The area was bought for the purpose of protecting prime bottomland hardwood tracts which had been dwindling in eastern Arkansas in the early 1970?s, due to the extensive farming activities in the region.
There are 5 primitive camping areas located in Arkansas County.. Located 3 miles from the adjacent to Lock #2 is Merrisach Park. It is a fee area with all the modern facilities.
Located along Hwy 212 East is Pendleton park. The park has water and electrical service at each of its 13 sites, a fee is charged and the park is open year round.
Wilbur D. Mills Park is just down stream of Dam # 2 on the Desha County side of the river and offers the same services as Pendleton park, March through October.
To reach the area in Arkansas county, take Hwy 165 south of De Witt toward Gillett 10 miles to the junction of Hwys. 164 & 44, then east on Hwy 44 to Tichnor. At Tichnor take the paved county road south 10 miles as indicated by the directional sign toward Lock & Dams #1 and # 2 and Merrisach lake. Upon reaching the Lock 7 Dam and Merrisach Lake turn-off continue south across the Post Canal Bridge at Lock #2 immediately over the bridge turn left as indicated follow the gravel road 1 mile.
To reach the area in Desha County. From Pine bluff take Hwy 65 south toward Dumas for 30 miles to Gould, take Hwy 212 east for 10 miles to Jct Hwys 212 and 65 at Pendleton Bridge of the Arkansas River, continue on 212 east toward the Corps Pendleton Park Area and Dam #2. Green and yellow info signs indicate area boundaries.