tent camping by water in arkansas

7 BEST Tent Camping Sites Near Water in Arkansas

There’s nothing like waking up in the morning to the sound of an Arkansas river or lake right outside your tent. You unzip your tent to look out the screened window and the fresh air rushes in. The tranquil water makes a lovely view while you perk your morning coffee.

There’s only one thing that separates you from that perfect moment: knowing where the BEST tent campsites near water are.

BEST Tent Campgrounds Near Water in Arkansas

I have gathered info on several of the BEST Tent Campgrounds on the water in Arkansas that will take your weekend from so-so to incredible. Because there is nothing like a waterfront tent campsite!

1. Tompkins Bend on Lake Ouachita

“Tompkins Bend is a Class “A” U.S. Corps of Engineers Campground on Lake Ouachita with 77 campsites that have concrete tables, ground grills, pedestal grills, lantern posts and lots of shade trees and a new children’s playground.
Other amenities include potable water on all sites with some 50 amp sites available.”

This campground also features flush toilets, showers, trailers for the hikers in your group, and a playground for the kids.

Beautiful Lake Ouachita tent camping near water
Beautiful Lake Ouachita. Photo by Jeff Gray

The great part about Tompkins Bend is that there are several TENT ONLY sites right out on the peninsula. You’ll have Lake Ouachita right at your fingertips and the view is outstanding!

You’ll find Tompkins Bend here:
34° 34′ 7.6260″ N
93° 28′ 11.5968″ W
Official Website

2. Lake Ouachita State Park

The tent sites at Lake Ouachita State Park are on a peninsula that extends out into the lake, with tent pad, grill, fire pit and close to an excellent bath house.

“The park has 93 campsites (58 Class AAA, 23 Class D, and 12 walk-in tent sites), some right on the water. Other facilities include Caddo Bend trail, picnic tables, swimming areas, and a marina with boat and kayak rentals, bait, and supplies. Historic Three Sisters’ Springs is in the park. There are also exhibits and a gift shop inside the visitor center. Interpretive programs such as guided hikes, eagle cruises, and kayak tours are offered year-round.”source

Don’t miss the BEAUTIFUL Hiking Trails in the Ouachita Mountains!

Lake Ouachita tent camping in the Fall
Lake Ouachita is a beautiful place to do some tent camping right on the water in all seasons! Photo by Jeff Gray

You’ll find Lake Ouachita State Park here:
5451 Mountain Pine Rd
Mountain Pine, AR 71956
Official Website

3. Woolly Hollow near Greenbrier

“This is a classic state park experience with fishing, boating, and swimming on 40-acre Lake Bennett in Greenbrier about 18 miles north of Conway. Park facilities also include 30 AAA campsites,10 tent sites, and a bathhouse for hot showers.” -source

Not only is the tent camping at Woolly Hollow great, you will also love the canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, and fishing boats for rent at the park!

Woolly Hollow also has some of the BEST bank fishing in Central Arkansas!

tent camping at Woolly Hollow State Park
Tent at Woolly Hollow State Park

You’ll find Woolly Hollow State Park here:
82 Woolly Hollow Road
Greenbrier, AR 72058
Official Website

If you love epic places to tent camp, you’re going to love this: BEST Places to Camp and Swim Near Little Rock, Arkansas.

4. Gunner Pool Recreation Area

“The Gunner Pool Recreation Area offers a campground stretching along the scenic North Sylamore Creek. Campsites are shady and private, but have no electrical or water hook-ups. 27 campsites with grills, tables, lantern poles and tent pads. Access is by a steep, winding, dirt road, not recommended for large recreation vehicles.” -source

Many tent campers also enjoy the Sylamore Hiking Trail when they camp at Gunner Pool. There are also plenty of places to take a swim since the White and Buffalo Rivers border the east and west sides of the area.

Be sure to bring your canoe or kayak too! AND…if you’ve got your ATV with you, you’ll love the AMAZING ATV Trails in Mountain View, Arkansas that are all around the Gunner Pool Recreation Area.

You will also find Gunner Pool here: BEAUTIFUL Tent Camping in Arkansas with Hiking and Waterfalls

You’ll find Gunner Pool Recreation Area here:
Latitude: 35.9943667
Longitude: -92.2118167
Official Website

5. Joplin Campground on Lake Ouachita

“Joplin Campground on Lake Ouachita is an excellent destination for pristine lakefront camping. Joplin is perched on a slender peninsula with plenty of attractive scenic views of the water and surrounding mountain terrain. World-class striper fishing goes on in the lake, and wildlife watchers can find everything from bobcats to rare freshwater jellyfish.” -source

Read: BEST Striper Fishing in Arkansas

All of the 59 campsites have electric hookups at Joplin Campground but I would say that they are best for tents or small campers. The spaces are small and unpaved. You won’t want to take a big rig in there.

Bird house on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas
Bird house on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas. Photo by Vickie Gray

You’ll find Joplin Campground here:
Latitude: 34° 34′ 30.6840″ N
Longitude: 93° 26′ 33.5004″ W
Official Website

You will also love: BEST Tent Camping Around Greers Ferry Lake, AR!

6. Point Cedar Park and Campground on Lake DeGray

“Point Cedar Recreation Area is a beautiful park and campground located on the northwest end of DeGray Lake. This campground has 62 campsites (58 Tent/RV with electric and 4 tent only sites). The park is heavily treed offering plenty of shade in the summer months. You can hop in the lake to cool off as well. This is one of the most remote campgrounds on the lake. If you want to camp out without a lot of people around, this is wonderful spot.”source

This campground is out on a peninsula that extends into the lake. The four TENT ONLY campsites are right on the water with an excellent view of DeGray Lake!

“DeGray Lake is one of the region’s five Diamond Lakes, known for their crystal clear waters. The lake flows from the Caddo River in Western Arkansas and spans 13,500 surface acres.”source

While you’re in the area, be sure to go on a horseback riding tour at DeGray Lake State Park and check it off your EPIC Arkansas Bucket List.

You’ll find Point Cedar Campground here:
Chinook E Road
Amity, AR 71921

Don’t miss: BEST Tent Camping in Arkansas

7. Devil’s Den State Park

“Devil’s Den includes 17 cabins with kitchens and fireplaces and 6 camper cabins. The park also offers 135 campsites (44 Class AAA, 24 Class D [no hookups], eight hike-in [tent only], and 42 sites with hookups in the horse camp that includes a bathhouse and access to the horse trails).”source

The tent sites at Devil’s Den sit right on a creek so you can dip your toes in the water while you sip your morning coffee if that’s your thing!

Devil’s Den State Park also has some of the BEST ATV Trails in Arkansas.

You’ll find Devil’s Den State Park here:
11333 West Arkansas Hwy. 74
West Fork, AR 72774

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