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Camping: Arkansas

Quick Facts

Bard Springs Campground

Length of Stay: 14 Days
Number of Sites: 17
Reservation Status: Not Accepted First come, first served

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Bard Springs Campground is located southeast of Mena, between the Caney Creek Wilderness and Leader Mountain Walk-In Turkey Hunting Area. Located on a small scenic stream swimming and hiking are available from the campground.

Facilities at the campground include 17 sites, a picnic shelter, drinking water, and flush toilets.

Directions from Glenwood: Take Arkansas Hwy. 84. Turn northwest on Arkansas Hwy. 246 at Athens, AR; turn right (north) on Forest Service Road 38 for 7 miles; turn right (east) on Forest Service Road 106 for 1/2 mile.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Early May through Early September (NOTE: Loop A) . Normally Open: Year-round (NOTE: Loop B) .

Fee Information
Type Price Remarks
Camping Call for Current Fee Per Night.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Fritz Green (Bartlesville, OK)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The eight-mile drive on narrow winding gravel forest service roads keeps the majority of people away from this campground. The campground was very clean, with fire grates for cooking, lamp poles, level tent pads, and picnic tables, but no other site-specific amenities. There is a single vault toilet on the A loop where we stayed (fairly clean), no water and no baths. A small dam on the Bard Springs creek makes a nice, small pool for swimming or fishing (but not big enough for both at the same time). It is on the lower rim of loop A. All of the Adirondack shelters were on loop B, and we didn't spend much time there. It was very quiet, though the occasional ATV thundered past on the road nearby and the only other group camping on loop A also roared in and out on ATVs from time to time. There are several available trail heads within ten miles. We hiked the 2.8 mile trail to Winding Stairs (trail head east of the campground about 5-6 miles) and enjoyed the scenery and great swimming hole there. We weren't alone during the hike, but there weren't a whole lot of people, either.
Conditions: The campground is mostly shaded with some sun coming through in spots. As I said, the road in was a winding, narrow gravel forest service road, but it is obviously well graded.
Water Availability: There are no treated water sources at the campground. The nearest water source was probably at Shady Lake campground about 3.5 miles away.

Filed By: gerald shouse (shreveport, LA)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: VERY nice place to take the family. My husband is 39 & this summer camping destination has became a family tradition for him, myself & our 2 daughters, aged 4 & 8. His family went every summer while he was growing up and we love the idea of passing that on to our children. They love it there and if you dont want to leave the campsite there is plenty of stuff to do right there without ever sitting foot in a truck.
Conditions: Very clean area, well maintained.
Water Availability: We camp in the small site where there are no bear proof cabins and just pitch our own tent...we love it there. Plenty of water for my small children to play in, and it is plenty shallow enough to be safe.

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: During the fall the hunters take this campground over so be prepared to wear orange if you plan on hiking. The campsites have also gone up to $8.00 a night but for that you can get a small hut style shelter that helps in the cooler months. Vault toliets were available and were kept clean. We saw a lot of wildlife. I would use this as a basecamp for hiking the many great trails in the area.
Conditions: Lots of fallen trees on trails but well worth the climb over them.
Water Availability: There is no drinking water on site but you can treat water out of the creek (the creek still had water in spite of an extremely dry spring/summer/fall for the area) or just carry water in.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Camping Bard Springs Campground

Related Activities
Little Missouri Falls Picnic Ground - Little Missouri Falls Picnic Ground is located north from Glenwood. This beautifully forested area has many enjoyable activities including hiking and fishing.

Rich Mountain Observation Site - Rich Mountain Observation Site is located West from Mena. Visitors to the lookout tower will experience some breathtaking views as the 2,681 feet elevation offers a panoramic view of the outstanding local wilderness.

Shady Lake Campground - This campground, located north of Athens, provides several activities including fishing, swimming and hiking in the setting of a scenic and secluded mountain lake.

Shady Lake Trail - The Shady Lake Trail is situated southeast of Mena. The trail traverses Saline Creek and passes Shady Lake Dam. The trail is ideal for day hiking and mountain biking.

Viles Branch Trail - Viles Branch Trail is situated northwest from Glenwood. The area offers a 26 mile scenic trail that ranges from easiest to most difficult.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, One Capitol Mall , Little Rock, AR, 72201, Phone: 501-682-7777


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