CCC site - Shady Lake, ONF, Polk Co., Arkansas -  a pretty place.

Shady Lake, 13 Oct. 2010. Diving platform and roped swim area to the right.
The CCC sure knew how to build them. Here you can get away from it all.

Shady Lake, 25 acre lake with a grassy beach, lies on the extreme southern edge of the Ouachita National Forest, 18 miles SE of Mena, Arkansas offers camping, fishing, swimming, boating, amphitheater, group picnic area, playground and hiking at the 66 unit campground,  21 with water and electricity, surrounded by a forest of large pines and hardwoods. The recreational area was developed in 1938 by the CCC men at Camp Shady. The men built the dam across the Saline River, the picnic pavilion complete with benches, ping pong table, concession store and modern warm water showers and bathrooms, two beautiful stone bridges, the caretaker's house, the Tall Peak Lookout Tower on FS Rd 38A, turn left when you get to the top, and two vista pullovers, Buckeye and Sugar Creek, on Forest Service Road 38 heading towards Dallas, AR. The beautiful lake is stocked with largemouth bass, catfish and sunfish and boat with electric motors or row boats are allowed. There is a fishing pier, swim area, an interpretive trail (.5 miles) and the Tall Peak Trail. We approached Shady Lake from the south, about- a two miles west of Athens, on the 246 West, start looking for the gravel Shady Lake Road sign and the small brown ONF directional signs, easy to miss, near the chicken houses and silo. If you cross the Saline River you have missed the turned on the right if heading west. Don't be surprised if you are the only ones there as it is isolated. The campground is open from March 1st until December 1st.  Memories Photos You tube
Directions: Five miles southwest of Glenwood on U.S. 70; west 23 miles on Hwy. 84 to Athens, then 2.2 miles west on Hwy. 246. Then north at sign for 3.7 miles on the gravel Forest Road 38. 

This place is never crowded, it is so out of the way. If you are looking for a place to camp in the middle of a national forest and away from crowds and cell phone reception, here is the spot.  

You can see the creek has been up in flood. 
Shady Lake CCC Bridge #1, Forest Service Road 38 over the South Fork of the Saline River, Athens


Shady Lake CCC Bridge #2, Shady Lake Campground loop road over the East Fork of the Saline River, Athens

Bridge 2  12 Oct.2010

I hear fishing is good below the dam. The lake is stocked with catfish, limit five per day. 

This place is never crowded, it is so out of the way. If you are looking for a place to camp in the middle of a national forest and away from crowds and cell phone reception, here is the ideal spot.



The door hinges look like a pine tree. 

The rock wall is also CCC work.

Caretaker cabin

CCC - March 31, 1933 to June 30, 1942

During the depression of the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) battled woods fires, reforested the area with pine seedlings, erected buildings, and constructed all-weather roads in the National Forest and five state parks. Most CCC projects were built in national forests or on state-owned property. The basic pay was $30 per month but $25 was mailed home to each enrollee’s relatives. Classroom education was compulsory for those who could not read or write. 

On the road north of Shady Lake towards Mena.

Sugar Creek Vista
This vista was built in the summer of 1935 with the assistance of Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees from Company 742 stationed at Camp Shady (Camp F-4). The vista looks out onto Sugar Creek and McKinley Mountain. 

The men who worked on this vista include:

"Doc" Whisenhunt (project leader)
Wrenyard Beene
Roger Carroll
Bruce Crisco
Jim Dale
Otis Ellenburg
Woodrow Ellenburg
J.D. (Shorty) Evertt
Clyde Fiveash
Olen Harper
Charles Kennedy
Hobert Lehman
John Leonard
Luke Nevin
Leis Sherwood
Daulton Smith
Jimmy Tarvin
Lewis Young

Buckeye Vista
This vista was built in the summer of 1935 with the assistance of Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees from Company 742 stationed at Camp Shady (Camp F-4) 9F or NF National Forest ).  The vista looks out onto Sugar Creek and McKinley Mountain.

Buckeye Vista.

Bard Springs Picnic Shelter, Bathhouse, Dams 1 and 2, ca. 1936, near Athens is three miles east of Shady Lake recreational area on Forest Service Road 106, was a CCC campground project or 7.7 miles from the Shady Lake Rd, Athens, State Rt. 246 west road turn off. Bard Springs Primitive campground with 13 tent sites is located southeast of Mena  Located on a small scenic stream swimming and hiking are available from the campground. Facilities at the campground include a picnic shelter, drinking water, and flush toilets. No fishing.

The Caney Creek Wilderness area, 14,460 acres, north of the Shady Lake area, has numerous hiking trails. In 1935 8,300 acres of what is now Caney Creek Wilderness was designated as a Game Refuge. On  January 3, 1975 this area became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The trails are not marked or signed and Mtn. bikes and motorized equipment are prohibited in the Wilderness.
Shay Lake Trail  (3.1 miles)
Tall Peak Trail (3.2 miles hiking) or 5 miles by road, you can drive up to the tower on a dirt road.
Buckeye Trail (4.7 miles)
Caney Creek Trail (17.5 miles) (all distances one way).

Poteau Mountain Road, Ouachita National Forest, was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC built this road and many others throughout the national forest so that firefighters could reach wildfires. The concrete culverts used on this road were made by the crews from Shady Lake CCC camp south of Mena. The CCC camps were set up to consist of approximately 200 men each usually from the surrounding counties. CCC camps

Montgomery County ArkansasGenWeb Project

All these photos above were take by me, Olwyn, on a beautiful autumn day, 13 Oct. 2010. We saw one beautiful white tailed buck on the road just before Shady.

Montgomery Co. Polk Twp 1940 census enumerated April 21 1940 by Buenos Sikes.
CCC Camp F-13
McKee, Calvin C- head, 18, born Ohio, residence, Trenton, Lawrence Co. Ohio, on a farm, laborer, road contractor. Highest grade completed at school H2
Carmichael, Joseph Rix Jr officer 24, born Utah, residence Seattle, King, Co. Washington State. Officer CCC. Highest grade completed at school C5