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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Ouachita River Float Camps - Arkansas

    Two questions about the float camps along the Ouachita River in Arkansas that maybe some folks here can help me out with some local knowledge.

    1. Are they open for camping or not? On the forest service web site I've found one map that says they are and one that says they are day use only. I camped at River Bluff, Dragover and Fulton Branch four years ago but all of them are listed as day use on one of these maps and as overnight camping on another. Four years ago I just stumbled upon them and they all had obvious tent sites with a table and fire ring; maybe that has changed.

    2. How much use do the float camps get? We were thinking of coming up over the July 4th weekend but really don't want to deal with a lot of drunken party animals out howling at the moon and blowing stuff up...

    Thanks in advance. I keep meaning to call the Womble Ranger Station but figured there might be some good insider knowledge on the forum as well.


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    I'm surprised nobody has any insider knowledge on this.

    Just in case anybody else comes across this thread in a search, I did finally remember to call the Womble Ranger Station today while at work today and got some "answers" (and I use that word loosely).

    The float camps are "temporarily" day use only due to a flood "that happened sometime" which apparently highlighted a need for a flash flood study for safety purposes, but I was assured that I could camp anywhere else in the forest and be fine.

    As this made little sense to me, I asked when the study was to be complete. They didn't know, nor did they know if it had even been started. I asked if the grounds were still maintained and they said they were and that the camp sites were still in place along with the vault bathrooms. I asked if anyplace else outside the camp was fine if I could just pitch my tent at the gate and still use the facilities and they said yes, that was perfectly acceptable. Since this all was really beginning to make zero sense, I asked what would happen if I just camped inside. The guy told me that about the worst that would happen is a ranger "might" come through but all he'd be able to do is tell me to leave. To be honest the guy sounded like he really didn't know much for certain nor did he really seem to care.

    So it sounds like they are technically closed for camping but nobody gives a damn if you still use them.

  3. #3
    Bike Breaker
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Those areas are pretty remote. You can probably do anything you want. When Im in the area I stay at Ouachita Haven. Its family owned, small and quite.

  4. #4
    Live Dirty!
    Reputation: tex540's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Good info. We've use Fulton Branch as our base when we go there to ride the Womble and LOViT, but I noticed last year that they were now designated as day use only and wondered what was up with that.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: kbabin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    I think the closures were in response to the deaths at Albert Pike Rec Area(2010 Arkansas floods - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Ditto on using Ouachita Haven...


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