Lake Sylvia Recreation Area & Campground

Lake Sylvia Recreation Area and Campground is east of Little Rock, just off Hwy 10. Lake Sylvia is part of the Ouachita National Forest, so there is a small fee to enter and park in the recreation area and is a really nice spot for swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, camping, and home to a really short hiking path. More on the hiking part later. This park is a really nice, tucked away spot, that gets a pretty good bit of swimming traffic in the summer. The cost is $3 per car if memory serves me, and it’s a really good deal for a day of leisure. Seriously great beach and swimming lake:

swimming, fishing, Lake Sylvia, Perryville, Arkansas, Ouchita National Forest

The beach and swimming area at Lake Sylvia.

Not at all uncommon to see people floating on intertubes all over the lake. Lake Sylvia’s grounds are what you would expect to see at a typical recreation area with plenty of picnic tables, grills, a playground, plus a bath house, restrooms, and parking. The parking near the swimming area fills up first, but there are so many places to setup for the day that there really is no bad parking spot.

About The Hiking

Being that we love to hike this location doesn’t get the highest of marks for its trail. It’s not a bad trail system, but there just isn’t a lot to it. There are however some really nice views of the lake, so for a quick 20 minute round trip, you will have nice scenery.

swimming, fishing, Lake Sylvia, Perryville, Arkansas, Ouchita National Forest

Hiking around Lake Sylvia


swimming, fishing, Lake Sylvia, Perryville, Arkansas, Ouchita National Forest

There is a dam/spillway on the northeast side of the lake.

If you’ve got younger children, first-time hikers, or just a group who needs some diversity in your afternoon adventures then Lake Sylvia has a lot to offer for a single location. Keep in mind that there are several hiking and biking trails near Lake Sylvia, but we’re really just focusing on the recreation area itself. Lake Sylvia even offers fishing, but don’t expect to pull out any hogs. The overall water clarity is really nice and there is a good bit of structure to play with. You will face a log of rock areas drop into to find some lurkers. If you like to fly fish, then you’re going to have lots of areas to pull panfish from. A few campers rumored that the catfish were hitting on bread, but we didn’t manage any catfish.

Fly Fishing Lake Sylvia

Fly fishing Lake Sylvia will produce fish…

All-in-all Lake Sylvia is a great place to visit and it won’t set you back much on gas or fees. We highly recommend packing a cooler and making a day trip out of this park. The majority, we’re estimating 60% or so, of the lake is reachable by walking, which makes it a great place to explore. We can’t speak to the camping, but there are enough spots to accommodate tents and campers. This would make for a great basecamp area to do some exploring around the Ouchita National Park!


Latitude : 34.8676194
Longitude : -92.8224056