Area Information


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In 1783, a French trader named Fabre settled on a bluff above the Ouachita River, marking the first permanent settlement in what would become Camden. The city marks its founding as 1824, but it was not incorporated and officially named until 1844.

Despite some controversy concerning the name's origin, most agree it is named in honor of Camden, Alabama, the hometown of General Thomas Woodward, who was an early city founder.

Prior to the Civil War, Camden was a busy port town and merchant center at the headwaters of the Ouachita River. It remained an important depot for shipping cotton through the early part of the 20th century. A new economic boom came when oil was discovered in southern Arkansas in the 1920s. Today, defense contracts at a local ammunition depot and various small businesses keep the town going strong.


Average high temperatures in Camden climb to 93 degrees Fahrenheit in August,and average lows reach 30 degrees in January. The monthly precipitation average is 4.38 inches. Annual snowfall averages 3.9 inches

8 public schools and 2 private schools offer education to local students. Higher education is provided by a number of institutions within 70 miles of town, including Southern Arkansas University, Henderson State University, the University of Arkansas at Monticello and Grambling State University.

Ouachita County Medical Center serves the area's health care needs.


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The waters of the Ouachita River are a great place for float trips and fishing excursions. Smallmouth & spotted bass can be found on the river year-round. There are also some times or areas where you can reel in green sunfish, longear sunfish, white bass, walleye, rock bass, catfish, bluegill or even a largemouth bass.

Camden is called the Queen City of the Ouachita mostly because it is the start of barge traffic on the Ouachita River. Although barge traffic up to Camden is minimal now, it was an attribute that helped Camden prosper and grow in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

Oxbow, a river lake, is located between Ouachita and Calhoun County. It is separated mostly by the Ouachita River, there are more than 15 oxbow lakes that have public access. If you're an outdoor enthusiast who loves the water and the Ouachita River and its oxbows do not provide enough for you, there are also some larger reservoirs within a few minutes drive of Camden, such as Lake Columbia and White Oak Lake. Both of these lakes are intensively managed for largemouth bass. Lake Columbia, which covers approximately 2,655 acres, is located about 35 miles southwest of Camden in Columbia County.


Sandy Beach, a city park on the northeast side of Camden. Amenities include playground area, picnic areas, covered pavilions, and a public boat ramp to access the Ouachita River.

Poison Springs State Park is located just northwest of Camden. Poison Springs, and the Camden are in general, has a lot of history tied to the Civil War. Poison Springs is a monument to a critical Civil War battle in the area. If getting out in the woods is what you enjoy, the Poison Springs state forest which consists of over 20,000 acres in western Ouachita County and eastern Nevada County, provides numerous opportunities such as nature trails, hiking, wildlife viewing, or hunting.

Golf enthusiasts will want to check out the Camden Country Club, a challenging short course of 18 holes lined by trees that contains both bunkers and water hazards. The country club also features a restaurant where you can relax either before or after your game.

White Oak Lake State Park is located 15 miles northwest of Camden. White Oak Lake state park is located on the lower lake portion of White Oak Lake. You can catch sight of bald eagles and green herons when you hike, camp or picnic here. The lake contains bass, crappie, catfish and bream for fishers to lure in, too.

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