Ouachita National Forest

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The Ouachita National Forest comprises 1.7 million acres of rugged public lands in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma south of the Arkansas River. The area, managed by the National Forest Service, is divided into eight administrative districts. About thirty to fifty percent of the land in each of the eight districts is in private hands. The high point in the forest is the Rich Mountain Picnic Area near Mena.

The Ouachita Mountains were first explored Hernando de Soto in 1541.

The Ouachita National Recreation Trail stretches 223 miles through the National Forest from Pinnacle Mountain State Park near Little Rock to Talimena State Park in Oklahoma.


There are thirty public camping areas in the Ouachita National Forest.

  • Albert Pike (Caddo Ranger District)
  • Bald Springs (Caddo Ranger District)
  • Fourche Mountain (Fourche Ranger District)
  • Fulton Branch Float Camp (Womble Ranger District)
  • Gap Creek (Womble Ranger District)
  • Hickory Nut Mountain (Womble Ranger District)
  • Iron Springs (Jessieville Ranger District)
  • Jack Creek (Cold Springs Ranger District)
  • Knoppers Ford (Cold Springs Ranger District)
  • Lake Sylvia (Winona Ranger District)
  • Little Missouri Falls (Caddo Ranger District)
  • Little Pines (Poteau Ranger District)
  • Mill Creek (Poteau Ranger District)
  • Rich Mountain Picnic Area (Mena Ranger District)
  • River Bluff Float Camp (Womble Ranger District)
  • Rocky Shoals Float Camp (Womble Ranger District)
  • Shady Lake (Mena Ranger District)
  • South Fourche (Jessieville Ranger District)


  • Milton D. Rafferty and John C. Catau, The Ouachita Mountains: A Guide for Fishermen, Hunters, and Travelers (Norman University of Oklahoma Press, 1991).

External links