorite things to to in the Ozark National Forest!

Trout fishing is especially popular since the Ozarks are home to the Little Red River, White River and Norfork River. All three of these rivers offer world-class trout fishing in Arkansas.

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Kyles Landing Primitive Campground

Located halfway between Ponca and Jasper, this tent-only campground offers 33 campsites along the Buffalo River, each featuring fire rings, picnic tables, and lantern hooks. The sites are easy to reach by car and have impressive views of the towering bluffs that rise dramatically above this calm portion of the river. Kyles Landing is an excellent basecamp for exploring the abandoned fur-trapping village along Beaver Jim Villines Homestead Trail or hiking through the former Slacker Gang hideaway at Hideout Hollow Trail. During the warmer months, the river is great for swimming, canoeing, and fishing , but the best time to set up camp is during winter when the sites are free, and the brisk winds echo off the canyon walls.

More than 100 bison roam freely throughout Prairie State Park, where tall grasses and dense thickets provide a surprising landscape within the otherwise mountainous Ozark region. The park features four drive-in campsitesall located safely behind the fence line to keep wildlife at bayand one backpacking campsite on the Coyote Trail. Campfires at night are often serenaded by the hoots of owls and the howls of coyotes, as the campground is rarely at capacity. The park is also just 40 miles north of Carthage Underground, an abandoned marble quarry with abandoned factories, underground rivers, and super off-limits mines.

Ozark National Forest Camping

Ozark National Forest Camping Guide from Local Experts

Camping in National Forests is usually our #1 choice. In fact, we plan most of our trips around being able to find good camp spots in the National Forest.

Camping in the Ozark National Forest is usually good for all kinds of camping, whether youre an RV camper, in a fifth wheel or trailer, a van, tent camper looking for tent sites, or backpacking. There are usually options for all.

Note: There are some roads in the forest that really are not conducive to longer trailers or any trailer at all. Be wise, use good judgment, and stay safe.

And be aware, there will be no amenities. Were talking dry camping here. You wont have access to restrooms, picnic tables, bear lockers, running water, electricity, or trash service.

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Top 10 Campgrounds And Rv Parksozark Mountains

Bordering one of Americas most iconic natural landmarks the Mississippi River Arkansas is a vastly underrated state when it comes to outdoor exploration and camping. Nicknamed The Natural State, this hidden gem is a wonderland for outdoor adventurers, and nothing says outdoor adventure like the Ozark Mountains.

The Ozark Mountains offer some of the countrys best fishing, mountain biking, trekking, river rafting, and dirt biking, as well as a plethora of hot springs, waterfalls, and forest trails to explore. Youll even discover fall colors in many parts of the mountains that rival the famed autumnal shades of New England. Ozark Mountains campgrounds offer access to everything from the Ozark Highlands Trail to charming small rural and historic towns to easy access to Arkansas top destinations such as Little Rock and Fayetteville.

Spa 54 At Old Kinderhook

Spa at Old Kinderhook

This spa resort, located at Willmore Lodge in the Ozarks, is a great place to relax and unwind. Spa 54 offers a variety of services for guests from massages to facials to pedicures- theres something for everyone!

The following are some of my favorites:

Spa Pedicure: A traditional manicure with our signature scrub and paraffin treatment followed by an exfoliating sea salt soak, which removes dry skin cells that can cause nail problems. The polish application finishes off this wonderful experience. Enjoy it all while soaking up views overlooking Lake James or enjoy being pampered right on-site if youre visiting Old Kinderhook Resort Inn & Suites during the summer.

Spa Massage: Relax and enjoy a stress-relieving massage. Our therapists are skilled in Swedish, deep tissue, sports, or shiatsu techniques to help relax your muscles for an overall sense of well-being .

Body Scrub: A treatment that begins with massaging the body using a sugar scrub made from a blend of sugar, yogurt, and essential oils. This removes dead skin cells to reveal a soft, new layer. Followed by an oil massage with more scrubbing action that will leave your skin feeling silky smooth youll want the treatment all over!

Address: 56 Club Pl, Camdenton, MO 65020, USA

Beach Vacations in 2021: During the current Covid environment, face masking and social distancing are necessary everywhere in the world as well as on public beaches.

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For Camping Reservations Call 877

Camping Regulations

Hammocks are prohibited from developed campgrounds and cannot be tied to trees. Self-standing hammocks are allowed.

Family Sites Cluster Sites Group Sites Electric Sites Check in time: 1:00 pmCheck out time: 12:00 pmQuiet Hours are from 10:00 pm-6:00 am and are enforced. Please respect your camping neighbors.Keep a clean camp: small critters like skunks, crows and raccoons will certainly visit you, looking for a handout. Be prepared to keep your food and garbage either in a vehicle or hanging up high. Otherwise you may wake up to a mess and no breakfast! If you keep a cleaner camp than your neighbors, maybe the little guys will bother them instead!Camping is limited to 14 consecutive days. Please do not bring firewood! Moving firewood around the country helps spread forest pests like the Emerald Ash Borer and Gypsy Moth. You can gather dead and down wood around the park or buy local firewood close to the campgrounds. Burn it where you buy it! Don’t take excess firewood home with you either.Ozark National Scenic Riverways campgrounds are family friendly. If you insist on being loud or not following campground regulations, you can expect to be asked to leave.


do not reservations must be made 7 days in advance.

Why Youll Love Red Oak Resort & Rv Park

Forked Falls – Lee Creek Wildlife Management Area – Dispersed Camping – Ozark National Forest

Red Oak Resort & RV Park is a full-service park with a long list of activities and outdoor recreation opportunities. It hosts the biggest and best fishing tournaments on Lake of the Ozarks. In addition, the RV park is located close to local attractions and shopping. Local destinations include Lake of the Ozarks State Park, Osage Beach Premium Outlet Mall, and Big Surf Water Park.

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County Road 122 Dispersed Camping

GPS: 34.836070, -91.548856

About the Campsite: This dispersed free camping area is along a county road in the Mike Freeze Wattensaw Wildlife Management Area near Hazen, Arkansas.

County Road 122 camping is primarily used as a hunting area. It has many well-marked campsites. However, there are no hookups or amenities here.

Reported Cell Service: Cell signal has been reported as decent on all major cell phone carriers.

Arkansas Free Camping Vibes: 7/10. This is a good site for an overnight stop, and nearby Little Rock provides excellent options for supplies.

Why Youll Love Tom Sawyer Rv Park

It doesnt get much more American than relaxing on the Mississippi River with your RV rental at Tom Sawyers RV Park. This park is truly idyllic and meant to be enjoyed at a slow pace. At the same time, the list of nearby attractions is endless. Youve got the grand old Mississippi River, the cities of Memphis, Tennessee and West Memphis, Arkansas, and the Tennessee plains all at your doorstep.


  • And river view sites

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Why Youll Love Magnolia Rv Park

If you want to get a taste of small town Arkansas, this is the place to do it. Magnolia is a beloved town in a lovely setting, and the equally pleasant town of Emerson is just 12 miles away. The hosts at Magnolia RV Park are kind and hospitable and the park itself is clean and offers excellent and clean facilities.


  • 10 acres of greenspace for you and your

Where To Go Camping In The Ozarks

A dispersed camper
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Virgin forests, soaring limestone bluffs, and crystal clear lakes arent just the backdrop for the Ozark Mountains best campgrounds theyre the playground. Encompassing more than 32 million acres across four states, the Ozark region has flown under the radar for many travelers over the decades, which only adds to its untouched allure. From secret campsites near abandoned underground quarries to off-the-grid sites hidden within dense forest, check out these fantastic campsites in the Ozark Mountains.

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About Ozark National Forest Arkansas

Ozark National Forest comprises some of the best features of the area within the 1.2-million-acre range. It is home to Mount Magazine , Lake Wedington, White Rock Mountain, Blanchard Springs Caverns, and six National Scenic Byways.

Also, it includes approximately 400 miles of hiking trails and 1,000 miles of OHV trails. Besides, the nearly 200-mile Ozark Highlands Trail that stretches from the Buffalo National River to the Oklahoma border.

Swift Canoeing For The Paddlers

Canoeing enthusiasts love a good day of paddling and the Ozark National Forest always delivers!

The Mulberry River and Big Piney Creek offer whitewater canoeing when the water is high.

The distinctive scenery of Big Piney Creek is characterized by its sandstone bluffs, waterfalls, still pools and stands of oak, hickory and pine. Principal recreation activities in the corridor include canoeing, camping, swimming and fishing. The river is very popular for canoeing, with Class I to III rapids. -source

The Mulberry River and Big Piney Creek have also been named as unique places to swim in Arkansas.

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Camping Near You Find A Free Campsite

Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.

Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.

This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

Riverview Rv Park & Campground

Hurricane Creek near Shores Lake – Dispersed Camping – Ozark National Forest Arkansas

Located near the shores of the Osage River before it hits the Bagnell Dam, Riverview RV Park & Campground features RV and tent sites nestled in quiet surroundings. The campground features a convenient location to Highway 54.

Riverview Park is ideal for homebodies and adventurous families alike, with secluded sites close to nature. All overnight guests at the campground share access to heated shower houses, a stocked fishing pond, and an on-site general store for camping and fishing supplies All campers also have access to free Wi-Fi.

The RV sites at Riverview feature full hookups, and some are located on the riverfront. The RV sites are located near the facilitys boat dock and boat ramp.

Reservations are recommended for the RV sites during the summer, and weekly and monthly rates are available.

Address: 398 Wood River Road, Lake Ozark, Missouri

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Barkshed Campground Best Place To Camp In Ozark National Forest

Barkshed campground is in the middle of the Ozark National Forest, the confluence of Cap Fork and North Sylamore Creek. It provides primitive camping to visitors with a panic pavilion and vault restrooms.

In addition, it is the border of the North Sylamore Hiking Trail, winding for 23 incredible miles through the sandstone bluffs. At Barkshed Campground, you have access to rivers and stunning scenery.

Shorewood Landing Rv Park

Located less than five miles from the Bagnell Dam via boat or motor vehicle, Shorewood Landing is a waterfront RV park that provides secluded surroundings. Situated at the end of the no-wake Jobson Hollow Cove, Shorewood Landing caters towards RV users and overnight stays with more than 60 full-electric sites and deluxe lakeside cabins.

Laundry and shower facilities are available to overnight guests at Shorewood Landing RV Park. Several playground areas and an in-ground swimming pool are also available. Adjacent to the resort and lining the cove, boat rentals and sandy beaches are nearby, as well as amenities like restaurants, marinas, and year-round fishing supplies.

Address: 73 Unicorn Road, Eldon, Missouri

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Wildlife You May Encounter

Arkansas has abundant wildlife, and the National Forest is no exception.

I’ve been told by one of the locals that this is bear country, but we have yet to see a bear.

Other wildlife you may encounter, anywhere in the Ozark National Forest, include the following:

  • Snakes including venomous snakes.
  • Spiders including black widow, brown recluse and wolf spiders.
  • Insects Ticks, mosquitoes, wasps, bees, etc.
  • Possums
  • Nature Study
  • And so much more

You may even want to spend an afternoon at Blanchard Springs Caverns. Or go enjoy a burger at the Oark General Store.

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Lutheran Camp On Petit Jean

Dispersed Guide to Ozark National Forest Camping ...

Image Source:http://Finchlake2000 on Flickr

Staying at Lutheran Camp on Petit Jean gives you a chance to escape reality for a while and live on top of the scenic and tranquil Petit Jean Mountain, right at the foothills of the Ozarks. Petit Jean State Park, just northwest of Little Rock and close to the Arkansas River, is an iconic Arkansas destition. It offers over 3,400 acres of forest, waterfalls, caves, canyons, mountains, and fasciting geology. This was the very first state park in Arkansas.

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Mount Magazine State Park

Hike to the highest point in Arkansas and revel in breathtaking vistas.

Distance from Springfield:Camping Level:Cost:Sleep Here:Upgrade Your Stay:

Compared to the rest of the park, Mount Magazines Cameron Bluff Campground is nothing special. Dont misunderstand us: A trip to this parkabout 20 miles south of Paris, Arkansas, and packed with activities and unbeatable views that stretch for dozens of miles on a clear dayis well worth it.

With three access points, hiking the quick and easy Signal Hill Trail to the states high point is practically required. The other must? Taking in the Petit Jean Valley and Blue Mountain Lake from The Lodge at Mount Magazine. Experienced hikers will appreciate Bear Hollow Trail, a 5.6-mile round-trip path with several noteworthy sights. Visitors can also rock climb , watch hang gliders and see the sunset on the Cameron Bluff Overlook Drive. Enjoy the undisturbed shoreline at nearby Cove Lake Recreation Area and dine at The Lodges Skycrest Restaurant one evening. Expect to see several deer and, if youre lucky, a black bear.

The shady campsitesall 18 of which are equipped with water, electric and sewer hook-upsoffer moderate privacy and excellent hammock spots. However, we recommend bringing an RV or air mattress, as the sites are very rocky.

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