Status Update of Recreation Areas

In response to guidance from state health officials and experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recreation facilities were temporarily shut down or services reduced. As we work toward opening the recreation areas, expect sites to reopen on a case-by-case basis, sometimes with modified operations. The openings may not be quick or permanent. Please be patient during the transition as the Ouachita National Forest continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation.

The USDA Forest Service is taking necessary measures to safeguard the health of employees and the public. The health and safety of employees and the nearby communities is always our top priority at the USDA Forest Service. For the most current and accurate information, contact your local health officials or visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov

Please do your part as you visit the Ouachita National Forest.

  • Practice social distancing. Provide space of at least 6 feet at all times during your visit
  • Do not gather in groups. Follow the latest guidance from officials. 
  • Communicate with others as you pass while hiking. Alert trail user of your presence and step aside to let others pass
  • Pack out your trash. Leave with everything you bring in and use.

More information about these recreation areas is available here.


Recreation Areas/Sites Open:

  • Acorn Shooting Range
  • Bear Mountain Shooting Range
  • Brushy Hollow Shooting Range
  • Buck Ridge Shooting Range
  • Jessieville Shooting Range
  • Kelly Branch Shooting Range
  • Kiamichi Shooting Range
  • Oden Shooting Range
  • Pigeon Roost Shooting Range
  • Reed Mountain Shooting Range
  • Shady Lake Campground (open 6-5-20) Loop B, C, and D are open. Loop A is closed due to a problem with water system and therefore the bathhouse at Loop A is also closed)
  • Wolf Pen Gap Trail Complex - Closed when heavy rain is predicted

Recreation Areas/Sites Open with Limited Amenities:

  • Big Brushy Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Billy Creek Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Dragover Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Emerald Vista Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Fourche Mountain Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Friendship Trail (area open - restroom closed)
  • Fulton Branch Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Hickory Nut Mountain Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Hollis CCC Interpretive Site (area open - restroom closed)
  • Horsethief Springs Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Iron Springs Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Knoppers Ford Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Old Military Road Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Peeler Gap Shooting Range (area open - restroom closed)
  • Pipe Springs Day Use (are open - restroom closed)
  • Presbyterian Falls Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Rich Mountain Tower Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • River Bluff Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Rocky Shoals Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Shirley Creek Day Use (area open - restroom closed)
  • Winding Stairs Trailhead on the Caddo-Womble (area open - restroom closed)

Recreation Areas/Sites Remaining Shut Down:

  • Albert Pike Day Use Area
  • Charlton Campground
  • Charlton Group Campground
  • Crystal Campground
  • Dutch Creek CCC Day Use
  • Jack Creek (storm/flood damage)
  • Little Missouri Falls Day Use Area
  • Camp Clearfork
  • Lake Sylvia Campground
  • South Fourche Campground
  • Bear Creek Equestrian Campground
  • Bard Springs Campground (storm damage)
  • R.S. Kerr Arboretum & Nature Center
  • Little Pines Campground
  • Billy Creek Campground
  • Cedar Lake Campground (opening date to be determined due to construction)
  • Cedar Lake Horse Camp (opening date to be determined due to construction)
  • Winding Stair Campground, including the Backpacker Camp
  • Mena Visitor Information Station

Visitors are primarily responsible for their own safety. Keep in mind, trails and roads may be open for use, but please recreate responsibly and follow public health guidelines regarding social distancing while you recreate in National Forests. Law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19 issues. High risk activities such as rock climbing or motorized activities that increase your chance of injury or distress should be avoided. For the most current and accurate information about COVID-19, contact your local health officials or visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov. Information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is available at: www.usda.gov/coronavirus





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