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Monday, March 4, 2024

Days 29-32 BEST Campsite In The Park! Merrisach Lake COE Tichnor Arkansas

We had reached our eighth day at Pendleton Bend and decided that maybe it was time to move on to another Corps of Engineers Park. The host at Pendleton Bend was telling us about a very nice park just up on the other side the river and only a few miles downstream on the canal. The name is Merrisach Lake, And the bottom edge of the lake flows into the man-made Arkansas Post canal. The campground is located right at the intersection between the lake and the canal.

We went online and just kind of looked at the map and chose a site and reserved it for three nights. We had NO IDEA that it was the absolute best site in the entire park!!! 

As we packed up from Pendleton Bend, we dumped our holding tanks and had to drive 30 miles up and around to get to a campground that really was only about 6 miles as the crow flies down the river. 

In the tiny town of Gillett, we stopped at the Dollar General for a little stock up of a few items to get us through the next 4 days. 

Here is a link to the website with all the information:

As we pulled into the park, we went down to the D Peninsula to find our campsite, D9. 

Ooooh my!!! 

We were at the end of a little roundabout cul-de-sac with the one and only sight facing out of the end of the peninsula. We had a water view all the way around almost 300°!... I cannot imagine any campsite being any better than this. There was nobody else in the entire campground other than the two camp hosts way up by the gatehouse. Total peace and quiet.

To top it off, the site is a pull-through site. We left our little cargo trailer hooked right up to use as our garage out the back of the campsite. 

Each campsite has a covered pergola over the cement picnic table and benches. There's also a fire ring and a charcoal grill. Each campsite has electric as well as water (no sewer). 

There are nice clean heated bathrooms a short walk away. Each separate bathroom has a separate shower area. There are two for the women and two for the men. How nice is that?

The rate is $26 a night for this site, but with our America the Beautiful Senior Access Pass, we get it for $13 a night. 

The paved patio area is perfectly level. The little gravel area around the table and fire pit is nice to keep the mud and the grass from being tracked into the motorhome. 

Incidentally, although there are alligators known to be in this lake, all around the edges of the campground are a kind of a low molded barrier that I'm sure also helps with erosion. It might deter an alligator from wanting to crawl up into the park. There are more swampy areas in the park that I think are a better habitat for the gators to hang out. Of course, this time of year the alligators are dormant and hiding out in secluded areas. 

We are enjoying the occasional tugboats going past, pushing heavily loaded barges down the river or empty ones back up again to refill. 

This is right next to the campground, and we find it very interesting to watch them float on by. 

We hopped on our bikes and pedalled down river to this tall bridge near the lock for the transported barges. From our bikes, we could not access the actual area to view down into the lock. But from underneath we can see where the boats enter the large chamber. 

Of course, if we pedalled our bikes to the top of this very tall bridge, we could look down as the barges passed through. But Chicken Karen was not about to pedal up that high and look over the edge. Not only do the heights bother me, but I don't know if I am that adept yet at riding the bike up such a tall incline. That adventure can wait for another time. 

Speaking of our e-bikes, we managed to hit a milestone! Yes, we now entered The 100 Mile Club. That may seem like a little thing to some people, but to us 60 plus year old folks who just bought these bikes in November, I think it's quite a feat. 

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be back on a bicycle again. But these e-bikes make it so easy to get up and down the hills, and they are really a lot of fun to ride. 

We pedalled around the campground, exploring a couple of loops and then down to the tall bridge over the locks. We also went a little bit further to read the sign at a nature preserve. All together we pedalled almost 7 mi during our 100 mark milestone. 

These bikes are just so much fun, and I posted this photo to the Lectric Bike Owners page on Facebook. It's nice to see so many older folks enjoying these bikes. It's good to get out and about, fresh air and sunshine, and have new adventures. 

Now, on to set ourselves up
 to reach the 
500 mile club?

A fellow blogger had let us know that he was going to be pulling into a spot at the same campground, a few sites away. It was nice to meet Daryl in person, and he had lots of great hints and ideas of places to go. Here is his blog if anyone would like to follow along: 

One of our reasons for escaping the cold weather of Wisconsin, is to see some green. The trees are just starting to bud out, and we've seen some magnolia blooms, crabapple blossoms, and wild daffodils growing in the ditches. 

On our bike ride, the sun had just come out and this beautiful field was a blaze with yellowish green new growth. 

By our second night, a few more campers had joined us in the campground. Although it was very quiet, we no longer had our peninsula to ourselves. But we did have a spectacular sunset to share with everyone!! 

I just can't believe standing in front of our motorhome, I could twist from left to right and do this panorama photo. All of this was ours to enjoy for three nights. 

Then it was time to move on... 

The upcoming blog will be 
about our next selected
Corps of Engineers Park, 

and a crazy crazy moving day!! 


  1. I just love traveling with you as I haven’t been to many places in the midwest or southeastern Unites States. (and of course as a fellow weaverI always love the fiber stuff)

  2. Yeah! 100 miles. Have fun on the way to the next milestone.

  3. What an amazing camp site. I am always looking for such perfect sites here in Aus but have only a few on my list and we have travelled a lot here. Love read your blogs and the interesting facts you provide. Thanks.


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