Legend has it the name was taken from an Indian Chief that lived in the area. The name also is the name of the local U.S. Forest Service Ranger District and the name of two creeks (North & South Sylamore) that run through and adjacent to the WMA. Sylamore was developed due to the need for managed public hunting land in north central Arkansas.
Most of the area is comprised of oak-hickory stands with some intermingled stands of pure pine. During the 1950s large quantities of White Oaks were cut for "stave bolts", leaving what’s now mature to semi-mature stands of hardwood. The WMA topography is part of the Ozark Mountains, Springfield plateau. The land is mostly narrow, rolling mountains composed of gently (some step near the Buffalo) sloped ridges with good fertile valleys along many streams (both intermittent and permanent). Elevations range from 1,250-1,700 feet as with the rock cliffs being mainly made of limestone. There are many streams for fishing and camping with three small lakes; Mirrow Lake (at Blanchard Springs), Gunner Pool Lake (at the recreation area so named), and Hayden Pond (east of the community of Optimus which is south of Calico rock). Most of the open land, not counting food plots and unimproved fields owned by the Forest Service, are improved pastures on the private land.
Sylamore offers a wide range of hunting opportunities for upland game from good hunting for quality deer and turkey to limited hunting of bear and quail.
Blanchard Springs Caverns is located in the south central part of the WMA. The caverns have two tours daily with limited tours during the winter. Also, near the cave is the Blanchard Springs picnic and camping areas with two swimming holes. Mirrow lake at Blanchard offers good trout fishing year round. The lake is stocked 1-2 times each month by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The USFS has two other camping areas: Gunner Pool and Barkshed, both being more primitive in terms of facilities than Blanchard. Gunner Pool also has a small lake for fishing. The mainstream that runs through the WMA, North Sylamore Creek, offers some good fishing for small mouth and rock bass. Also, along the creek are two hiking trails. But if you are more a "looker" at nature, you will find some of the most beautiful scenery by just driving along hwy 5, 14 and 341 or any of the gravel roads that transect the WMA. You possibly could see deer feeding on the planted food plots, a bear crossing the road, turkey feeding in the old fields, or many different song birds and some birds of prey.
Each year small communities around Sylamore have many festivals. Two of the largest are the Folk Festival (3rd weekend in April) and the Bean Fest in October, both are held in Mountain View.
The USFS operates the three camping areas on Sylamore, but camping is allowed anywhere on the WMA. The only restriction is camping is not allowed on the food plots. Other camping sites are found in the surrounding communities, at the Ozark Folk Center, and sites along the rivers and lakes.
Detailed Map (1.17Mb PDF)
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