Ouachita National Forest

Quick Facts

Ouachita National Forest

Arkansas

(501) 321-5202

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The Ouachita National Forest is located primarily in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma. Outstanding mountain views coupled with picturesque streams, rivers and lakes provide a unique and highly valued setting for outdoor recreation. The Forest offers high quality, nature-related sightseeing and scenic driving as well as hunting, fishing and dispersed camping. Learn about the area's rich history at wayside exhibits along one of the scenic drives or experience unique botanical, mineral, and prehistoric resources featured in information and educational programs. An extensive trail system provides for all types of uses including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and off-highway vehicles (OHV). A variety of services can be found at developed campgrounds ranging from rustic tent pads to full-service RV hookups. Enjoy exceptional water-based recreation opportunities including fishing, non-motorized boating and passive enjoyment of streams, rivers and lakes.

Map of Ouachita Nat'l Forest

Latitude, Longitude: 34.633260, -93.581270

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Activities

  • Boating

    Countless lakes, rivers, and streams abound in the 1.8 million acres of this forest. Many visitors enjoy float trips on the rivers and creeks. The 86-acre lake at Cedar Lake Recreation Area provides great motorized boating, although there is a 7.5hp limit.

  • Bicycling

    The Ouachita National Forest has hundreds of miles of trails, many of which are open to mountain biking. Contact the nearest ranger office or check online for information about a specific trail.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The Talimena Scenic Byway traverses the Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation Area in Oklahoma as it winds along the top of Winding Stair and Rich Mountains on its way into Arkansas. The Kerr Arboretum and Nature Center, a self-guided environmental education area is located on the byway, as are picnic areas, scenic overlooks, and historical exhibits.

  • Camping

    Campgrounds are scattered throughout the forest, offering sites ranging from primitive sites tucked in the woods to fully-equipped modern RV sites. In addition, primitive camping and backpacking is allowed on almost all national forest land, so camping options abound.

  • Fishing

    The countless lakes, rivers, and streams in the forest offer fantastic fishing, whether you are an angler in search of native trout in small streams or big bass in the forest's lakes.

  • Hiking

    The Ouachita National Forest has over 700 miles of hiking trails, offering hikers any sort of hiking experience. For those looking to go backpacking, Ouachita has several designated wildernesses, ensuring you a truly primitive experience.

  • Horseback Riding

    Many trails in the forest are open to horseback riding, including those in the several wilderness areas. The forest also has horse camps available, including one at Cedar Lake Recreation Area.

  • Hunting

    The 1.8 million acres in this forest give hunters enormous choice in hunting locations and game.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Several ATV/OHV trails are located in the forest. The Wolf Pen Gap Trail near Mena offers 35 miles of ATV riding.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic areas are located throughout the forest.

  • Water Sports

    Numerous swimming areas are located in the forest. Float trips are very popular on the forest's flowing rivers and creeks. Several float camps are spread along some routes.

Directions

Driving

From Hot Springs, US highways 270 west, 70 west and state highway 7 west provide easy access into the forest.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(501) 321-5202

Links