The stretch of the Arkansas River on which W.D. Mayo Lock and Dam is located was once a lawless, rugged area, identified on early maps as Indian Territory. Still rugged and beautiful, this shoreline today is accessible by waterway and by roads leading to boat ramp access areas. During the spring, the redbuds, dogwoods, and wild plums are a delight to behold. The brilliant reds and golds of blackjacks, post oaks, red oaks, hickorys, pecans, walnuts, sycamores, and sumacs in the fall are breathtaking.
Named in honor of W. D. Mayo, late Sallisaw businessman, civic leader, and early champion of full development of the Arkansas River, this is the first lock and dam on the Arkansas River after the navigation channel leaves the state of Arkansas. It is located at navigation mile 319.6 in southeastern Oklahoma about nine miles southwest of Fort Smith, Arkansas.
There are three access points located near W. D. Mayo, these areas are for boat access only.