Recreation

So Much To Do & See

The 1.2-million acre Ozark-St. Francis National Forests offer endless opportunities for adventure. As one of America's most scenic and picturesque areas, the Ozark-St. Francis provides a lot of the "natural" in the Natural State of Arkansas.

A variety of developed and dispersed recreation opportunities await you on the forests. Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, floating, kayaking, boating, camping, picnicking, swimming, hunting, fishing, four-wheeler riding and taking pictures are just some of the activities people enjoy while visiting the forests. Each of the recreation areas, trails, wilderness areas or wild and scenic rivers provides unique opportunities to observe nature and enjoy your favorite outdoor activities from cavern tours to hunting black bear and white-tail deer. The Ozark-St. Francis National Forests have something for everyone and are on the way to almost everywhere in Arkansas!

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Barkshed Recreation Area Open to Visitor Barkshed is open!
Bayou Bluff Recreation Area Open to Visitor Water is turned off in the campground
Bear Creek Lake Recreation Area Open to Visitor Bear Creek Recreation area is located in Eastern Arkansas on the St. Francis National Forest. Effective 4/16/18, the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission will close the boat ramp for repairs and renovations for approximately 6 weeks.
Blanchard Springs Campgrounds Closed to Visitor 12/14/18 The campground is closed due to weather predictions. Blanchard Springs Campground closes for safety reasons when heavy rainfall is predicted. Call 870-757-2211 for current information and any updates prior to travelling. Blanchard Springs Caverns, Visitor Center, the day-use area, and the group camping sites do remain open when the campground is closed. Gunner Pool Recreation Area is an option for camping if Blanchard Springs Campground is closed. 
Blanchard Springs Caverns Open to Visitor Blanchard Springs Caverns closed for tours on Wednesday December 5 in honor and remembrance of President George H. W. Bush. 
Current schedule and fees
For tour times and reservations go to www.recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777.
Brock Creek Lake Recreation Area Open to Visitor  Please contact the Big Piney Ranger District at 479-284-3150
Cove Lake Recreation Area Open to Visitor Open year round. Water is turned off November 1st. No water or electric hook-ups. For more information, please call the Magazine Ranger District at (479) 963-3076.
Gunner Pool Recreation Area Open to Visitor Water is turned off seasonally during the winter months.  For current conditions and updates call Blanchard Springs Caverns at 870 757 2211. Gunner Pool is a great option for camping if Blanchard Springs Campground is closed due to inclement weather.
Haw Creek Falls Recreation Area Open to Visitor Please note that the campground closes for safety reasons when heavy rains are forecast since there is a creek crossing to enter the campground.
Horsehead Lake Recreation Area Open to Visitor Open year-round; Effective 9/4/18, The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission will lower the water level of Horsehead Lake. The drawdown will lower the lake's water level by 3 to 5 feet and should last until mid-winter. More information about the drawdown here.
Lake Wedington Recreation Area Open to Visitor The Day Use are is closed until April 21, 2019.  The lake at Wedington is being drawn down this winter to do inspections, maintenance and to perform a dock removal. The lake will refill after these projects are completed. Water Craft can still  access the lake; however, larger watercraft requiring the use of the boat ramp will be limited during the draw down time. The lake will remain open for fishing, however at some point, the dock in the campground will have to be detached.  For your safety, please stay off the dock when it is detached. The campground will remain open on a first come basis with the camping fees at $10.00 per night. One bathhouse is open at the campground. Reservations can only be made for dates after April 21, 2019 by contacting Recreation.gov or 1-877-444-6777.
Long Pool Recreation Area Open to Visitor Long Pool Recreation is open year round - including rest rooms with flush toilets and hot showers. Please contact the Big Piney Ranger District for additional information: 479-284-3150 
Moccasin Gap Open to Visitor The campground is open.
Ozone Recreation Area Open to Visitor  Open year round
Redding Recreation Area Open to Visitor
Richland Creek Recreation Area Open to Visitor
Shores Lake Recreation Area Open to Visitor Recreation area is open. Showers are open in the campgrounds. 
Spring Lake Recreation Area Closed to Visitor Closed for the season. Contact the Mt. Magazine Ranger District at 479-963-3076 for more information
White Rock Mountain Recreation Area Open to Visitor White Rock Mountain Recreation Area is open. Call 479-369-4128 for reservations and more information.  http://www.whiterockmountain.com/
 
Wolf Pen Recreation Area Open to Visitor

Spotlights

Blanchard Springs Caverns

Blanchard Springs Caverns is one of the most spectacular and carefully developed caves found anywhere.  Visitors enter a "living" cave where glistening formations like stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and flowstones are still changing.  These crystalline formations are the result of minerals deposited by dripping water.  Forest Service interpreters guide all tours. For more information about this natural wonder, check out the Blanchard Springs Caverns website.



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/osfnf/recreation