Lake Fort Smith State Park
Nestled in a scenic valley of the Boston Mountain Range of the Ozark Mountains, this state park offers outdoor adventures including camping, fishing, kayaking, swimming, mountain biking, hiking, and nature study. For backpackers, the park serves as the western terminus of the 165-mile Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail.
Located on the western side of 1,400-acre Lake Fort Smith, this state park features all new facilities including cabins, campsites [20 Class AAA and 10 Class B], a group lodge with kitchenette that can accommodate up to 32 persons (16 in each wing), picnic sites, a pavilion, 2,660-square-foot swimming pool with adjacent wading pool and a splash pad, marina with boat rentals, double lane boat launch ramp, hiking trails, playground, and an 8,000-square-foot visitor center with exhibits, meeting/classroom, and an outdoor patio featuring a native stone, wood-burning fireplace and a view towards the lake.
The Cabins at Lake Fort Smith State Park are designed to be reminiscent of the WPA style of the old Lake Fort Smith State Park. Cabins are crafted of stone and wood and use some of the reclaimed stone from the old park site. The cabins are nestled in the woods over Lake Fort Smith to maintain privacy and seclusion.
Visit the park’s website at: www.arkansasstateparks.com/lakefortsmith.
Devils Den State Park
Just north of Van Buren, upstream on Lee Creek, is Devil’s Den State Park. This area was developed as a park in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps which used native materials to craft the park’s wood and stone structures including a massive native stone dam that spans Lee Creek forming peaceful 8-acre Devil’s Lake.
The park gets its name from several rugged caves in the area that are popular with spelunkers. Hiking, backpacking and mountain bike trails lead to backcountry areas of Devil’s Den State Park and the surrounding Ozark National Forest.
The park offers cabins available throughout the year and a park cafe and swimming pool (both open in summer only) overlooking the lake.
Visit the park’s website at: www.arkansasstateparks.com/devilsden.