Lake Frierson State Park is a 335-acre aquatic retreat located in Jonesboro, which is in northeastern Arkansas. RV campers will find a wide range of water activities, from water skiing, kayaking, and fishing. The waters of the lake are populated by fish species such as walleye, bream, catfish, and bass. There is also a fishing pier if you don’t want to take a boat out onto the water. The park offers boat rentals, from large vessels to canoes, so every park guest can have an opportunity to play on the water.
In addition to Lake Frierson, you’ll have access to several hiking trails that loop around the water and through the woods. The hiking trails that run through the forested area surrounding the lake are home to dozens of species of birds, making the park a great option for RV campers interested in birdwatching. Stop by the Visitor Center to check out the interpretive exhibits that are open year-round if you want to learn more about the park or the park's wildlife.
There is a small campground within the park that has seven campsites. You’ll be able to camp in privacy with water and electrical hookups. The campground is also close to the water, making it easy to access the boat launch and get to the swimming areas. The hiking trails are just outside of the campground as well.
Located in Green County, Arkansas, Lake Frierson State Park is within driving distance of major cities such as St. Louis, Memphis, and Nashville. The park’s roads are wide, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting a larger rig to your campsite. If you are driving from St. Louis, take US-67 south from the city, and you will reach the park in around 3.5 hours. From Nashville, take I-40 west to get to the park in approximately four hours. If you are coming from Memphis, take I-555 west, and you will arrive at the park in around an hour and a half. Lake Frierson State Park is just off AR-141.
Although the Arkansas roads can be narrow and curvy due to the Ozark Mountains and forests, you should not have too much trouble maneuvering to the park. It is best to drive slowly anyway and take in the sights while watching out for wild critters that may be meandering across the road. The campground is just a short drive from the entrance of the park, and there are just a few tight turns, so you should be able to navigate large rigs through the park easily. Just be prepared for low hanging branches and potholes, depending on what time of year you visit.
There are seven RV-friendly sites at the campground. Four of the sites have electrical and water hookups, and the other three have no hookups. All of the sites have a fire pit with a grill, a lantern hanger, and a picnic table. The campground is also pet-friendly. Just make sure that you keep your dog on a leash at all times.
There are restrooms located right on the edge of the campground. You’ll also be within walking distance of the park’s main hiking trail, as well as a fishing pier. The visitor center is close to the campground, as is the park’s playground. You can book all of the sites online. The sites can be booked the same day and can be reserved up to a year in advance. The campground is small, with only seven sites, so you should try to book as soon as possible, especially if you are visiting the park during peak season.
If you cannot get a spot at Lake Frierson State Park, don’t worry, you can check out the park down the road. Just about seven miles from Lake Frierson State Park, you can find another state park with four times the number of campsites, and 18 of them have water and electric hookups.
Crowley’s Ridge State Park Campground is open all year long, and each site has a large cleared space, picnic table, lantern hanger, and a campfire ring with a grill for cooking. You can reserve these spots online, and you should book early because there is still a limited number of sites. The campground is at the south end of the park near the bathhouse and visitor center. You also have direct access to the picnic area and Lake Ponder, which has a beach and boat dock. Although you will probably be spending more time at Lake Frierson, it is good to know that you have a campsite nearby so you can stay the night or the whole weekend to enjoy the activities. Pets are allowed here as well as long as you keep them restrained and supervised all the time while you are here.
If you have children, the park has a playground located near the main swimming areas. Keep the kids entertained for a while, let them get out some of that excess energy, and then head over to the picnic pavilion for a snack. The playground is a quick walk from the RV campground, as well as close to the park’s main hiking trails. You’ll also be near the Visitor Center if you want to check out the rotating exhibits and guided nature hikes or other activities hosted by park officials.
If you want a break from the outdoors, you can consider heading to the Visitor Center. You’ll find several rotating exhibits, many of them highlighting the local plant and animal life found in the park. The Visitor Center is also close to the RV campground and is open year-round. However, the times might change depending on the season, so be sure to check with the park office about hours when you visit the park during the off-season.
The park has a network of hiking trails that loop around Lake Frierson. The oak-hickory forests in the park are full of birds, making a great spot for birdwatching. There’s also a number of rare trees that are native to Arkansas. The one-mile Dog Lane Trail and Trail Spur are accessible for hikers of all experience levels and ages. The trail is easy to reach from the park’s campground, and it is open year-round, but most hikers find that it’s best during the spring when the dogwoods are blooming.
You can gather up your friends in the RV so you can head to the park for an off-season picnic. The park offers a 2,400-square foot enclosed pavilion that you can reserve for large groups of up to 80 people. It is heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer, so picnicking is comfortable at any time of year. The off-season is a great time to have a picnic because you won’t have the summer crowds. The pavilion includes tables, chairs, a covered grill, electric, restrooms, and even a projection screen. If you have a smaller group or did not have time to reserve the pavilion, there are several dozen picnic tables around the lake to enjoy as well.
The oak-hickory forests that surround Lake Frierson are home to many different species of birds. RV campers interested in birdwatching will find dozens of species in the park throughout the year, including some of the rarest birds in Arkansas. The park office may have more information on the bird species that you’ll find in the park. You should also consult the websites of local birdwatching groups, many of which produce helpful bird checklists and field guides. You’ll find birds in the park throughout the year, although the park tends to be most active in spring and fall when you can catch many migrating bird species as they move through the park.
The park is an excellent destination for RV campers interested in boating. Lake Frierson State Park allows motorized boats, so you’ll be able to water and jet ski. There are hours for motorized boats on the lake, so check with the park office to see when you can take your motorized boat out onto the water. If you didn’t bring your own craft, you could rent a number of different vessels, from motorized boats to kayaks and canoes. You can rent for the day or choose to rent for the duration of your stay.
Lake Frierson State Park is known for having some of the best fishing in the area. You’ll find a wide range of different fish species in the lake such as crappie, bream, saugeye, bass, and bream. The fishing is also excellent year-round, so anglers will get plenty of bites no matter when they choose to visit the park. You can take a boat out onto the water using the boat launch. The park has fishing piers, in case you want to fish from the shore. There’s also a bait shop, and fishing boats are available for rental.
Go ahead and toss the floaties and other beach and swim toys in the camper before heading out to Lake Frierson. Although the park does not have an actual swimming beach, you are allowed to swim anywhere except by the boat ramp or dock. There is no lifeguard on duty either, so understand that you will be swimming at your own risk. During the summer, the lake makes a fantastic place to cool off after a day of hiking or biking the trails.