When deciding on a place to spend Memorial Day in Pearl, our motorhome, we knew we would need to seek out a campground that didn't accept reservations. Campers typically make holiday weekend reservations far in advance, and we had no idea where we'd be on Memorial Day until a month or so ahead of time. We didn't want to lock ourselves into a strict schedule by booking months ahead, but we knew we'd need a plan.
We decided that if we arrived at a no-reservation spot over a week before Memorial Day weekend and stayed two full weeks, that would get us through the holiday, and we wouldn't end up camped out in a Walmart parking lot on Memorial Day!
We chose the Charlton Campground in the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas. This campground doesn't take reservations and was on our planned route for the spring. Not only did it sound good on paper, our camper buddy Lowell recommended it! Ideal for us, there is no lake at Charlton, and we figured that it would be a calmer, quieter place than a spot that attracts lots of boaters (campers and day visitors) on the holiday weekend.
Charlton does have a dammed up creek that attracts swimmers, but compared to the number of boaters we saw parked or hauling their boat trailers to and from nearby Lake Ouachita campgrounds, we made a wise choice.
Here is the peaceful spot where we spent two weeks. We were on loop C and had full hookups (water, electric, and sewer). All the comforts of home!
We could even hear Walnut Creek from our campsite. Nice!
Charlton Campground was built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in the 1930s, and their stone construction is still standing strong.
They dammed up the creek to form this popular swimming area. We did not test the waters, but the kiddies sure seemed to love it.
The attractive CCC-built bath house near the swimming area is still functional as well.
Of course, not all was perfect at Charlton. The road outside the campground was busier than we like for road cycling, and not all our neighbors were as quiet as we would prefer. Gas-powered scooters and campfires were popular forms of entertainment for campers, leaving a smoky smell in the air and adding some noise to our idyllic spot.
But overall, we made a good choice and had some excellent adventures I'll detail in future blog posts.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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