Lake Dardanelle State Park Camping | Arkansas

Lake Dardanelle State Park camping, Arkansas. Campground photos plus family friendly activities and things to do in the area.

Lake Dardanelle State Park is located in Russelville, Arkansas. This lake is actually a reservoir that extends 50 miles up the Arkansas River. It consits of 34,300 acres and has 315 miles of shoreline.

It’s a fisherman’s paradise and the ideal spot to watch the sunset as you roast marshmallows over a campfire.

Follow me on…

Lake Dardanelle State Park is split up between two location; Russelville and Dardanelle. Russelville is the main area and houses the visitors center and spots fishing weigh-in pavilion. It also offers 57 campsites, a swim beach and playground.

The Dardanelle side offers 18 class B campsites, a playground, picnic area and four lane boat launch.

Lake Dardanelle State Park

Of the 57 campsites at Lake Dardanelle State Park, 16 are AAA, 14 AA and 27 B. To book your reservations head over to the Lake Dardanelle State Park Website and click the “Book Now” button.

You can also give them a call and a friendly staff member will be able to assist you. Calling is also a great way to book a last minute reservation, as they’ll be able to tell you if anyone has made any last minute cancellations.

View Lake Dardanelle State Park Map

Sunset view over Lake Dardanelle.
Lake Dardanelle State Park Campground A site 8

Since we were looking to break up our road trip back home, we were lucky enough to call and book site number 8. A fellow camper had checked out early and this little piece of paradise was ours for the night.

Before you head over to your campsite you’ll need to check-in at the visitors center. This visitors center is travel trailer friendly and has several pull through spots available. As you enter the park head to the parking area to the left of the building for the travel trailer spots.

Campground A

  • water/50amp/sewer
  • bathhouse within walking distance
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
  • lanter hanger
  • BBQ area
  • dumpstation

Campground A offers 16 AAA campsites. Even numbered sites have a lake front view and sites 15 and 16 are pull-through. The sites are level, but you might need to make an adjustment here or there.

Travel trailer and campsite with picnic table and fire ring.
Lake Dardanelle State Park Campground A site 8
Campground A site 8, 10 & 12
Campsites along Campground area A
Pull through site 16 overlooking the lake and Mount Nebo.
Pull-through site Campground A site 16

On the Northeastern shore you can see Arkansas’ only nuclear power plant, Arkansas Nuclear One.

Sunset over Lake Dardanelle with gray clouds and a power plant in the distance.
Sunset over Lake Dardanelle with Arkansas Nuclear One in the distance.

Space between the campsites are ok. Although, generally, we tend to like a bit more privacy and trees between each site. Of course that all depends on who you happen to be neighbors with.

With a lake front view it’s hard to complain and our kids became instant friends with the children in the surrounding campsites.

Silhouette along the shoreline and distant Mount Nebo against a peach colored sky.

Campground C

Campground area C is a bit tighter to navigate. The road is narrow and the sites are closer together. That being said, a few of them have a deck type structure that is fenced around your site. It may not give you more privacy but it does give you a designated space that might work well with kids and small dogs.

Of the 28 camping sites in campground C, 13 of them are AA (not including the host site) and 15 are class B. These sites are fairly level but you might need to adjust a bit here or there.

  • water/30AMP- (13 sites with sewer)
  • bathhouse within walking distance
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
  • lantern hanger
  • BBQ area
  • dump station
Campground area C

Campground D

Campground D consists of 12 Class B campsites. They offer a gravel parking pad and some sites might require more leveling than others. They are close in proximity but the ones along the outside of the loop offer a bit more space.

Behind this camping area is the Meadowbrook Self-guided trail. Perfect for a morning stroll with a cup of coffee.

  • water/30AMP electric
  • bathhouse located in camping area C
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
  • lantern hanger
  • BBQ area
  • dump station
Campground area D

Dardanelle Camping Area

The Dardanelle camping area is located aproximately 20 minutes from the visitors center, on the other side of the lake. Here they have campsites 66-83. These campsites are fully shaded and offer water and 30AMP electric. There is also a playground, picnic area and four lane boat launch.

  • water/ 30AMP electric
  • bathhouse within walking distance
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
  • lantern hanger
  • BBQ area
  • dump station
    • playground
    • picnic area
    • boat launch
    • shaded

Although I do not have a photo for this campground, you can go to Google maps and tour the area through the street view.

Things to do

Lake Dardanelle State Park

Visitors center- Lake Dardanelle State Park visitors center has very engaging exhibits that are hands on and kid friendly. Inside you’ll find 7,000 gallons of freshwater aquariums featuring fish found in the lake. They also have a live bee exhibit and turtle touch table.

Visitors center with red brick floors and open beam ceilings. Several fish tanks and three children playing in the open water table.
Aquariums at Lake Dardanelle State Park visitors center
Lakeside view from the visitors center

The park also offers great programs and classes for kids of all ages. Join a park Interpreter and discover the different cycles of water, build a pinecone bird feeder and many more hands on learning opportunities. Stop by the visitors center to get a complete list and schedule.

Children listening to the park Interpreter during one of their many interactive classes.
Park Interpreter teaching a hands on class through games and toy building activity

Swimming- With the heat and humidity of Arkansas, this swim beach and volleyball area is the perfect spot to cool down. There are no lifeguards on duty. Be sure to keep a close eye on your children and swim at own you risk.

Swim beach and volleyball court.
Swim beach and volleyball court at Lake Dardanelle State Park

Playground- Slides, tunnels, climbing bars and swings. This playground is a kids paradise.

Playground with twisty slides and tunnels.
Shaded playground and picnic area at Lake Dardanelle

Fishing- Largemouth bass, catfish and bluegill sunfish are just a few local fish found in Lake Dardanelle. Located just past the visitors center is the Fishing Tournament Pavilion. The first of its kind that serves as a staging area and weigh-in for tournaments.

Boardwalk and fishing pavilion overlooking the lake.
Fishing Tournament Pavilion and boardwalk
Rock breakwater with Mount Nebo in the distance

Boardwalk and Fishing Pier- Enjoy the sunset and stunning views along the boardwalk and fishing pier.

Long fishing pier jetting over the water at Lake Dardanelle.
Lake Dardanelle State Park Fishing Pier

Meadowbrook Self-guided Trail- Clocking in at just 3/4 of a mile, this easy trail takes you through the woods located by the parks Amphitheater. This loop trail is fully shaded but be sure to bring bug spray. The trail starts off along a brick pathway and gives way to a pine needle covered path.

Brick layed pathway leading into the woods.
Meadowbrook Self-guided trail
Pine needle coved path along the woods at Lake Dardanelle State Park.
Loop along Meadowbrook trail

Boat Rental- Rent a kayak or tandem kayak for a few hours or the entire day. Contact the visitors center for more details.

Other things in the area

Mount Nebo State Park- Enjoy the sweeping views and trails over at Mount Nebo State Park. Located just a short 25 minutes away, this mountain offers hiking, mountain biking, a swimming pool (fee to use), tennis courts and visitors center with gift shop.

Looking down at Lake Dardanelle from the top of Mount Nebo. Nuclear power plant in the distance with a hazy humid sky.
View of Lake Dardanelle from Mount Nebo State Park

Of course there are many other things to do and explore in the area and these are just a start. But when it comes to camping, sometimes all you need is a good book and apple crisp made in a cast iron pan, over the fire.

Cooking cast iron apple crisp over the firepit with an orange painted sky at sunset.
Cast iron apple crisp- Recipe here

Our short adventure camping at Lake Dardanelle State Park was a peaceful getaway with a great view and wonderful people. Although the state park is on the smaller side, with lake activities and park programs your day will end up full of things to do and explore.

Best of luck on all your camping adventures. ~Sara

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