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Old 06-18-2012, 09:10 AM   #1
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Arkansas Trip

Just got back from a week in Arkansas, including two very cool days and nights at Bull Shoals - White River State Park up in northernmost Arkansas. Will post images soon.

Highlights:

Arkansas' state parks (at least the two we stayed in) are well run and maintained.

Nema's in Mountain Home on the square, has great traditional hand-tossed pizza. mmmm mmmm

Arkansas roads, once you get of Interstate 30 between Arkadelphia and Little Rock, are really good, especially the state highways through the Ozarks. Couldn't ask for better roads.

Lowlights:

The two beautiful state parks we stayed at each had ambient noise issues. Bull Shoals White River has sewage plant that serves the park, across the beautiful White River and the constant mechanical hum can be heard in probably half of the campsites. In that the state owns this plant, it would seem that some serious efforts should be made at sound remediation.

Lake Catherine State Park is located directly across from a power generation plant and of late, according to park staff, it has become much noisier than in the past. If you have a waterfront campsite, its like sitting on the end of a runway listening to a regional jet rev its engines for take off... constantly. Probably no solution to this, but definately takes the park from an A plus down to a B plus.

ACE park at Crystal Springs has a 6 p.m. check in. Really? Is this a nation-wide ACE policy? If so we will probably avoid Corps campgrounds in the future.

More later but all in all it was a great week. AS and Tundra performed well. Especially the Tundra... no problems in the Ozarks at all.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:18 AM   #2
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Thanks for the report and info. We are always looking for Airstream adventures.

I do have one question. When you refer to the 6:00 PM check-in policy at the ACE Campground. Does that mean that you cannot check-in until 6:00 PM, or you cannot check-in after 6:00 PM?

Brian
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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RE: Corps Campground check-in

Brian

in our case, it meant that the current occupants of our "reserved" campsite had until 4 p.m. to check out and that we could not "officially" expect to pull into our campsite until 6 p.m.

Ranger said that if he saw the occupants in the process of packing up after 4, he would let nature take its course, but if they were out on the lake or not at the campsite, there was nothing he could do about it.... also said that the policy was established by the national reservation system.... i went back and checked the website as best i could with the spotty internet coverage and could find nothing in writing to that effect.... Not the end of the world, but busted tail to make good time up from Dallas to arrive at 3:30 or so and a bit dismayed to be told that we couldnt have the campsite until 6 p.m.

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Old 06-18-2012, 01:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goal15 View Post
Arkansas roads, once you get of Interstate 30 between Arkadelphia and Little Rock, are really good, especially the state highways through the Ozarks. Couldn't ask for better roads.
Some aren't so great. I drove AR 365 to avoid Interstate 530 a couple of weeks ago, and was not impressed. AR 7 (Scenic Byway 7) south of Camden needed some work, too.

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Originally Posted by Goal15 View Post
ACE park at Crystal Springs has a 6 p.m. check in. Really? Is this a nation-wide ACE policy? If so we will probably avoid Corps campgrounds in the future.
I stayed at a Corps of Engineers campground, Old Post Road Park, on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, AR, and the check-in time was 4:00 p.m. I've also got reservations for the CoE's Whitten Park Campground, Fulton, MS for later in the year, and the published check-in time is 4:00 there, too. I've never heard of another CoE campground that has a 6:00 check-in time like Crystal Springs.

It's possible that the 6:00 check-in time at Crystal Springs is something that was worked out between the Corps and the volunteers who man the check-in desk at the gate.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:05 PM   #5
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Guilty of over generalization

Protagonist:

I should have said, the roads I traveled on seemed to be pretty good.... of course anything compared to I-30 between Texarkana and Little Rock has got be be considered good.... I cannot understand how that stretch of interstate has been allowed to get so bad. I notice they are working on I-40 West of Little Rock... seems like some resources need to be shifted south... or maybe they are just doing it to keep Texans away lol

You could be right about that park because I think a local group has taken over the oversight of the park if i remember correctly. In any case, I will know to ask pretty specific questions when making reservations at Corps campgrounds in the future.

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Old 07-03-2012, 03:15 PM   #6
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What was the park at Crystal Springs?
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:45 PM   #7
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The Crystal Springs park was the Corps of Engineers Campground just west of Brady Mountain on Lake Ouachita.

it appears that the following happened on Jan 1. but not sure if it has anything to do with the checkout checkin time issue

"On January 1st 2012, the Friends of Lake Ouachita will assume the management of the Crystal Springs Recreation Area"

I can see where this would be a very popular campground, especially if you are a fisherman or like being out on the water because you can tie your boat up right at your campsite in most instances.

Hope this is helpful

Dana
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