Lake Fort Smith State Park

Worth a visit for its beauty and has trailhead for Ozark Highland Trail

Check out the slide shows, pictures, videos, and information below.

Entrance Sign

Entrance Sign

Visitor Center

Visitor Center

Not far from Mountainburg, Arkansas, in a scenic valley of the Ozarks' Boston Mountain Range, is Lake Fort Smith Stat Park. Its 1,490-acre lake offers fishing, kayaking, and swimming. The forested area also offers camping facilities and hiking trails. For the backpackers the western trailhead for the Ozark Highland Trail starts at this park and will extend 230 miles to Lake Norfork when completely finished.  Our fall trip here was delightful with its many colors along the hiking trails. The park has a very nice campground, some sites with full hook-ups and there are some very nice cabins if you don't camp. You are also near some motels in Mountainburg, Ava, and  Van Buren.

Lake Fort Smith State Park Additional Information

Here are several pictures with descriptions that will give you a feel for this park.
You can control the slideshow manually by click on the pictures
Here is a link to detailed information about the Ozark Highlands Trail which has its western trailhead at the park.
Ozark Highlands Trailhead
Ozark Highlands Trailhead

The Ozark Highlands Trail is basically 187 miles in length and extends to 218 miles through some of the most scenic parts of the Ozarks. It has a trail head at Lake Fort Smith State Park and passes through the Ozark National Forest and ends at the Buffalo National River. There are plans to hook this trail up with the Ozark Trail in Missouri and eventually have 700 miles of trails.

View of Trail
View of Trail

From this window in the Visitor Center you can see the concrete trail to the overlook above the lake.

Dam for lake Ft Smith
Dam for lake Ft Smith

Just down the road from the Lake Fort Smith Park you can see the dam that holds back the lake.

Ozark Highlands Trailhead
Ozark Highlands Trailhead

The Ozark Highlands Trail is basically 187 miles in length and extends to 218 miles through some of the most scenic parts of the Ozarks. It has a trail head at Lake Fort Smith State Park and passes through the Ozark National Forest and ends at the Buffalo National River. There are plans to hook this trail up with the Ozark Trail in Missouri and eventually have 700 miles of trails.

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The video is done by Chuck Dovish of Exploring Arkansas for AETN. The first 8 minutes of the video covers a trip he takes by kayak on the lake at the Lake Fort Smith State Park.

There are two other segments that deal with other sites in Arkansas: Mystic Cave near Jasper and Rush Ghost Town south of Yellville, Arkansas, near the Buffalo National River.