Sunday, April 14, 2013

Shady Lake and Bard Springs

Yesterday was such a beautiful spring day that we decided to go to Shady Lake.  We had just purchased a new Garmin GPS, so we were trying it out. The closest way to Shady Lake is over mountainous unmaintained dirt Forest Service roads.  When our GPS directed us to turn off of the road that we normally travel, we decided to see where it would take us.  It took us on roads that we had never been on before, and many many miles out of our way.  It took us an extra hour to reach Shady Lake, but the drive through the mountains was beautiful.

Shady Lake, is a 25 acre lake with a grassy beach, surrounded by a forest of large pines and hardwoods. The beautiful lake is stocked with largemouth bass, catfish and sunfish and row boats or boats with electric motors are allowed. There is a fishing pier, swim area, and a one half mile interpretive trail.  The recreational area was developed in the late 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC men built the dam across the Saline River, the picnic pavilion complete with benches, ping pong table, and two beautiful stone bridges.  The Shady Lake Recreation Area has a beautiful campground with 66 campsites.

On our way back home, by our normal route not following our GPS, we stopped by Bard Springs.  Bard Springs is a small primitive campground with Adirondack-type shelters in a remote mountain setting on a small scenic stream. The small dam and the buildings were built by the CCC around the same time as Shady Lake.  Because it is so far off of the beaten track and the camping is primitive, there are not many visitors to Bard Springs.


On our drive and walks during the day we saw lots of wildflowers.  The redbud and dogwood trees were blooming.  It was an absolutely beautiful spring day.

Spring is my favorite time of the year.  We had a lovely day drinking in the beauty of nature in the Ouachita Mountains.


  1. I do love spring also the best - I just wish we would have it down here in Florida too! It's already in the 84's... way to warm. Missing all those slow awakening of nature, those pretty light greens in the trees and the first flowers.

    Thanks for sharing it with me/us, Richies! Pretty shots!


  2. I just love little adventures like yours. My family doesn't love them as much as I do so I enjoy yours doubly. (I'm not sure doubly is a word but I'm going for it.)

  3. Beautiful! Spring already eh? Just saw my niece's photo on Facebook - somewhere in the US, they're still having snow. Real crazy, the climate these days.

  4. Such gorgeous photos! But what in the world is "an interpretive trail"?