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

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.

Recreation Site Status

A listing of recreation sites in the forest and their conditions report is available here, including whether restrooms are available.

Recreation Areas/Sites Remaining Shut Down:

  • Camp Clearfork (closed for the remainder of the 2020 season)
  • Bard Springs Campground (storm damage)
  • R.S. Kerr Arboretum & Nature Center

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 Information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is available at: