Shady Lake

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Scenic 25-acre lake in remote mountain setting.The Civilian Conservation Corps developed the Shady Lake Recreation Area in 1937. The Shady Lake Trail traverses Saline Creek and passes the historic Shady Lake Dam. It continues along the eastern edge of the campground. The trail is ideal for day hiking. Mountain bikers may also use the trail.


Photo of swim area at Shady Lake Recreation Area

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Open for the season. Open for the season 4/15/21 to 11/30/21
Operational Hours: For campground schedule, see Recreation and Fee Schedule. The trail is open year round.
Reservations: All campsites and facilities at Shady Lake are first-come, first-served. No reservations.
Rentals & Guides:
Area Amenities: Accessible,Tent camping,Camping trailer,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees Current recreation fees and schedule
  • Loop A Campground - 
  • Loop A-7 with water and electricity -
  • Loop B -  (w/electric)
  • Loop C Campground (tent sites) - 
    C-22 (site with full hook-ups)- 
    Day use/swim area - $5/vehicle or $2/person for bus, walking or biking;
    Group picnic shelter - $5/vehicle 
  • Loop D - (w/water & electric)
    D-14 (double site) double w/water & electric
    tent site.
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Spring-Fall
Busiest Season: Spring
Closest Towns: Athens, Arkansas.Mena, Arkansas.
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush
Operated By: Mena-Oden Ranger District (479) 394-2382

General Information

Directions: Take Arkansas Hwy. 84 west of Glenwood, AR; turn northwest on Arkansas Hwy. 246 at Athens, AR; turn right (north) at sign, drive 3 miles on Forest Service Road 38.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Show detail SHOW

Camping & Cabins

Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Outdoor Learning

Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Water Activities

Show detail SHOW


Picnic tables
Drinking water Located at campground.
Toilets Flush
Fee charged for some activities Day use and camping fees.
Tent camping 44 sites
Accessible Two restrooms are accessible.
Camping trailer 20 non-reservable sites with electric and water