Cedar Lake Recreation Area

Area Status: Open

Cedar Lake is located in southeast Oklahoma, in the pine and hardwood-forested mountains of Ouachita National Forest. The campground is situated on the shores of the scenic lake, a popular destination for boating, fishing, horseback riding and hiking. This 86-acre lake (shown in this detail aerial photo), surrounded by pine and oak covered hills, is a perfect place to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.


The campground sits along the shoreline of a 86-acre lake constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. Surrounded by pine and oak covered hills, campers and day use visitors can choose from a wide variety of outdoor activities to include picnicking, swimming, fishing, canoeing, hiking the 3-mile lake perimeter trail and horseback riding on the areas equestrian trails. The campground has a variety of campground amenities, ranging from campsites with no services to campsites with electric, water and sewer connections. The 90-campsite campground is divided into four separate loops, Equestrian, Sandy Beach, Shady Lane and Northshores. Day Use facilities are located at Sandy Beach and Northshores. Cedar Lake is located approximately 12-miles south of Heavener, Oklahoma.

Natural Features:

Cedar Lake covers 86 acres and is situated at an elevation of 900 feet. Fall foliage season usually occurs from the last two weeks in October to the first two weeks in November. 

The Ouachita National Forest covers 1.8 million acres in central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. The forest encompasses 700 miles of trails, 43 vistas, six wilderness areas and the highest elevations between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Rockies.


The campground is a popular starting point for the Winding Stair Mountain Equestrian Trails, a system of over 70 miles of marked horseback riding trails. 

Swimming, boating and fishing on Cedar Lake are popular activities. Swimming areas, a boat ramp and fishing piers are available within the recreation area. 

Playgrounds, a volleyball court and hiking trails are also available. Talimena Scenic Drive is within 10 miles of the campground.


The campground offers a variety of sites, including equestrian, group and family sites. Shady Lane (SHRV) sites have electric, sewer and water hookups; Sandy Beach sites have electric hookups only; North Shore family sites are primitive without hookups. Most equestrian sites have electric hookups. 

Picnic tables, grills, campfire rings and lantern posts are provided, as are flush toilets, warm showers and drinking water. Picnic pavilions are on-site. Horse corrals and a pay phone are located within the equestrian area.

Fishing is a popular activity due to the large-mouth bass, catfish and bluegill stocked regularly in the lake. No motors larger than 7 1/2 horsepower are allowed. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, 1801 North Lincoln, Oklahoma City, OK 73105, 405-744-1039 regulates fishing and hunting. Fish Your National Forests: This site can be accessed by Passenger Car; Fish available include: Bass, Catfish, Panfish; Types of fishing available include: Bait; Boat Launch available

Guide to Cedar Lake Recreation Area

Guide to Cedar Lake Recreation Area - Spanish

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Open all year, except for the Northshores Day Use Area which is closed for the season, and will reopen Spring 2023. Reservations are available through Recreation.gov for those sites that can be reserved. Check out the current recreation schedule for more information on this campground and others onthe Ouachita National Forest. Contact the District Office for additional information: 918-653-2991. 
Reservations: Reservations can be made by visiting Recreation.gov.  Reservations must be made 10 days ahead of arrival and can be made up to 6 months in advance for standard sites or 12 months in advance for group sites.
Area Amenities: Accessible, Boat ramp, Tent camping, Camping trailer, Fee charged for some activities, Picnic tables, Toilets, Drinking water, Parking
Fees: See Recreation.gov for details.
Open Season: Year Round
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Spring-Fall
Busiest Season: Spring
Restrictions: No motors larger than 7 1/2 horsepower are allowed. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, 1801 North Lincoln, Oklahoma City, OK 73105, 405-744-1039 regulates fishing and hunting.
Closest Towns: Heavener, Oklahoma.
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush Toilet and Showers
Operated By: Oklahoma Ranger District (580) 494-6402
Information Center: Campers with horses must reserve sites in the equestrian loops only (HCLE and HCMR) All horses must have proof of current Coggins test Maximum outboard allowed on lake is 7.5 horsepower If a reservation holder does not show up by 2:00 p.m. the day after their scheduled arrival date, the reservation is cancelled and the site is open for first come/first served or walk in service.

General Information


GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
34.75861, -94.69444
34°45'31"N, 94°41'40"W

From Poteau, OK, take U.S. Highway 59 south approximately 22 miles to Holson Valley Road (10 miles south of Heavener). Turn right (west) onto Holson Valley Road and travel approximately 2.5 miles. Turn right (north) onto Cedar Lake Road and travel 1 mile to the camp boundary. 

From Talihina, OK, take U.S. Highway 271 east toward Poteau for 11 miles. Turn right (east) onto Holson Valley Road and travel 19 miles to Cedar Lake Road. Turn left onto Cedar Lake Road.


Accessible flush toilets and campsites

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Campground Camping

No. of Sites None
Reservation Info 4
No. of Accessible sites 77
Sleeping Shelter None

RV Camping

No. of Sites 77
Reservation Info Through the National Reservations Service
Hookup - Water 43
Size Restrictions Depends on the site
Hookup - Sewer 10
Dump Stations Yes
Hookups - Electric 43
No. of Accessible sites 4

Lake and Pond Fishing

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, 1801 North Lincoln, Oklahoma City, OK 73105, 405-744-1039 regulates fishing and hunting.

Day Hiking


Boating - Motorized

One boat ramp and floating boat dock available.

No motors larger than 7 1/2 horsepower are allowed.



Camping trailer: Electric and water hook-ups available.
Picnic tables: Group picnic shelters and several picnic sites.
Tent camping:
Toilets: Flush
Fee charged for some activities: Current fees and regulations are posted at the self-service pay station.
Boat ramp:
Drinking water:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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