A half-hour from Jonesboro and about 1.5 hours from Memphis, Lake Charles State Park is a peaceful place located on a 645-acre lake filled with bass, crappie, bream, and catfish. In fact, it’s the place where the largest number of 20-inch bass have been caught in Northeast Arkansas. A full line of bait and tackle is available at the visitor center from March through October. There are 60 campsites, a third of which are Class AAA, with many spots right on the water. A yurt offers an additional lodging option. The park is also a great getaway in fall and winter months with four hiking trails and a 3-D archery range (open November through February).
24 Class AAA sites and 34 Class B sites are clustered in three camping areas under the trees and along the lakeshore. Tables, grills, and lantern hooks are located at each site for convenience. A rental Yurt is available for reservations March through November. Amenities include screened windows and a propane grill. Guests need to bring their own bed and bath linens for the Yurt. Modern restrooms and bath houses are located within walking distance of each campsite. A dump station is located near Camping Area A for self-contained camping units. Campers must register at the visitor center before occupying a campsite. All sites are reservable and may be reserved up to one year in advance. Please contact the park or look online for availability
The picnic area is located near the swim beach in the day use area. Most sites have tables and grills. Modern restrooms and plenty of shade trees make the area pleasant for a small picnic or a family gathering. A screened-in pavilion with lights, ceiling fans, and a charcoal grill is available for rent (contact the visitor center for reservations). A playground including swings, slides, a climber, and other play units is located in the picnic area
There are four separate walking trails in the park. The Cedar Trail is a paved trail that connects the campgrounds to the day use area. The White Oak and Mockernut Trails offer views of the lake and opportunities to observe wildlife. The Butterflies and Blooms Trail is a short gravel trail where native plants attract butterflies and other wildlife.
A small nature center is located in the day use area near the swim beach. It is open on weekends from May until September and provides environmental education programs and natural resource focused recreation activities. Hours of operation and program schedules are posted at the nature center, visitor center, and on bulletin boards throughout the park.
The lake is accessed by four boat launch ramps; one is located directly across the cove from the campground and three ramps are located on Highway 25. Two barrier-free wheelchair accessible fishing piers are located along the Cedar Trail. Several courtesy docks are available for boaters. There are no motor horsepower restrictions on the lake, but personal watercraft, waterskiing, and tubing are prohibited. Arkansas Law establishes a No Wake Zone within 100 feet from the park shoreline and all docks and piers.
The swimming area is free of charge to use and is located in the day use area. It features a gently sloping sandy beach. Alcohol, glass bottles, and pets are prohibited on the beach. No lifeguards are on duty.
Rental equipment, including selfguided kayak and canoe tours, is available. Contact the park for prices and availability.