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Camping at Barkshed Campground

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Location and Access

Barkshed Campground is situated in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests in Arkansas. The forest stretches across 1.2 million acres and is known for its spectacular scenery and clear, cool streams.

To access Barkshed Campground, you will need to navigate to the northern part of the Ozark National Forest, near the town of Fifty-Six, Arkansas. The exact location can typically be found using GPS or forest service maps, and road signs in the area may guide you as well. The roads leading to the campground can be narrow and winding, and some may be gravel roads that require careful driving, especially after rain or during inclement weather.

Camping Facilities

Barkshed Campground offers basic camping facilities and is considered a more primitive camping area. Here's what you can generally expect in terms of amenities:

  • Campsites: There are several individual sites available for camping. Each site usually includes a picnic table and a fire ring.
  • Restrooms: Typically, there are vault toilets available for use, but you should not expect flush toilets or showers.
  • Water Access: Drinking water may not be available at the campground, so it's important to bring plenty of your own.
  • Waste Disposal: Trash disposal services might be limited or nonexistent, so be prepared to pack out all of your trash following the Leave No Trace principles.

Remember that facilities may be seasonal and can vary in availability. It is always wise to check the latest information before your trip.


Barkshed Campground and the surrounding area offer various outdoor activities for campers and nature enthusiasts:

  • Hiking: There are numerous trails in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, including ones that are accessible from the campground.
  • Fishing: The clear mountain streams and rivers, like the North Sylamore Creek near Barkshed Campground, are popular spots for fishing trout and other species.
  • Swimming: The creek also offers a natural setting for swimming, though remember that there are no lifeguards on duty.
  • Wildlife Watching: The area is home to a variety of wildlife, from white-tailed deer to various bird species.

Reservations and Fees

Barkshed Campground often operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and reservations are not always necessary or possible. Depending on the time of year and current forest service policies, there may be a nominal fee to camp at the site.

Guidelines and Regulations

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, you should adhere to the following:

  • Campfire Safety: Follow all regulations regarding campfires, be aware of wildfire risks, and use the established fire rings for cooking and warmth.
  • Leave No Trace: Respect the environment by following Leave No Trace principles, which includes packing out all trash and leaving the site as you found it.
  • Wildlife Precautions: Store food properly to avoid attracting bears and other wildlife.
  • Forest Rules: Abide by any specific rules or closures that the forest service has in place, which could include restrictions on firewood movement or areas that are off-limits to campers.

Preparation and Safety

Camping at Barkshed Campground involves preparation and awareness:

  • Supplies: Bring all necessary supplies, including water, food, first aid, and appropriate gear for weather conditions.
  • Communication: Cell phone reception may be unreliable, so inform someone of your plans and expected return time.
  • Weather Awareness: Be aware of the current and forecasted weather conditions and prepare for sudden changes.

Before heading out, it's always a good idea to contact the local ranger district for the most up-to-date information regarding the campground's status, any alerts or cautions, and to obtain any necessary permits that might be required for your stay.

Location of Barkshed Campground
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