This weekend we went to a camping area we haven’t visited before. I wanted to review it for you and let you know my thoughts on Barkshed Recreation Area in the Ozark National Forest.
Barkshed Recreation Area is probably pretty busy during the summer, judging from the traffic we saw on a Friday and Saturday in early October. I headed over on Friday around lunchtime to secure a site and set up camp. I was joined by a couple of friends with their off-road camper a few hours later.
This is a small camping area with primitive sites for camping. The road is very narrow, so I wouldn’t recommend pulling anything larger than a small pop-up camper, or a small off-road camper like the one my friends purchased. This area is best suited for tent camping.
The temperatures this weekend reached the high 80s, which isn’t unusual for Arkansas in October. But it cooled down into the lower 60s at night, so it was very comfortable sleeping. Of course, the soft gurgling of North Sylamore Creek right behind the tent made it really easy to relax and fall asleep.
North Sylamore Creek
North Sylamore Creek runs clear and cold past the campground and eventually empties into the White River near Mountain View, AR. On Friday night we sat down by the creek to see if we could spot any meteors from the Draconid meteor shower. We saw a few, but I got bored and shot some night photos around the creek.
Click on the photos in the article to see the larger version.
The next morning we headed out on a short hike from the Barkshed recreation area down the trail toward Gunner Pool. We planned to only hike a couple of miles of the trail since it was getting warm and humid fast as we finished our coffee and prepared to head out.
The trail access point is on the road to the campground. It is marked by the light blue trail markers you see attached to the sign in the photo above. This well-traveled trail is quite easy to follow. The trail follows the bluffs above the creek for the 2 miles we hiked in and back out. The scenery is beautiful, with plenty of rock formations and views of the creek along the trail. The photos below are of my friends who were hiking with me.
We climbed down from the trail into a drainage at one point and hiked down to the creek to see the amazing scenery. The views were just stunning.
On the way back to the campground I was able to stop and take some photos of the wildflowers along the trail. There were colors everywhere, even though the trees have not really started turning yet.
Even the fungi were showing out with the recent rain and cooler temperatures. I always wonder if the mushrooms I find are edible or not. But, since I am far from an expert on wild mushrooms, I prefer to grow them myself. Still, they are beautiful when you find them in the wild.
In my opinion, the Barkshed recreation area has a lot to offer if you like to get off the beaten path and visit an area that isn’t too crowded. It offers clear, cool waters in North Sylamore Creek. It has rugged natural beauty. It offers hiking and a primitive camping area. It is a great place to get away from it all and relax.