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Best tent camp sites/hiking trails?

posts: 4
Best tent camp sites/hiking trails?

Looking to do some tent camping this weekend but have only lived in Ar for a short time. Greers Ferry, Mt Magazine, Devils Den, and Blanchard Springs are a few that I have been eyeing. Love a good hike with good views & wildlife. Any tips, ideas, &/or suggestions would be highly appreciated!

little rock arkansas
Destination Expert
for Little Rock, Arkansas
posts: 3,205
reviews: 264
1. Re: Best tent camp sites/hiking trails?

You have a good "eye!" You might add Petit Jean and probably my favorite fall state park Mt Nebo to the mix. I assume you are looking at camping near your car rather than backpacking in. If that is the case, Arkansas state parks are perfect for fall camping. The same camp ground which will be mobbed on summer weekends will sometimes be quiet and even feel somewhat empty in the late fall/winer times. The Petit Jean trails offer very unusual rock formations and never disappoint. They aren't real long but they are beautiful. The Mt Nebo Trails will offer almost continual views and are fairly empty in late fall, early winter making it feel like you own the mountain. I like the lodge a lot at Magazine but never warmed up to the trails. You might look at National Forest Service campgrounds as well, especially ones along the Ouachita Trail like Lake Sylvia. Blanchard Springs gives you the option to go to the nearby caverns which are spectacular. The Blanchard area offers a really fun summer experience, with great splashing in the natural pools and small rocky falls. Of these, I'm most excited by Nebo as I write. The rim trail is spectacular and you can extend it by traversing the mountain on the lower bench trail, but then again, Petit Jean is just awesome. I may pack up and go to one of these myself. Have a ball!

posts: 4
2. Re: Best tent camp sites/hiking trails?

Got to visit Petit Jean a few weeks ago. Agree the views were awesome! Didn't do any of the severity mile trails but am looking forward to trying a few out on this trip. Mt Nebo sounds like a winner on the trail aspect as well as the views & camping. Are there grills at the site?

posts: 4
3. Re: Best tent camp sites/hiking trails?

Also where are some good bed and breakfasts near any of the mentioned parks?

little rock arkansas
Destination Expert
for Little Rock, Arkansas
posts: 3,205
reviews: 264
4. Re: Best tent camp sites/hiking trails?

Nebo does offer grills at camp sites and cabins. As to BB's, others may have suggestions but when Nebo cabins have been booked, I have had no luck finding any decent alternate accommodations other than old motel rooms by the highway. I have been disappointed twice in VRBO rentals in the Nebo area. The best accommodations are of course at the parks. The Parks dept has fairly liberal cancellation policies and changes in plans happens often. What I would do is just keep calling the parks if they tell you they are booked, to see if there are any cancellations. They used to keep a waiting list but I think their software changed and some offices don't keep one, so frequent calls may result in an opening. There are two interesting alternate accommodations at Petit Jean, one nice but basic and the other high end. The Rockefeller Istitute is kind of a study center and they offer basic liesure accommodations when they do not have a seminar going on. Here is the info on that:

Winthrop Rockefeller Institute | Petit Jean Mountain

1 Rockefeller Drive | Morrilton, AR 72110

501.727.5435 main | 501.727.5242 fax

www.LiveTheLegacy.org

The other accommodation Tanyard Springs is higher end - large log cabins which are great for families. www.tanyardsprings.com/

posts: 4
5. Re: Best tent camp sites/hiking trails?

Thanks! Very useful info Jim! Thinking of making the drive farther south after camping for a night stay in hot springs at a B&B there or somewhere around the area. Don't mind driving for a good experience. Wife is going on first deployment & this is our weekend by ourselves without family trips & moving duties to do. Going to Nebo for sure though! Cant wait to hike the trails!! Thanks again!

6. Re: Best tent camp sites/hiking trails?

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