This series of trails includes a section of the Ouachita Trail, a spur to a spectacular overlook, an interpretive loop, and an easy lakeshore path. Located in the northeast corner of the Ouachita National Forest, the Lake Sylvia Recreation Area is a woodsy retreat with a placid eighteen-acre lake. Development of the area began in 1937 with the help of laborers from the CCC. Originally known as the Narrow Creek Dam Area, it shared its early history with Camp Ouachita, which was operated by the Ouachita Girl Scout Council.
Coexistence between the two entities became strained, however, as the number of visitors to the recreation area increased. The general public’s sometimes unwitting use of the Girl Scout facilities caused privacy problems, so Camp Ouachita closed in 1979.The road to Lake Sylvia passes the former scout camp, which is considered a historic site. Lake Sylvia Recreation Area offers swimming, camping, picnicking, fishing, and hiking. Outdoor theater programs are presented at the amphitheater on Saturday from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Although the campgrounds and swimming area are closed during winter, the hiking trails are open year-round.
© 2004 Janie & Wyatt Jones/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.