Arkansas is an outdoor state and Arkansas campgrounds are part of the state's culture. 28 state parks in Arkansas have 1,700 places to pitch a tent and the number of campgrounds increases when one considers the RV parks included in most of those parks.
With two mountain ranges and vast stretches of untamed forests and wilderness, Arkansas is a camper's paradise. Campgrounds range from bare hike-in tent sites in the wilderness to lavishly equipped car camping facilities with barbecues, fire pits, and grocery stores within the grounds.
The more remote the campground, the more likely it is that the space is available on a first-come basis. Campers should check with campsites or make a reservation before showing up.
The Moro Bay campground, in the southern Ozarks, occupies some of the finest camping territory in Arkansas. On the shores of the Ouachita River, the campground provides picnic sites, hot showers, a playground, walking trail and a marina for boats, which the campground also rents. Fishing is a popular pastime at this campground, but the lake is open to all manner of watersports.
Arkansas weather is generally warm, but it can get rainy and cold in the winter. The summer months bring humidity and extreme temperatures, which can be just as unpleasant as a rainy weekend in a tent. A camping trip on the water may be just the thing to beat the summer heat.
Another renowned campsite, Petit Jean State Park was Arkansas' first state park and the home of the Petit Jean legend. The story goes that Adrienne Dumont fell in love with a French nobleman and snuck aboard his ship to the New World. Disguised as a cabin boy, she made the journey but caught tuberculosis after a few months in Arkansas. After her lover learned of her true identity, she died and asked to be buried on the mountain where she had been living.
Her grave still rests on the mountain, but the park has grown much more hospitable. Tennis courts, a lodge and cabin rentals all make your stay more comfortable, the miles and miles of hiking trails snaking through the park offer a challenge.