|Campground:||Long Pool Recreation Area|
|Website:||USDA Forest Service|
The majority of my camping trips are to Arkansas' State Parks but this weekend was a little different. It is the first trip I have actually planned more than a week in advance and it turned out well; my sister even came along. We all met at my office Friday afternoon after work and my niece, nephew, sister and I headed in to the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest Area.
Three of us had been camping at the Long Pool Recreation Area on Big Piney Creek two or three summers ago. I had promised my niece and nephew I would take them there this summer to go swimming. The park offers campsites with any combination of water and electric or no hook ups. We chose a tent site with no hook ups. There was only one left in the area we chose, but it turned out to be a nice site with a trail down to the water.
Most of it was as I remembered but I also learned a few new things as I researched geocaches in the area. I learned about two days before going that there were at least two waterfalls in the area. We hiked there Saturday morning and found they had both dried up already. The swimming was nice and I am sure we swam several miles Saturday afternoon and evening.
The park offered both primitive and non-primitive camp features. There were many trails connecting different sites around the campground and the water. It was easy to get around. Camping is first-come, first-serve; it is also paid through a pay-station rather than an attendant making it easier to arrive after 5 p.m.
I haven't seen it in the Spring, but read signs that many people like to float the river. It is prone to flash flooding and visitors should use caution when it is raining in the area. There is no cell service in the area which is nice, but if there is an emergency adds to a dangerous situation.
Without the interruption of technology and with the views of the mountains and sky it is a very nice area to relax for the weekend. I look forward to visiting again sometime, hopefully when there is more water.