BEST AREAS FOR WILDERNESS CAMPING
OUACHITA NATIONAL FOREST1,600,000 acres. This enormous National forest is located in west-central Arkansas and extends into Oklahoma. Some of the terrain here is mountainous, with fine views available from rocky bluffs. Highest point is 2,681-foot Rich Mountain.
There are some beautiful lakes, including gigantic Lake Ouachita, plus many streams and waterfalls. The area is hardwood-forested with stands of old-growth pine.
The Arkansas portion of the National Forest has five designated wilderness areas: the 7,570-acre Black Fork Mountain Wilderness, the 14,430-acre Caney Creek Wilderness, the 6,310-acre Dry Creek Wilderness, the 10,105-acre Flatside Wilderness, and the 10,880-acre Poteau Mountain Wilderness.
Activities: Backpacking and hiking are possible on a number of trails, including 170 miles of the 225-mile Ouachita Trail (see entry page 98) and the 30-mile Womble Trail. There are also many equestrian trails, some of which are open to mountain bikes. Canoeing is available along 45 miles of the Ouachita River. Fishing is also possible, and hunting is permitted in season.
Camping Regulations: Camping is allowed just about anywhere, as are campfires, except near public use areas or where posted otherwise. No permits are necessary. Campsites should be at least 100 feet from trails and streams.
For Further Information: Ouachita National Forest, P.O. Box 1270, Hot Springs, AR 71902; (501)321-5202.