The Southern end of America is remarkably rewarding for campers, beach party folks and generally anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors. This particular corner of the world offers a myriad of interesting locations, but we’re focusing on the top seven outdoor camping spots in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas.
Lake Leatherwood – Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Located at the northern end of Arkansas, Eureka Springs is not only an artsy, mountainside town. It’s also one of the most popular camping destinations in the state. It’s particularly popular among fans of old architecture, as it’s filled with old Victorian homes and the entire downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lake Leatherwood City Park includes 1,610 acres and an 85-acre spring-fed lake. The park has more than 25 trails for hiking and biking, complete with wildlife, cool springs, historic stone walls and bridges and unusual rock formations. Reservations for both camping and cabins are available.
Campers don’t need to worry about bringing too much gear to Eureka Springs, as numerous restock venues are located a few miles away. Ermilio’s Italian Home Cooking offers quality steaming-hot pizzas and Italian delicacies while Rowdy Beaver Restaurant and Tavern offers more traditional meals and a full bar. Ale lovers are encouraged to visit Gotahold Brewing.
In terms of other recreational activities, Black Bass Lake offers both swimming and hiking opportunities, while Eureka Springs Harley Davidson shop is perfect for motorcycle enthusiasts.
Lake Sylvia Recreation Area – Perryville, Arkansas
Eureka Springs is vibrant and lively, but it also tends to get a bit crowded, especially for campers who prefer their own company. Lake Sylvia is a gorgeous remote camping spot located 38 miles west of Little Rock.
Named after the petite lake in front of the campground, Lake Sylvia is perfect for camper couples, families and seniors. It’s surrounded by lines of tall trees and has 3.5 miles of trails divided into three short loops and two short spurs. For more experienced hikers, Wildcat Mountain Trail just south of Lake Sylvia travels a series of old abandoned logging roads dating back to the 1930s.
Another highlight aside from the infamous Narrows Bluff Shelter is Camp Ouachita National Historic District, which is a gorgeous landmark famous for stone houses that have stood for centuries.
Chisos Basin – Big Bend National Park, Texas
The famous Big Bend is one of the most prized jewels of Texas; its towering mountains and grassy peaks offer shelter from the sun, while its trails are among the most gorgeous in this part of the world.
Just like Alamo Lake, Big Bend is surrounded by hundreds of miles covered with sand, although it’s a substantially bigger surface and offers more interesting spots and landmarks.
The Chisos Basin campground is the most beginner-friendly camping spot, even more so than Big Bend National Park, as you will be able to resupply at the Chisos Mountain Lodge and Chisos Basin Visitor Center; the campgrounds also feature a parking lot a mile south.
The Window Trail, the Casa Grande Peak and the awe-inspiring Chisos Mountains are some of the most notable must-see locations surrounding the campground.
Malaquite Campground – Padre Island, Texas
The seashore of Padre Island is a remarkable camping location simply because it’s close enough to civilization for campers to buy supplies and gear, yet far enough to enjoy isolation and privacy.
Malaquite Campground is one of the most ideal spots to visit, as it’s located a couple of miles away from the visitor center, while offering a gorgeous view of the Gulf of Mexico. Campers who are keen on beachside activities can simply trek over to the North Beach Camping area and enjoy the beautiful greens of Padre Island on their way.
Davy Crockett National Forest – Ratcliff Lake, Texas
Ratcliff Lake is located at the crossroads of Houston, Dallas and Waco. Surrounded by smaller cities and several forests, its tree lines and beautiful rivers are a sight to behold.
Senior-friendly recreation trails, as well as numerous facilities, make this camping spot ideal for senior couples. Ratcliff is merely a few hours of driving away, where campers can stock up on food and gear. There aren’t as many landmarks, although Ratcliff Lake offers several recreational areas and hiking trails.
Fontainebleau State Park – Louisiana
The only thing that campers find troublesome with Fontainebleau is pronouncing it. This beautiful campground is settled at the northern side of Lake Pontchartrain, and it’s one of the best-equipped spots in Louisiana in terms of both campground and local facilities.
For the latter, campers will have the opportunity to visit St. Dymphna Church, Pelican Park and Bayou Cane boat ramp before reaching the urban districts.
The campgrounds are located inland from Fontainebleau Beach, which is perfectly maintained. Given that the campgrounds are surrounded by woods, outdoor sleeping promises a unique experience. Campers who prefer having a roof over their head can find deluxe cabins on the water (currently closed due to Hurricane Ida).
Cypremort Point State Park – Louisiana
Cypremort Point is an isolated piece of land located at the crossroads between West Cote Blanche Bay, Vermillion Bay and Weeks Bay. Cypremort Point State Park features a family-friendly, albeit smallish beach, a restroom, pavilions and water as far as the eye can see.
Getting to Cypremort Point could be quite an adventure, as this particular location is riddled with dozens of rivers and lakes. Tourist campers who are visiting Louisiana are advised to stick to Route 90 until they reach Baldwin from the eastern side or Lydia from the western side before connecting to Route 83. Route 319 is the only way leading in and out of Cypremort Point, which is both the reason why it’s confusing to foreigners and also the best spot for campers who aren’t too keen on crowds.
Being separated from the rest of the civilization is one of the most notable benefits of Cypremort Point; campers can resupply by heading to the end of the point for a small store or restaurant or about 15 minutes inland to the Lydia Food Store.