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Arkansas State Parks

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USA Parks
River Valley Region
Lake Fort Smith State Park
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P.O. Box 4
Moutainburg, Arkansas   71946

Phone: 501-369-2469
Reservations: 501-369-2469
Email: park email button icon
Nestled in a scenic valley of the Boston Mountain Range of the Ozark Mountains, this state park offers outdoor adventures including camping, fishing, kayaking, swimming, mountain biking, hiking, and nature study. For backpackers, the park serves as the western terminus of the 165-mile Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail.

Located on the western side of 1,400-acre Lake Fort Smith, this state park features all new facilities including campsites [20 Class AAA and 10 Class B], a group lodge with kitchenette that can accommodate up to 32 persons (16 in each wing), picnic sites, a pavilion, 2,660-square-foot swimming pool with adjacent wading pool and a splash pad, marina with boat rentals, double lane boat launch ramp, hiking trails, playground, and an 8,000-square-foot visitor center with exhibits, meeting/classroom, and an outdoor patio featuring a native stone, wood-burning fireplace and a view towards the lake.

History of the Area
Located in Arkansas, this park was established in 1967 around a reservoir created by the Lake Fort Smith Dam. Initially named "Fort Smith State Park", it underwent expansion and renovation from 2002 to 2008. The updated facilities included camping sites, picnic areas, trails, and a visitor center with exhibits about local history and nature. Today it offers various recreational activities such as fishing, boating or hiking along the Ozark Highlands Trail.

1. Lake Fort Smith State Park offers 30 campsites with water and electric hookups.
2. There are also ten fully:equipped cabins available for rent.
3. The park provides a group lodging facility, the Ozark Pavilion, which can accommodate up to 32 people.
4. Primitive camping options include hike:in tent sites along the Ozark Highlands Trail within the state park boundaries.
5. RV campers have access to full:hookup sites including sewer connections at some locations in this Arkansas campground.

Anglers can enjoy shoreline and boat fishing, targeting species like largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, bream, and trout. Fishing licenses are required for those 16 or older. The park offers a marina with boat rentals available to visitors seeking on-water experiences.

Lake Fort Smith State Park is located near Alma, Fort Smith and Ozark
Nearby Parks

Lake Fort Smith State Park offers scenic picnic areas with tables and grills overlooking the lake and Ozark Mountains. Visitors can enjoy group pavilions for larger gatherings, available by reservation. The park also features playgrounds nearby, perfect for family picnics with children. Hiking trails offer a chance to explore nature before or after dining al fresco.
When considering cycling here, it's important to be aware of the terrain and your own skill level. The park offers access to the Shepherd Springs Loop, a moderately challenging trail for mountain biking enthusiasts. It connects with other trails in the Ozark National Forest.

Be cautious on this 8-mile loop; conditions can vary greatly due to weather changes or maintenance activities. Always wear appropriate safety gear like helmets and check your bike before heading out.

For those seeking less strenuous options, there are paved roads within the area that provide a smoother ride but still require vigilance for potential vehicle traffic.

Before embarking on any bicycling adventure, inquire at visitor centers about current path conditions and closures - they're an invaluable resource for up-to-date information.
Ozark Highlands Trail - Western Terminus (National Recreation Trail)

Length: 5.5 - 165 Difficulty: Easy

Description: On May 21, 2008 the first 5.5 miles of the 165-mile Ozark Highland Trail was re-opened at Lake Fort Smith State Park. This newly constructed trail skirts the shoreline of Lake Fort Smith along the western and northern sides and reconnects at Jack Creek. Lake Fort Smith State Park will once again be the western terminus of the Ozark Highland Trail. This trailhead begins at the visitor center of the newly opened park. This backpacking trail, heralded as one of the most scenic in the nation, begins by skirting Lake Fort Smith, and then enters the Ozark National Forest where it takes the hiker across hills and hollows, crevices, bluffs, and past numerous waterfalls.

Location: Eight miles north of Mountainburg on U.S. 71. Trail begins at the visitor center

Offers diverse birding opportunities along trails, forests, and shores. Species include warblers, vireos, tanagers, and woodpeckers. The park features guided tours and educational programs for enthusiasts. Bird checklists are available to track sightings of local avian populations throughout the seasons. Nestled in the Ozark Mountains providing a habitat rich with biodiversity ideal for birdwatching activities year-round.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 15 A Great Family Place by Happy Camper
park review stars; one to five It is a wonderful place to take your family, grandchildren. We have camped there many times. Full hookups, water, sewer, etc...The pool is wonderful, the children can play on playground equipment at the picnic area if desired or hike or there are lots of educational things planned at the Welcome Center. The best showers/restrooms and very clean. Hard to beat this beautiful place. My grandchildren never want to leave.
February 24 Great Place for Family by Hall Family
park review stars; one to five We LOVE Lake Ft. Smith. The pool is wonderful, but it would be nice if guests staying in the park were given a discount. All of the park is extremely clean. Full hook-ups and paved sites are great. Lots to do.
September 13 Amazing
park review stars; one to five The state park @ Lake Ft Smith is absolutely amazing! Everyone who loves the outdoors should go. The only problem is the directions given on the website are terrible. Although all signs on I -540 say get off at Mountainburg, that is a waste of time. The best way to go is to take the Chester Exit, then go east about 1/2 mile to highway 71, then go north(left) about 2miles to the entrance of the park. This will save you 10-15 minutes.
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Area Campgrounds
Winn Creek RV Park
16126 Winn Creek Rd # Wc228
Winslow, AR
Nearby Hotels

The park is located eight miles north of Mountainburg on U.S. 71, or take Exit #29 off I-540 at Mountainburg.

Nearby Parks

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Arkansas State Parks