Lake Fort Smith State Park RV & Campground Guide


It is not often that you find a state park that moved, but that is what you discover when you visit Lake Fort Smith State Park. In the 1930s, the Work Projects Administration (WPA) built two dams 6 miles north of Mountainburg, AR—Lake Fort Smith and Lake Shepherd Springs. The dams provided much-needed drinking water for Fort Smith, which lies 30 miles southwest. The city of Fort Smith and Crawford County worked together to build a recreational area, which would eventually be designated as Lake Fort Smith State Park, below the Lake Fort Smith dam. By 2002, plans to build a higher dam came to fruition, and Lake Fort Smith combined with Lake Shepherd Springs to form a body of water that covered 1,400 acres. The rise in water levels forced the state to abandon the old 95-acre park and build new facilities on a 260-acre headland near the lake's center to which the park was moved.

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Spring 39-78 F
Summer 65-91 F
Fall 39-83 F
Winter 28-53 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Lake Fort Smith State Park

Most visitors camping at Lake Fort Smith State Park use an RV. With new developments in RV technology, campers have discovered a whole new camping lifestyle. Not only can they carry more of the essentials they need during a camping trip, but the guests are also more comfortable and adaptable. Use this Mountainburg, AR, site to rent an RV near the park.

Lake Fort Smith State Park Campground

Lake Fort Smith State Park Campground offers 30 spacious RV campsites with fire rings and picnic tables. Twenty of the campsites offer full hookups; the other 10 sites provide electrical and water hookups only. A dump station sits near the entrance to the park to allow the cleaning of RV waste tanks. Restrooms with flush toilets and a large, luxurious bathhouse with hot showers add comfort elements for campers. A heated Olympic-sized swimming pool lets guests swim, float, or dive safely. The visitor's center provides information on the area and holds artifacts from the early pioneering era, such as a replica log cabin and a covered wagon.

  • Water Hookup: Yes

  • Electric Hookup: 15/20/30/50 amps

  • Sewer Hookup: Yes

  • Wi-Fi Available: No

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Fee: $21 to $40 per night

Fort Smith-Alma RV Park

If the campground at Lake Fort Smith Park is full, consider driving 20 miles south to the Fort Smith-Alma RV Park. This RV park pulls out all the stops when considering the comfort of its guests. Each of the 58 campsites is 18 feet in width. The 39 pull-through sites allow RVs up to 70 feet in length, while the 19 back-in sites limit the length of an RV to 40 feet. When you arrive, you receive an escort to your campsite to ensure that you are happy and comfortable. A barbeque and picnic table are supplied for each campsite. The hot showers and restrooms with flush toilets are clean and warm, even during the winter months. Groceries and RV supplies are available at the camp store. The park provides an LP gas service, an on-site RV washing facility, a laundry facility, and a rec hall with an incredible array of games. A swimming pool, horseshoe pits, and a well-stocked fishing pond round out the available activities that visitors enjoy.

  • Water Hookup: Yes

  • Electric Hookup: 30/50 amp

  • Sewer Hookup: Yes

  • Wi-Fi Available: Yes

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Fee: $38 to $51 per night

Silver Leaf RV Park

Silver Leaf RV Park sits 15 miles north of Lake Fort Smith State Park in Winslow, AR. The park features 20 RV sites, with 15 of the sites having pull-through capability. All campsites inside the park are shaded. Hot showers and restrooms with flush toilets are available for use by guests. A dump station is provided for guests to clean their waste tanks. Cable TV is provided free with the cost of a campsite.

  • Water Hookup: Yes

  • Electric Hookup: 30/50 amp

  • Sewer Hookup: Yes

  • Wi-Fi Available: Yes

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Fee: $25 to $38 per night

RV Rentals Near Lake Fort Smith State Park

Nearby RV Rentals


What to Do at
Lake Fort Smith State Park

Inside Lake Fort Smith State Park

Lake Fort Smith State Park is a relatively new facility built to satisfy the needs of campers. It is the Ozark Highland Trail's western terminus, which travels over 240 miles through Arkansas' hills. Other pathways like the 12-mile Boston Mountain Trail, the 2-mile Shepherd Spring Trail, and the 1-mile Warren Hollow pathway range from easy to strenuous. A large swimming pool is provided because swimming is not allowed in Lake Fort Smith, nor are other water activities such as water-skiing, Jet-Skiing, or stand-up paddleboarding. Fishing and boating are permitted on the lake, but boats are limited to 10-horsepower engines.

Outside Lake Fort Smith State Park

The area surrounding Lake Fort Smith State Park offers a mix of large and small communities that provide some outstandingly diverse opportunities for fun and food. Your palate will celebrate when visiting many of the restaurants in the region. Small shops provide exciting opportunities to select personal gifts for family members and friends, and there are a number of attractions to visit in the area.


Patrick's Butcher Boy Burgers

When you are looking for a burger and fries, drive 20 miles to Alma to Patrick's Butcher Boy Burgers. These burgers are full of the best ingredients and will satisfy your cravings easily.

Type: American

Location: 215 West Fork Street, Alma, AR 72921

D’s Family Restaurant

Remember those tasty meals you got at the local family restaurant so long ago? Relive those times at D’s Family Restaurant. From the golden-brown pancake breakfast to the ribeye steak dinner, this restaurant does everything the old-fashioned way.

Type: American

Location: 39 East Cullum Lane, Alma, AR 72921

Catfish Hole Alma

If you'd like to try some of the most excellent fish in the area, then you'll need to get yourself down to the Catfish Hole Alma. Though catfish is at the center of the menu, their fresh scallops and shrimp are far superior to those frozen entrees you find in a supermarket.

Type: Seafood

Location: 24 Cullum Lane West, Alma, AR 72921


Tate's Flowers and Gift Shop

Sometimes, a gift of flowers says it all. For the best floral displays and arrangements, take the time to visit Tate's Flowers and Gift Shop in Van Buren, AR.

Location: 1201 Main Street, Van Buren, AR 72956

Ozark Folkways

When you are searching for those unique gifts for friends and family, go to Winslow, AR, and visit Ozark Folkways. This nonprofit organization features the work of local artists from classical forms to modern extremes.

Location: 22733 North Highway 71, Winslow, AR 72959

Kopper Kettle Candies

To find the sweetest taste in Arkansas, visit Kopper Kettle Candies. This is the shop that the locals visit when they want the best and purest candies on the market. The chocolates found in the Kopper Kettle are amazing.

Location: 6300 Alma Highway, Van Buren, AR 72956


King Opera House

There is nothing like the classics. Drop by the King Opera House for some of the most vibrant live performances that you will see in Arkansas.

Location: 427 Main Street, Van Buren, AR 72956

Arkansas Air and Military Museum

Visit the Arkansas Air and Military Museum for an understanding of the evolution of American military aircraft. The museum presents programs to explain the importance of even the smallest discoveries that made aviation advancements possible.

Location: 4290 South School Avenue, Fayetteville, AR 72701

Clinton House Museum

No matter what your political persuasion may be, it is essential to visit the Clinton House Museum. This house served as the first home of the Clintons, a place where their political resolve took hold, and the location where their lives of service began.

Location: 930 W Clinton Dr, Fayetteville, AR 72701

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How to Get to
Lake Fort Smith State Park

Many people choose to visit Mountainburg, AR, before going on to Lake Fort Smith State Park. From Mountainburg, the trip to the park is short and straightforward. At Mountainburg, take United States Highway 71 North (US-71 N) for 4 miles. Turn right onto Rib Lane and drive a half-mile to the park entrance.

To take the quickest route to the park from Fort Smith, get on Interstate 540 (I-540) for 8 miles. At exit 1B, break right to merge with Interstate 40 East (I-40 E). Stay on I-40 E for 4 miles and take exit 12 to get on Interstate 49 North (I-49 N). Drive I-49 N for 14 miles until you reach Chester. At exit 34, turn right onto Arkansas Highway 232 East (AR-232 E) for less than 0.8 miles and then take a hard left at Simmons Plant Farm onto US-71 N. Drive 3 miles and turn right on Rib Lane to enter the park.

Entering Lake Fort Smith State Park

Lake Fort Smith State Park is a day-use area that is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Lake Fort Smith State Park Entry fee : $0.0

You'll make memories that last a lifetime when you take an RV adventure to Lake Fort Smith State Park. If you don't have an RV of your own, rent one with RVshare! If you share your trip photos on social media, be sure to tag us, or send them to [email protected] for a chance to be featured on our blog.