About Baby Bears Camp
Short Drive, 15 minutes from the University of Arkansas campus, just off I-49, scenic beauty in a private setting, rugged, secluded, amazing spirit of the hills.
Our camp is on Ozark pioneer farmland, originally owned by the first white resident of West Fork, Eli Bloyd. A local archaeologist studied the land before I-49 was built and reported that our valley had been populated by the original migratory people 10,000 to 12,000 years ago with numbers as high as 2000 seasonal occupants. We find Native American artifacts often.
The old berry and cattle farm is long out of production, supporting a variety of secluded camps. Trails meander through forests along White River headwaters and the valley of Bullard Creek. Hike-in camping or RV with no facilities. Pond fishing, hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, star-gazing. Relax among Ozark flora and fauna. The West Fork river is a half mile down the creek and we can organize short day floats if desired.
Camping is dispersed with private space easily found. Hike in camps get the best sites but some RV parking and drive in camps are available. The camps can be large enough for tens of tents or a single hammock tied into a hidden spot. We do not have elevated pads and safari tents. This is not 'Glam-Camping'. There is enough room for several groups of campers to all be in seclusion and private areas. We have some camping gear available for rent and are happy to share our knowledge and tricks of living in these woods.
Warning: Camping on our property is in a wild area. There are animals and plants that can be very dangerous to humans. DEET is the only effective treatment for ticks and mosquitoes and I've been active in these woods for over 30 years. Deep Woods Off and Tea Tree oil are necessities. Do not camp in the Ozarks thinking all natural bug juice will protect you. Have the DEET for a back-up.
Some of the animals that can be dangerous on the farm include deer especially in Spring when fawns are new, coyote/dog crosses are fearless, cotton mouth snakes will chase you and copper head snakes strike fast when disturbed. Rattle snakes are in the area but I've never found one. There are several biting spiders that can cause a bad reaction in people with allergies to spider venom. Snapping turtles are in both ponds and are said to bite and lock on until the next full moon. A beaver can even attack dogs in a pond, slicing them from underwater with sharp claws. Raccoons have been known to taunt a dog into swimming in ponds where they can drown the dog.
Over the last 30 years, nobody has been bitten by any kind of snake at our farm. There have been no turtle or beaver attacks or drowned dogs. We have had two brown recluse bites treated and two broken arms from falls. One time a cotton mouth attacked my son but was stopped short by a boat paddle. Last week I pulled a muscle thinking I was about to step on a snake only to find it was an old piece of water hose in the grass. Plants can hurt you too. We have poison ivy that some people react to and it almost always grows next to an antidote plant. We will point out both if you ask.
Birds are everywhere. Many finches and buntings, sparrows and... List every song bird in America. We also have raptors, several kinds of hawks and falcons, eagles pass by on occasion and buzzards frequent the bluffs. One pond generates thermal lift and buzzards catch the wind to rise several thousand feet. Ducks, geese, kingfishers and herons drop in on the ponds as well. Last week Sarah and I walked up on two pileated woodpeckers playing, flying loops and hopping down in the bottoms. They had all the energy of Woody the Woodpecker cartoons.
The property has not been farmed in 15 years and a lot has grown up to benefit wildlife we enjoy watching. Our trail system surrounds and crosses the property to allow seclusion for the animals and viewing spaces for humans along with several great places for picking blackberries or other natural treats available for the taking. We are developing composting toilet houses around the camps and a shared cooking area. No weapons or fireworks please. This is a Golden Rule property. We ask our visitors to respect each other as well as Nature.
Another great characteristic of Baby Bear Camp is visiting West Fork. This cool Ozark city is a short walk to a variety of restaurants, weekend music venues, an excellent grocery store, farmers market, beautiful city parks and some really nice people in a town with a funky vibe.
Thanks for considering our camp. Walter
- Listing type: Private
- No. of sites: 6
- Accessible by: Drive
- Accommodation: Tent, Vehicles & RVs
- Check in after: 2PM
- Check out before: 12PM
- Cancellation policy: Flexible
- On arrival: Meet and greet
- Minimum nights: None
- Accepts bookings: 6 months out
The vibe at Baby Bears Camp
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Located in the small town of West Fork, amidst the Ozarks, Baby Bears Camp was a perfect introduction to the Arkansas wilderness. We setup our tent on a site surrounded by bluffs on all sides. It was a perfect spot to escape the heat and our little one loved climbing the rock faces.
Back in town there's a lovely little restaurant and ice cream trailer. Instead of food, we chose to go where all the locals were and swim for a while during the hottest hours of the afternoon. A watering hole just past downtown was filled with all walks of life with families lounging and high schoolers diving from the river bluffs.
On our return Walter and Sarah gave us a tour of the property. There are two ponds, a creek that runs through the property and countless trails through the woods. Every so often we'd stop to eat the wild blackberries, which Walter loves to eat while working on the property. If you want to fish, hike or just relax Baby Bears is great place to pitch a tent.
We had a great stay at Baby Bears Camp! The location was close to hiking trails in the area and the hosts were friendly. We had plenty of space and enjoyed the privacy which is sometimes hard to come by at other campsites. Be warned, you can hear interstate noise from the property.
Loved Baby Bears Camp! Check in was super easy, Walter was keeping an eye out for me and showed me to his favorite campsite, which was fantastic little haven between the bluffs. I was so happy with the campsite and all the neature around. I saw lots of wildlife and slept great. Had a nice breakfast sitting on top of one of the bluffs (great climbing around here), with a beautiful view of the sunrise over the mountains. Quick and easy and scenic drive to Devils Den State Park for an afternoon hike. Highly recommend!