Cedar Lake Recreation Area

Area Status: Temporarily Closed
This area is Closed

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.

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: Cedar Lake Campground and Day Use areas remain closed. Access is permitted to the Lake for fishing and boating; however, visitors must park outside the gate and walk in.  Status updates will be posted at this link. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates. Check out the current recreation schedule.
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



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Camping & Cabins

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Water Activities

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Boating - Motorized

One boat ramp and floating boat dock available.

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



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