Campground Review: Lenox Marcus - Lake Degray
If you like something remote and removed from the typical grasp of other campers this just might be the site for you. I was exploring the area looking for inexpensive and free campsites and found this one online. It seemed to good to be true so I had to check it out and find out if there was a catch.
Catch? No. It was only about 3 miles from the main road in (Highway 84, a winding highway which travels through lower Arkansas at slow speeds), it was well maintained and did not have a lot of overgrowth and it had great lake views. But I can say that while it is FREE it does have a few things which could weigh on your decision in selecting this site.
It is a part of the Wildlife Management area at Lake Degray, which simply means that like other public lands you can come and camp here no strings attached for up to 14 days completely free. They only request you maintain a level of respect for the area and honor the leave no trace code. If you can do this you will be treated to beautiful lake views, picnic tables, grills and soft grassy pad sites in addition to flush toilets and a boat ramp. (See now why it seemed to good to be true).
But with all these amenities there is a little fine print to go along. It is remote, that can be both positive and negative depending on you as the camper. For me personally, I love remote sites but I also like to have a little security in knowing I can let people know where I am when I arrive since I travel alone most of the time. This site offered all the remote with none of the ability to contact, I had to drive up the road a considerable way to drop my regular nightly pin to my safety buddy back home. (Something I recommend all solo campers do, especially women.)
Then there were the flush toilets, which indeed did flush, however the restroom itself was more of a shack that had been used and abused. The screen door separating the world and all the creepy crawlers from outside to inside was damaged and there was no light. Graffiti was strewn about and lets just say it wasn’t a place you would want to be during the day let alone at night. So I basically discounted that as though it was non-existent. A real shame too because the rest of the campground was very well maintained.
I arrived around 5 p.m. on a weekend afternoon. I was expecting it to be busy with people getting in their final weekends before school started since the lake is so popular. However there was only one other camper when I arrived. I saw and heard many boats on the lake in my time here however none of them seemed to be utilizing the ramp at our site and instead were on the more resort side of the lake, fine by me because it kept our site quiet throughout the evening.
It began to rain late into the evening and shortly after another camper came into camp to park their RV near the boat ramp. Even with the addition of a third camper at such late hours it was pretty quiet at camp. I feared the rain would make the conditions of getting out of my site a bit rough but the combination of gravel and sand made for an easy return to the paved road and exit from the park in the morning.
The campsite did not live up to its full potential because it did need a little TLC for this reason I feel like it deserves a solid 3.
Bring everything with you because town is not close enough just run grab something.
If you already don’t make it a habit to bring something for your table, bring a table covering of some kind you will need it!!