Favorite Ozark Campgrounds

  |  Gorp.com

Are you a midwesterner who always dreams of camping in the western mountains, but just can't find time for that long-distance getaway? Well, look in your own backyard to northwest Arkansas, and lose yourself in surprisingly beautiful and remote campgrounds in the deep hollows and rugged, wooded mountains of the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest.

Near these Ozark campgrounds are miles and miles of trails awaiting your boots and mountain bike, and meandering spring-fed rivers shaded by towering bluffs.

These rivers offer wonderful swimming, fishing, and canoeing. Countless miles of paved, gravel, and four-wheel-drive roads wander through the hills for motorized exploration, and hundreds of vistas keep you reaching for your camera—and all this beauty is easily accessible from your campsite in this midwest hideaway.

Best of all, camping in the Ozarks is a year-round treat. When snow chokes those dream campsites of yours in the high mountain west, you can still snooze under the stars each night and hike, bike and canoe all day in the Ozark hills. The bugs, heat, and humidity of summer are a distant memory, and you'll likely have the place all to yourself when you camp off-season. Fall colors are wonderful in the Ozarks, and in winter, bare trees open up vistas that are obscured by lush foliage during the warm months.

Following is the straight scoop on five of the Ozark National Forest's best campgrounds. All are open year-round, and each was chosen for its remoteness, its abundance of nearby outdoor activities, or both. These hideaways are all ideal bases for exploring this beautiful forest by foot, mountain bike, and canoe. Whether you like chasing over the hills or prefer lounging in your campsite, these campgrounds are idyllic backwoods getaways. So chuck your gear in the car and head for the Ozark hills!

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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