“don't drink the water!”
In 1957, AFC purchased approximately 19,400 acres of abandoned farmland from the USDA. Today, Poison Springs State Forest includes 21,439 acres in western Ouachita and eastern Nevada counties. Poison Springs State Forest got its name from a nearby spring of the same name and is the site of a significant Civil War battle. The Battle of Poison Springs on April 19, 1864, was a convincing victory for the Confederates, forcing the retreat of Union forces north. The forest proved to be an asset to the Confederates and trouble for the Union soldiers who had difficulty maneuvering through the thick pine stands.AFC manages the State Forest for multiple uses. Poison Springs State Forest is used for demonstration of good forest management practices, timber production, recreation, water quality protection, research and wildlife habitat.Hunting is one of the major recreational activities at Poison Springs. Each year, more than 350 camping permits are issued to visitors. The State Forest has more than 100 primitive campsites that can be reserved at no charge for up to two weeks at a time. The property is designated as a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and visitors must follow all Arkansas Game and Fish Commission hunting and fishing regulations.Public fishing is available at White Oak Lake, a 2,000-acre man-made Game and Fish Commission lake that adjoins the State Forest. Visitors will also find an equestrian trail and a firing range. The equestrian trail is open June 1 to September 30 and February 1 through March 31. The firing range is open year-round. All services are free to the public.
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