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Shady Lake, Umpire

#80 of 85 in Nature in Arkansas
Shady Lake Recreation Area is a campground and public recreation area in southwestern Ouachita National Forest, southwest of Mena, Arkansas and west of Glenwood, Arkansas. The area is oriented around Shady Lake, a body of water on the South Fork Saline River impounded by a dam built c. 1940 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The area is administered by the United States Forest Service (USFS).
Shady Lake is located in central western Arkansas, on the southern fringe of Ouachita National Forest, about 30mi west of Glenwood. The lake itself is roughly crescent-shaped and was created in 1935 with the assistance of enrollees from the CCC, particularly by members from Company 742 stationed at Camp F-4 (situated within the community of Shady). The dam measures 130ft long and 40ft high across the Saline River. The dam, along with seven other CCC-built structures, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The developed facilities are located on the north side of the lake, and include four camping loops, an swimming area, fishing pier, amphitheater, and other recreational facilities. Comfort facilities consist of 50 camping units including 19 units with water and electricity and one with full hookups, bathroom facilities with warm-water showers, and flush toilets. A central feature of the beach area is its CCC-built bathhouse, a rustic log structure with novelty siding, which includes changing areas at the ends and an open picnic area in the middle. A second CCC-built picnic shelter is located north of the dock.
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Shady Lake Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
11 reviews
  • The camping is fantastic! Drive 2 miles down the dirt road 64 and you will find a natural swimming hole with fresh water to cool yourself off. Great spot for adventure riding dirt bikes etc.  more »
  • Quick stop and go. Good place to eat lunch on water. Fishing docks and plenty of campsites! We saw a few public restrooms also. The lake is pretty and we loved how peaceful it was. We went to see the....  more »
  • Wonderful place to live to go hiking and swimming. Has abundant wildlife
  • We loved this place!

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