Hot RVing Near Hot Spring

Published: Monday, July 23, 2007

Arkansas rose to national and international prominence when William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton was elected as the 42nd President of the US. Yet, Arkansas is more than just politics and government. In the national set-up, it is one US state that often draws people seeking to have a reprieve from the fast-paced way of life characteristic of modern-day urban living. With its many natural attractions like raging waterfalls, thickly-forested mountains, and numerous scenic drives, Arkansas has become a safe refuge for many young but weary travelers.

RV riders will most likely find the "Natural State" a good alternative to the more prominent US places where outdoor camping has become a highly popular activity. The state has built a reputation as a quiet and unassuming place with a laid-back attitude, and this is what most RV campers seek when choosing a particular US state that they can eventually visit aboard their RVs.

Visiting Arkansas by Regions

Arkansas is divided into six different regions, each one of which is known to carry its own personal history and accompanied by several attractions that collectively create the distinctive charm exclusive only to Arkansas. The six regions typically include the Ozarks, the River Valley, the Central region, the Delta region, the Ouachitas, and the Timberlands.

The Ozarks Region

This particular Arkansas region is actually an old eroded plateau that was somehow pushed upward and eventually carved into its present form by numerous rushing streams. In essence therefore, the Ozarks is literally a natural wonder made even more fabulous by the immense diversity that now characterizes its general landscape.

Rivers and lakes highlight the general surroundings of the Ozarks region. These ought to interest many prospective RV campers especially since fishing is a popular sport in these parts, with panfish and bass often caught in every venture. Outdoor enthusiasts will simply find the area an angler's absolute paradise.

Other than fishing, many other outdoor activities can be enjoyed all across Ozarks. This is not actually surprising, especially when one considers the fact that Arkansas actually has more than 9,000 miles dedicated strictly to streams with many of these serving as perfect venues for a variety of water-based events like canoeing, boating, kayaking, and even white water rafting. An alternative, though, is a leisurely hike beside a running stream in late afternoons when the setting sun gives off its last rays for the day.

For the serious hiker, Buffalo River ought to be an exciting destination. Specifically, the Upper Buffalo Wilderness near the famed river is home to many caves, waterfalls, and natural springs where many hiking boots have gone on to tread. The rapids, meanwhile, of the Buffalo River offer many heart-stopping boat rides especially in portions where the waves are quite strong. In most cases, there is a campsite put up nearby to serve as rest areas for the exhausted rider.

The River Valley Region

The region is replete with early Arkansas history but what outdoor lovers, including RV owners, will find highly engrossing are the many mountain parks scattered all across the three River Valley peaks namely Magazine, Nebo, and Petit Jean. The last two host several historic state parks of the Civilian Conservation Corps era and feature ancient housekeeping cabins and numerous hiking trails. Magazine Mountain, however, should prove to be particularly enticing for many RV campers especially with the expected completion of some 18 campsites within the region by fall of this year.

The Central Region

Two major cities, namely, North Little Rock and Little Rock, serve as the major points of attraction in the Central Region of Arkansas. Considered as the metropolitan districts of Arkansas, these two cities offer endless shopping options, fine dining, and an active nightlife mixed with a few historic attractions.

A wide array of state parks abound in these two cities where hiking through leafy trails is a regular endeavor. In Little Rock, the city zoo boasts of several exotic and animals that are worth seeing, while nearby Arkansas River is a popular spot for picnics and for fishing ventures.

The Delta Region

There are several important landmarks in the Delta region of Arkansas that are of great significance to many RV campers since they offer fascinating sights and various outdoor activities. One is the Great River Road, a national byway that offers a scenic walkway across a rich agricultural plantation of wheat, rice, cotton, and soybeans. Another is Crowley's Ridge, a geological formation on top of which one can have a great view of the nearby agricultural plantation.

Two other popular outdoor activities in the Delta Region are bird-watching and fishing, both of which can be done at Lake Chicot State Park. The area boasts of exceptional varieties of fishes and is also a favorite spot for many kinds of birds.

Ouachitas Region

Forested mountains highlight this particular region of Arkansas, making it a highly preferred area for many RV campers. Specifically, Hot Springs National Park has various nature trails that lead to several mountaintops found in the midst of the protected Ouachita National Forest.

The region is also home to five majestic lakes collectively called Diamond Lakes. The largest of these lakes, Lake Ouachita, has been renowned the world over for its morning fishing expeditions amidst a backdrop of exotic wilderness. In various nearby locations, golf courses can also be seen, providing the perfect relaxation to tired and disappointed anglers.

The Timberland Region

The Timberland Region of Arkansas is teeming with natural resources, easily making it among the top favorites of outdoor lovers, including those coming in aboard their RVs. It features a dense forest woodland of cypress and pine trees where several outdoor sports, notably deer hunting, are popular endeavors. Deer are particularly abundant in the Timberland region, earning for it the distinction of being the best site in Arkansas for deer hunting.

Alternatively, one other outdoor sport is likewise gaining prominence among local and national sportsmen. Since there are are also countless lakes situated in the Timberland region, fishing has also become a highly anticipated event in these parts, particularly when it comes to hunting for the so-called lunker bass, fish species that are said to dwell in the vast waters of the region.

In Search of Arkansas Cities

The various cities that compose the six primary regions of Arkansas state showcase many historic features and great opportunities for many interested RV campers to experience amazing outdoor fun. While the activities may appear generally alike in many aspects, every Arkansas city nevertheless offers them with a tinge of distinction that are unique to every particular city.

Eureka Springs

Situated within the central area of the Ozarks region, Eureka Springs is flushed with an array of specialty shops, art museums, restaurants, and antique stores. Carriage and trolley rides are the most common ways to explore the city, but an RV-boarded traveler will definitely have more advantage when it comes to this aspect.

More specifically, RV riders will definitely enjoy the many outdoor opportunities that Eureka Springs offers them. With three renowned rivers under its fold, water-based activities are obviously very popular in these parts. Along White River, hunting for trouts has become a passion for most anglers, while canoeing is a favorite in the waters of Kings River. With Beaver Lake, water sports like kayaking and rafting are quite common, apart from fishing and land-based activities like hiking, horseback riding, biking, and camping.

Fort Smith

Famous for the Arkansas River that lies in its midst, Fort Smith is set in the River Valley region along the border of Arkansas and Oklahoma. Scores of shopping and recreational centers have laid their foundations here, but for many outdoor lovers like RV riders, appropriate opportunities can be explored. These includes fishing, an activity quite common along the Arkansas River shores especially these days when the Arkansas River Navigation System has created several bayous nearby and filled these with various fishes endemic to Arkansas state.

Other than fishing, Fort Smith has also become famous for its bird sanctuary where ostensibly bird-watching has become a favorite pastime. Meanwhile,other nearby city attractions like the Mulberry River and the Devil's Den State Park are famous for their canoeing events and hiking trails respectively.


Largely considered as a college city because it hosts three Arkansas universities, Conway nonetheless should be considered by most RV campers on the hunt for outdoor fun in Arkansas. This is because Conway plays host to Lake Conway, the biggest man-made lake ever made in the US. Covering about 6,700 acres, the waters of Lake Conway come from a runoff of five distinct creeks, namely, Gold Creek, Panther Creek, Stone Dam Creek, Little Cypress Creek, and Palarm Creek.

Lake Conway has generally been considered a good fishing ground because of its vast collection of crappies, bass, bream, and catfish. Still, other outdoor opportunities await campers at Lake Conway. Boating is one such opportunity since there are a good number of boat rentals available with landings usually made at Palarm Creek, Pierce Creek, and Bream's Nest, among others.

Lake Village

In the Delta region of Arkansas lies a little-known city that can be considered as the ideal camping site for RV travelers. Lake Village, which lies along the shores of Lake Chicot, plays host to Lake Chicot State Park where several campgrounds are known to exist, apart from the various private camping sites that are found along the shorelines of Lake Chicot itself.

Lake Chicot, known as the biggest natural lake in Arkansas, extends to about 20 miles and is actually an abandoned Mississippi River channel. It has become the biggest attraction for Lake Village campers because of its fishing opportunities where bluegills, catfish, bass, and crappies are common prizes for many anglers.

Another Lake Village park, the Jack R. Rhodes Lakefront Park, should likewise prove to be interesting for campers. It offers swimming and boating activities aside from having a walking path and several picnic areas.

Hot Springs

Hot Springs is the top tourist attraction for Arkansas because of the famed Hot Springs National Park, an area suitable for most RV campers because of the many campgrounds located inside the Gulpha Gorge Campground. Picnic tables and grills are the usual amenities here, but what should really interest campers to the park is the many hiking trails covering at least 26 miles and variously placed in different areas. The trails offer a diverse array of things worth exploring including incredible rock formations, wildflowers, and awe-inspiring scenery.

Apart from the Hot Springs National Park, this Ouachita region-based city has other outdoor attractions that RVers will find equally engaging. These include golf games, quartz crystal mining, horse rides, and tours around several Hot Springs lakes such as Hamilton, DeGray, Ouachita, and Catherine.

Pine Bluff

Lying in the Timberland region in between the Ouachita and the Delta districts of Arkansas, Pine Bluff boasts of a grand array of museums that depict the different periods in the evolution of the area. For history lovers looking for good Arkansas sources, Pine Bluff comes highly recommended.

RV travelers, meanwhile, need not discount Pine Bluff as a camping city because there are actually several of these found in specific areas, notably within the confines of the Pine Bluff-Jefferson County Regional Park. Aside from hosting a campground, the park likewise hosts a few camping-related events such as the Smoke on the Water festival held every September where barbecue events and music shows are featured.

Near the park is Lake Pine Bluff, a place where RV campers can have their fill of bird-watching activities. This is because the lake has become the home of many exotic birds like egrets and herons apart from the more common waterfowls. Situated on the north end of downtown Pine Bluff, Lake Pine Bluff is also a good fishing area as it is protected by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

A Time to Visit

Visiting Arkansas state involves no particular month or time because the state weather is generally pleasant all year round. In general, though, spring time and autumn are preferred since overall temperature is mild.

May is a particularly popular month among Arkansas travelers since new trees and flowers are starting to spring forth during this time complemented by the gradual swelling of most rivers and waterfalls. The following month is marked by increased heat brought on by the oncoming summer season but is also the period when outdoor activities experience significant increase in participation.

By late July up to early September, outdoor events in Arkansas suffer heavily as summer heat enters its extreme level but this is amply replaced by numerous water sports events that, by this time, become highly popular. By October and November, Arkansas visitors will again troop to the state as the colors of autumn become eye-catching attractions highlighted by pleasant temperatures as the winter season begins to make its presence felt.

Cloud Nine RV Park

A fully hooked-up campground, Cloud Nine RV Park offers pay phones, cable TV, and 45 RV pull-through sites. Operating all year through, the park features the Garvan botanical gardens where nature walks can be experienced; park rides showcasing various heart-stopping action; horseback riding across Oakland Park; and crystal mining, all set against a majestic mountain scenery. Of course, the biggest attraction of the site is the Hot Springs National Park that is located nearby.

Cloud Nine RV Park is found approximately eleven miles away from the city proper. To get to it, drive past Hot Springs turning eastward to Highway 70 then turning right to Cloud Nine Drive.

Beaver Dam Cottages and RV Park

Beaver Dam Cottages and RV Park is a rather small RV campground as it only offers about 14 RV pull-through's. However, it makes up for this by offering proximity to the fabled White River of Arkansas where fishing for trouts is a sport well-appreciated by many anglers. Additionally, the park features a fish bait shop where interested anglers can purchase all their needed fishing gears and get a good tip on how to catch the big one. There is also an antique shop and a flea market situated nearby for unique souvenir items that one can purchase as a take-home gift.

Moreover, located just a mile away from White River, access to Beaver Dam Cottages and RV Park can be made after a seven-mile trip from the city of Eureka Springs. It carries the basic features typical of many RV parks, including washrooms and showers, laundry areas, and a 20 to 30 amp electrical service.

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