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Camping at Cove Lake Recreation Area

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Cove Lake Recreation Area is a part of the Ozark-St Francis National Forests, located in west-central Arkansas. It is a popular destination for camping, fishing, hiking, and enjoying the serene beauty of the surrounding forests and waterways.

Camping Facilities

Sites and Amenities:

  • The recreation area typically offers several campsites that can accommodate both tent and RV campers. Sites may include amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings, and grills.
  • Drinking water and vault toilets are also usually provided, but visitors should verify if flush toilets or showers are available, as facilities can vary.
  • Some campsites may have electrical hookups, but it's important to check the current status and availability of these amenities before planning your trip.


  • Some campsites at Cove Lake Recreation Area may be available on a first-come, first-served basis, while others may be reservable in advance. Check the official USDA Forest Service website or Recreation.gov for reservation information.


  • There is typically a nightly fee for camping, which can vary based on the type of site and amenities offered. Make sure to confirm the current fee structure prior to your visit.

Recreational Activities


  • The area is known for its scenic hiking trails, including those around Cove Lake, that cater to a range of difficulty levels from easy to moderate.


  • Cove Lake provides opportunities for fishing. Anglers can expect to catch species like trout, bass, and catfish, but should be aware of any state fishing regulations and obtain the appropriate licenses.

Wildlife Watching:

  • The area is teeming with wildlife, and visitors may spot various species of birds, deer, and small mammals. Always observe wildlife from a safe distance.


  • While swimming may be possible in Cove Lake, always check for any posted advisories and understand that there are usually no lifeguards on duty.


  • If you're interested in boating or canoeing, Cove Lake can be an excellent place for it. Be mindful of any regulations regarding motorized and non-motorized boats.

Safety and Regulations

Fire Safety:

  • Check for current fire conditions and follow restrictions on campfires. Be prepared to use a camping stove if fires are not allowed.

Food Storage:

  • Properly store food and dispose of waste to avoid attracting wildlife. This typically involves using bear-proof containers or storing food in your vehicle.

Leave No Trace:

  • Follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment. Pack out all trash and leave the site as you found it.


  • Pets are often allowed but must be kept on a leash and under control. Be sure to clean up after your pets.


  • The region can experience a range of weather conditions. Be prepared for sudden changes and pack accordingly.

Access and Contact Information

Getting There:

  • Directions to Cove Lake Recreation Area can usually be found online. Be aware that some roads may be steep or narrow, and conditions can be affected by weather.

Contact Information:

  • For the most current information, contact the Ozark-St Francis National Forests' governing ranger district office directly. They can provide updates on conditions, facilities, and any other inquiries you may have.

When planning your trip, always double-check all details as conditions and regulations can change, and different areas of the forest may have different restrictions and available services.

Location of Cove Lake Recreation Area
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