MORRO BAY STATE PARK, ARKANSAS

Every once in a while we stumble on to something where we are quite surprised to discover and goes beyond our expectations.  This happened to me recently.

Bonnie and I wanted to find another small camp ground that was within striking distance from home but somewhere that we had not camped in.  Our friends the Posts loaded up their travel trailer and joined us as we went north to the Ouachita River.  One key finding from this trip; do not take roads that are in disrepair.  It will beat up both the trailer and the driver.

We traveled from Farmerville to Strong and then on northward to the Moro Bay State Park.  This park is located on the Ouachita River and offers a good boat launch and boat slips.  Campers can also have their boats docked in front of their camp site but the walk to the river is steep.

Several days before we were scheduled to arrive the camp ground was practically empty.  Then with the first quick cool snap that hit the region the camp sites filled up.  It did not seem crowded since there is a wide space between all the sites and trees abound the camp sites.  For families with small children there is a large playground at the park plus a field of about 5 acres which allows plenty of room for the children to play.  At night the open space could easily serve as a prime location for star gazing and has prompted me to purchase a small spotting/astronomical telescope that I am waiting to arrive.

There are two small hiking trails at the park.  They are short, only three eights of a mile each but they are well maintained.  In the cool fall weather the trails were enjoyable but the summer months will probably be full of humidity and loaded with insects that abound the areas around the Ouachita River.

For the person that wants to stay connected and feels that they have to have phone and internet connections, this is not the campground for that individual.  Cell phone service is very sparse to nonexistent.  There is no WiFi conection.    This is quite remote and is the perfect place to relax.  El Dorado is twenty miles to the west.  Strong, Arkansas is fifteen miles south and Hermitage Arkansas is fifteen east.  There is nothing in between these three; no stores, no gas and few people.  There is a visitor center staffed with very friendly rangers in the park.  Soft drinks and abundant firewood and ice are available but little else.  Be sure to plan accordingly and don’t expect to find a WalMart near by; isn’t that great.

For those that want to stay in a park but does not find camping desirable, there are cabins available.  They are new and modern and suitable for two families.   WiFi is available in the cabins.  These cabins are flood tolerant as they are eight feet off the ground thus sit above floods from the river.

What I am discovering is that these small out of the way yet unique camp grounds are quite abundant and within easy striking distance from us; we just have to look.

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