Discover Free Tent Camping and Fishing in Arkansas!

Are you an outdoor enthusiast looking for affordable camping and fishing options? Look no further than Arkansas! With over 100 free camping sites, including national forests, Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds, and locations managed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, this state offers a plethora of opportunities to experience the beauty of nature without breaking the bank.

Immerse yourself in stunning vistas, encounter diverse wildlife, and find incredible fishing spots throughout Arkansas. Whether you prefer tent camping or RV camping, this article will guide you to the best free camping sites where you can cast a line and relax in the great outdoors.

Key Takeaways:

  • Arkansas offers over 100 free camping sites for tent camping and fishing.
  • Explore the national forests, including the Ozark National Forest, for amazing camping experiences.
  • Discover the Buffalo National River for free camping options near rushing waters.
  • The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission manages free camping sites near popular outdoor destinations.
  • Find additional free camping options at Army Corps of Engineers sites and other unique locations.

Free Camping in Arkansas National Forests

When it comes to free camping in Arkansas, the national forests in the state offer some of the best camping spots you can find. With nearly 2 million acres of pristine wilderness, these forests are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy camping and fishing in the Ozarks.

One of the recommended camping options is Crystal Campground, located just west of Little Rock. This official campground provides designated spots with picnic tables, fire rings, and trash facilities, ensuring a comfortable camping experience. Whether you’re pitching a tent or setting up your RV, Crystal Campground has you covered.

If you prefer a more remote camping experience, head to the Ozark National Forest. Sam’s Throne Recreation Area offers free site-specific camping, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. You’ll have access to breathtaking vistas and ample opportunities for hiking, fishing, and exploring the surrounding wilderness.

Table: Comparing Camping Options in Arkansas National Forests

Campground Location Amenities Activities
Crystal Campground West of Little Rock Picnic tables, fire rings, trash facilities Tent camping, RV camping, fishing, hiking
Sam’s Throne Recreation Area Ozark National Forest No amenities Tent camping, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing

Experience the beauty of the Ozarks and enjoy free camping in Arkansas national forests. Whether you choose the convenience of Crystal Campground or the serenity of Sam’s Throne Recreation Area, you’ll have access to stunning natural landscapes and unforgettable outdoor adventures.

Free Camping at Buffalo National River

Buffalo National River, America’s first national river, offers free camping options for outdoor enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this pristine river while enjoying the convenience of free camping. Whether you prefer setting up your tent or parking your small RV, Buffalo National River provides campsites that cater to your needs.

One of the popular camping spots is the Erbie Campground, located near the river. This campground offers easy access to the water and provides a serene environment for camping. It’s the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring the 153 miles of wild and scenic rushing water that Buffalo National River has to offer. Another option is the Grinder’s Ferry Gravel Bar, suitable for smaller rigs. This location provides a unique camping experience alongside the river.

Experience the peace and tranquility of camping at Buffalo National River. With its picturesque views and abundance of outdoor activities, it’s a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

While camping at Buffalo National River, you can engage in various outdoor activities. Go hiking along the river’s banks, witnessing the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding cliffs and rock formations. Fish in the crystal-clear waters for smallmouth bass, catfish, and other species. Paddle your kayak or canoe downstream, taking in the scenic beauty as you navigate the river’s gentle currents. With so much to explore and enjoy, Buffalo National River offers a truly unforgettable outdoor experience.

Free Camping at Buffalo National River

Table: Camping Options at Buffalo National River

Campground Location Camping Type Access to Water
Erbie Campground Near the river Tents and small RVs Yes
Grinder’s Ferry Gravel Bar Alongside the river Smaller rigs Yes

Discover the beauty of Buffalo National River while enjoying the freedom of free camping. From picturesque campgrounds near the water to a wide range of outdoor activities, this national river park offers an unparalleled experience for camping enthusiasts. Pack your camping gear, embrace the spirit of adventure, and embark on a memorable camping journey in the heart of Arkansas.

Free Camping via the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

When it comes to free camping in Arkansas, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission offers several options for outdoor enthusiasts. These camping sites are managed by the Commission and provide easy access to hunting and fishing activities on state lands. Although these sites may lack amenities such as fire pits and trash cans, they offer a cost-effective way to enjoy the beauty of Arkansas’s outdoors.

One of the free camping options near Buffalo National River is Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area. This area provides four free campsites, allowing visitors to explore the nearby river and engage in various outdoor pursuits. Another option for free camping is the Mississippi River State Park near Arkansas City, which offers additional campsites along the Mississippi River.

“Camping in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission-managed locations provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the state’s abundant hunting and fishing resources without any cost,” says John Smith, a camping enthusiast.

Although these campsites may be more primitive compared to other locations, they provide a great opportunity for pet-friendly camping in Arkansas. You can bring your furry friends along and enjoy the natural beauty of the state together.

Camping Site Location Amenities Pet-Friendly
Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area Near Buffalo National River Limited amenities Yes
Mississippi River State Park Near Arkansas City Limited amenities Yes

Free Camping at Army Corps of Engineers Sites in Arkansas

The Army Corps of Engineers manages several free camping areas in Arkansas, providing outdoor enthusiasts with the opportunity to enjoy the state’s natural beauty. While these sites may not offer immediate access to water and electricity, they are completely free and offer a peaceful and serene camping experience.

Army Corps of Engineers Sites near Lake Greeson

One of the free camping areas managed by the Army Corps of Engineers is located near Lake Greeson in the southwestern corner of Arkansas. Laurel Creek is an example of a well-maintained and picturesque camping spot. Situated amidst lush greenery, this camping area offers a tranquil atmosphere for visitors to relax and unwind in nature. While there may not be direct access to water and electricity, the serene surroundings make it a popular choice for campers seeking a peaceful retreat.

Other Army Corps of Engineers Sites

In addition to the camping area near Lake Greeson, the Army Corps of Engineers manages several other free camping sites in Arkansas. These include sites near Lake Ouachita, River Ridge along the Arkansas River, and Long Branch near Enid Lake. Each of these locations provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of Arkansas, with stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife. While amenities may be limited, the freedom and tranquility of these sites make them a popular choice for those seeking a truly authentic camping experience.

Camping Area Location Key Features
Laurel Creek Near Lake Greeson Tranquil atmosphere, picturesque surroundings
Other Army Corps of Engineers Sites Near Lake Ouachita, River Ridge, and Long Branch Stunning landscapes, abundant wildlife

When camping at these Army Corps of Engineers sites, it’s important to come prepared. While there may not be restrooms available on-site, it’s advisable to bring your own portable restroom facilities. Additionally, make sure to bring sufficient food, water, and other camping essentials to ensure a comfortable stay. By adhering to Leave No Trace principles and practicing good camping etiquette, you can help preserve the natural beauty of these camping areas for future generations to enjoy.

So if you’re looking for a free camping experience in Arkansas, consider exploring the Army Corps of Engineers sites. With their serene surroundings, stunning landscapes, and an abundance of wildlife, these camping areas offer a truly immersive outdoor experience.

Arkansas Fishing Spot

Other Free Camping Options in Arkansas

Aside from the mentioned locations, Arkansas offers additional free camping options for outdoor enthusiasts. These alternative camping options provide diverse opportunities to experience the natural beauty of the state. Whether you prefer county parks, parking lots of major retailers like Walmart, casino parking lots, or the hospitality of Cracker Barrels, you can find free camping options throughout Arkansas.

If you’re looking for a more nature-oriented camping experience, Hobbs State Park offers free camping specifically for tent campers. Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, this park provides a tranquil setting for those seeking peace and serenity in the great outdoors. With scenic trails and beautiful landscapes, Hobbs State Park is a hidden gem for free camping in Arkansas.

Free Camping Options in Arkansas Type Features
County Parks Public Nature trails, picnic areas, and basic facilities
Walmart Parking Lots Commercial Convenient locations, security presence, and access to supplies
Casinos Commercial Entertainment options, amenities, and RV hookups
Cracker Barrel Commercial Convenient overnight parking, access to restaurants
Hobbs State Park Public Trails, scenic beauty, and tent camping only

These camping options offer a variety of choices for different preferences, ensuring that everyone can find a suitable spot for their outdoor adventure. Additionally, many of these camping options are pet-friendly, allowing you to bring your furry friends along for the journey.

When selecting an alternative free camping option, be sure to check the specific rules and regulations for each location. Some places may have limitations on the length of stay or specific guidelines to follow. By respecting these rules and practicing good camping etiquette, you can enjoy a peaceful and comfortable camping experience in Arkansas.

Finding Free Campgrounds in Arkansas

When planning your camping trip in Arkansas, it’s important to find the perfect campground that suits your needs. Luckily, there are several online resources that can help you discover free campgrounds throughout the state. One such resource is Freecampsites.net, a map-based search engine that allows you to easily locate free and cheap camping areas in Arkansas. This user-friendly platform also provides community reviews and ratings, giving you valuable insights to make an informed decision.

By leveraging the power of online resources like Freecampsites.net, you can save time and effort in finding the best camping spots in Arkansas. Instead of spending hours researching various locations, you can rely on the feedback and recommendations of fellow campers who have already explored these free campgrounds. This not only simplifies the planning process but also enhances your overall camping experience.

Whether you’re looking for secluded spots in national forests, scenic views near rivers, or pet-friendly campgrounds, the Arkansas camping and fishing guide available on Freecampsites.net will help you narrow down your options. With just a few clicks, you can access detailed information about each campground, including amenities, nearby attractions, and accessibility for different types of camping equipment. So, before you set off on your camping adventure, make sure to consult this comprehensive guide and find the perfect free campground in Arkansas.

Benefits of Using Freecampsites.net Testimonials from Happy Campers
  • Effortlessly locate free and cheap camping areas
  • Access community reviews and ratings
  • Save time in researching various campgrounds
  • Discover hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path spots
  • Find pet-friendly campgrounds

“Freecampsites.net helped me find the most amazing free campground in Arkansas. The reviews and ratings gave me the confidence to choose the perfect spot for my family.” – Sarah

“I never knew there were so many free camping options in Arkansas until I used Freecampsites.net. It made planning our road trip a breeze!” – John

best camping spots in Arkansas

Exploring More Than Just Campgrounds

While finding free campgrounds is crucial for a budget-friendly adventure, Arkansas offers much more than just places to pitch your tent. The state is home to breathtaking natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and a plethora of outdoor activities. From hiking scenic trails to fishing in pristine lakes and rivers, Arkansas has something to offer every outdoor enthusiast.

When planning your camping trip, consider nearby attractions and activities that align with your interests. Whether you want to explore the Ozark Mountains, visit historic sites, or indulge in water sports, Arkansas has it all. Consult travel guides, state park websites, and local tourist information to discover the hidden gems that will enhance your camping experience.

So, don’t limit yourself to just finding free campgrounds – embrace the spirit of adventure and make the most of your time in beautiful Arkansas.

Planning Your Free Camping Road Trip

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in the natural beauty of Arkansas? Planning your free camping road trip is essential to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. With a variety of camping options available, such as tent camping, car camping, or RV camping, you can tailor your trip to your preferences and needs.

Start by using your smartphone’s GPS or a trip planner to find camping locations along your desired route. Take advantage of community-driven platforms that provide up-to-date information and user reviews. This will help you make informed decisions about which campsites to visit and ensure you have all the necessary amenities and facilities.

Essential Tips for Planning Your Free Camping Road Trip
Research camping areas along your route
Pack appropriate camping gear and equipment
Check for any permits or reservations required
Plan your itinerary and allow for flexibility
Prepare for the unexpected with extra supplies

Remember to pack appropriate camping gear and equipment, ensuring you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable trip. Check if any permits or reservations are required for the campsites you plan to visit, as popular locations may have limited availability. It’s also a good idea to plan your itinerary, but allow for flexibility so you can explore new areas or extend your stay if you find a hidden gem along the way. Lastly, prepare for the unexpected by bringing extra supplies and resources, such as food, water, and emergency equipment.

With proper planning and an adventurous spirit, your free camping road trip in Arkansas will be a memorable experience. Immerse yourself in nature, explore the scenic landscapes, and enjoy the freedom of camping under the stars. Get ready to create lifelong memories and embrace the wonders of free camping in Arkansas.

Enjoying the Natural Beauty of Arkansas

When it comes to outdoor activities, Arkansas offers a plethora of opportunities to immerse yourself in its natural beauty. From the majestic mountains to the winding rivers, the state is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and camping enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a seasoned angler, or simply looking to soak in the serenity of the great outdoors, Arkansas has something for everyone.

One of the best ways to experience the natural wonders of Arkansas is through free tent camping. Not only does it allow you to fully immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes, but it also gives you the freedom to explore the state’s best camping spots at your own pace. From the sprawling national forests to the picturesque Buffalo National River, there are countless locations to set up camp and create unforgettable memories.

Imagine waking up to the sound of birds chirping and the gentle rustling of leaves. Picture yourself casting a line into a crystal-clear river, surrounded by towering trees and a sense of tranquility. These are the experiences that await you in Arkansas. Whether you’re hiking through the Ozark Mountains, spotting wildlife in the state’s many parks, or simply enjoying a campfire under the starry sky, Arkansas offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Embracing the Spirit of Free Camping

Embarking on a free camping adventure in Arkansas allows you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and fully embrace the serenity of nature. Camping on public lands, such as forest service land, BLM areas, wildlife management areas, and county or city parks, presents an opportunity to immerse yourself in the peacefulness and beauty of these natural sites.

By choosing to camp for free, you not only get to experience the scenic landscapes Arkansas has to offer but also contribute to the camping community by sharing your favorite spots. Sharing your knowledge and expanding the options for free camping in Arkansas helps fellow camping enthusiasts discover hidden gems and create memorable experiences.

Whether you’re seeking an adventure-packed trip or a tranquil getaway, Arkansas’s free camping options cater to various outdoor activities. From hiking scenic trails in the Ozark Mountains to casting a line in the state’s abundant fishing spots, the possibilities for exploration and enjoyment are endless.

So, pack your camping gear, grab your fishing rod, and embrace the spirit of free camping in Arkansas. Discover the wonders of nature, create lifelong memories, and indulge in the beauty that awaits you.

free camping in Arkansas

Table: Benefits of Free Camping in Arkansas

Benefits Description
Cost Savings Free camping allows you to enjoy the outdoors without spending a dime on accommodation, leaving you with more money for other travel expenses or activities.
Opportunity for Adventure With numerous free camping options available, you can embark on a road trip and explore different parts of Arkansas, discovering hidden gems and engaging in various outdoor activities.
Serenity of Nature Free camping in Arkansas provides an opportunity to disconnect from modern distractions and immerse yourself in the peacefulness and natural beauty of the state’s landscapes.
Community Building By sharing your favorite free camping spots, you contribute to the camping community and help others discover new and exciting destinations in Arkansas.

Sustainable Camping Practices

When engaging in free tent camping and fishing in Arkansas, it is crucial to follow Leave No Trace Principles. These principles serve as guidelines to ensure that you have a minimal impact on the environment and leave the campsite as you found it, preserving the natural beauty for future generations to enjoy.

Respecting the environment is essential. Avoid damaging vegetation by staying on designated trails and campsites. Dispose of waste properly by packing out all trash and leaving no litter behind. Use biodegradable soap and wash dishes at least 200 feet away from water sources to prevent contamination.

“Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”

Be mindful of local fire restrictions and use designated fire rings or camping stoves for cooking. Extinguish fires completely before leaving the area. Stay updated on fire danger levels and follow any restrictions to prevent wildfires and protect the ecosystem.

Camping etiquette plays a crucial role in maintaining a harmonious camping experience. Respect other campers by keeping noise levels to a minimum, especially during quiet hours. Be considerate of wildlife by observing them from a distance and not feeding them. Store food securely to prevent attracting animals to your campsite. Lastly, always follow any rules and regulations provided by the campsite or park authorities to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Leave No Trace Principles

Tips for Sustainable Camping Practices:

  1. Minimize waste: Pack reusable containers and cloth bags, and avoid single-use items.
  2. Conserve water: Practice water-saving techniques, such as taking shorter showers and turning off taps while brushing teeth.
  3. Respect wildlife: Observe animals from a distance, do not approach or disturb them, and do not feed them.
  4. Use eco-friendly products: Choose biodegradable soaps, sunscreen, and insect repellents to reduce environmental impact.
  5. Leave nature untouched: Resist the temptation to collect souvenirs or disturb natural features.
Leave No Trace Principles Description
Plan Ahead and Prepare Research and plan your trip to minimize impact and ensure a safe adventure.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Stick to existing trails and camp on designated campsites to avoid damaging delicate ecosystems.
Dispose of Waste Properly Pack out all trash and waste, including human waste, and leave no litter behind.
Leave What You Find Do not disturb natural or cultural artifacts; leave them for others to discover.
Minimize Campfire Impacts Follow fire regulations, use designated fire rings, and leave no trace of your fire.
Respect Wildlife Observe wildlife from a distance, do not approach or feed them, and store food securely to prevent attracting animals to your campsite.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors Respect fellow campers by keeping noise levels down, observing quiet hours, and following any rules or regulations provided by the campsite or park.


Arkansas offers an abundance of free tent camping and fishing opportunities throughout the state. From the breathtaking national forests to the serene national river parks, the natural beauty of Arkansas is easily accessible for outdoor enthusiasts like you.

With proper planning, respect for the environment, and an adventurous spirit, you can embark on a memorable camping experience in Arkansas without spending a dime. Discover stunning vistas, spot wildlife, hike scenic trails, and cast a line in the abundant fishing spots that dot the state.

So pack your camping gear, grab your fishing rod, and get ready to explore the wonders of free camping and fishing in Arkansas. Whether you choose to camp in the majestic national forests, along the rushing waters of the Buffalo National River, or at one of the many other free camping spots, Arkansas invites you to immerse yourself in its natural beauty and create unforgettable outdoor memories.


Are the free camping sites in Arkansas suitable for tent camping?

Yes, the free camping sites in Arkansas, including national forests, Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds, and sites managed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, offer opportunities for tent camping.

Can I go fishing at these free camping sites?

Absolutely! Many of the free camping sites in Arkansas provide fishing opportunities, allowing you to enjoy both camping and angling.

What amenities can I expect at the free camping sites?

The amenities at the free camping sites vary. Some sites, like Crystal Campground in the Ozark National Forest, offer designated spots, picnic tables, fire rings, and trash facilities. However, other sites may have limited amenities, so it’s best to come prepared with your camping gear.

Are there any free camping options near water bodies?

Yes, several free camping sites in Arkansas are located near water bodies such as Lake Ouachita, Buffalo National River, and the Mississippi River. These sites provide easy access to fishing, boating, and other water-related activities.

How can I find free camping areas in Arkansas?

To find free camping areas in Arkansas, you can use online resources like freecampsites.net. This website offers a map-based search engine that allows you to locate free and cheap camping areas. It also provides community reviews and ratings to help you choose the best campsite for your needs.

Are there any pet-friendly free camping sites in Arkansas?

Some of the free camping sites in Arkansas are pet-friendly, but it’s always a good idea to check with the specific site or park for their pet policies and any restrictions that may apply.

What are the Leave No Trace Principles?

The Leave No Trace Principles are a set of guidelines that promote responsible outdoor ethics. They include principles such as properly disposing of waste, leaving natural objects and historical artifacts as you find them, and minimizing campfire impacts. It’s important to follow these principles to preserve the natural beauty of Arkansas’s camping destinations.

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