Welcome to the Ouachita National Forest

Mountain Biker Stay Safe Recreation Responsibly

Status of Recreation Areas

Developed recreation areas and an OHV trail system in the Ouachita National Forest were temporarily shutdown to help protect the health and safety of visitors and staff. 

Sites were reopened on a case-by-case basis, sometimes with modified operations, and some sites will not reopen this year. 

The most recent updates will be posted on the Status Update of Recreation Areas page. Please be patient during this transition as the Ouachita National Forest continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation.  

Dispersed camping remains an option for those who prefer a primitive camping experience. Be sure to follow the rules for dispersed camping and practice Leave No Trace principles.

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.

NOTE: Our campsites are available on a first-come/ first-served basis. No reservations! Except for one - Cedar Lake Campground in the Oklahoma Ranger District can be reserved through recreation.gov

Albert Pike

Sign at the entrance to Albert Pike Rec AreaThe Forest Service proposes to make changes in the long-term management and use of the Albert Pike Recreation Area, located on the Little Missouri River in the Ouachita National Forest. More information here.



Map of the Ouachita National ForestThe Ouachita National Forest covers 1.8 million acres in central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. Headquartered in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the forest is managed for multiple uses, including timber and wood production, watershed protection and improvement, habitat for wildlife and fish species (including threatened and endangered ones), wilderness area management, minerals leasing, and outdoor recreation.  Enjoy camping, hiking, biking, scenic driving, trail riding, water recreation, fishing, hunting, and more!

Explore our information. Discover the wonderful scenery and recreational opportunities we have to offer.

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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. Please be patient during the transition as the Ouachita National Forest continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation.

Ouachita National Forest Turned 110 Years Old

The Ouachita National Forest turned 110 years old on December 18, 2017. 
Over these years, the 1.8 million acres Ouachita National Forest has managed the forest for a number of multiple uses, including timber, wilderness, recreation, minerals, water and wildlife in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

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Hochatown Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)

Hochatown Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) proposal objective is to decrease wildfire risk, and improve wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities around the Hochatown, OK area.

Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) available - View/print here

Man on 4-Wheeler

The MVUMs directed by the Travel Management Rule are now available for the Ouachita National Forest. 


Prescribed Fires on the Forest

Firefighter using drip torch

The Ouachita National Forest will be conducting prescribed burns over the next several months.

National Forests At A Glance

The National Forests At a Glance - Jobs & Income Story Map is a different way to explore your National Forests and Grasslands through the lens of Job and Income contributions...

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