Bull Shoals Lake
Big Brother of the Twin Lakes Arkansas
Bull Shoals Lake is an artificial lake or reservoir which was created when Bull Shoals Dam was finished in 1951. Located in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri, it has hundreds of miles of lake arms and coves perfect for boating, water sports, swimming, and fishing. Nineteen developed parks around the shoreline provide campgrounds, boat launches, swim areas, and marinas.
Bull Shoals Fishing
Bassmaster magazine ranked Bull Shoals Lake as the 44th best fishing lake in the U.S. in 2015. Bull Shoals is the last lake in the White River chain of lakes, bordering southern Missouri and North Arkansas. It is famous for its expansive, crystal clear waters, sheer bluff banks, and lack of development along hundreds of miles of shoreline. The most popular species that bring anglers to the lake are stripers and walleye. Both smallmouth and largemouth bass, as well as crappie, can be found in large amounts as well. Bull Shoals Lake has delivered many state records that include striper, yellow perch, and walleye. Bull Shoals makes up 1/2 of the Twin Lakes area along with Norfork Lake where Bassmaster held their Bull Shoals/Norfork elite tournament in April of 2016. The White River is the inflow and outflow of the Lake and is the #1 trout location in the country.
Bull Shoals Camping
Along with the Bulls Shoals-White River State Park that offers many camping and lodging choices the lake is surrounded by a plethora of resorts that offer a variety of cabin choices, activities, boat docks, and boat rentals.
Bull Shoals Attractions
Many attractions can be found in the Twin Lakes area. Aside from the world-class fishing and boating one can find one of the top 100 golf courses at the Big Creek Golf and Country Club in Mountain Home, AR. Kayaking and canoeing on the White and Buffalo Rivers is a popular local water sport. The Blanchard Spring Caverns and Mystic Caverns are close by and are some of the best in the country. The city of Branson, MO. is just 1-2 hours away and offers every type of entertainment and dining choices one can imagine.
Baby of the Twin Lakes
Norfork Lake has more than 550 miles of shoreline and covers around 22,000 acres. There are nineteen developed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers parks that offer a plethora of choices for camping and for water sports. Boating, water skiing, and swimming are the major attractions of the lake’s visitors. Developed lakeside parks offer campsites (rustic to modern), picnic shelters, designated swimming areas, and boat-launching ramps. Some have fishing docks for use by the handicapped, elderly, or youths. Visitors choosing not to camp have many choices of accommodations: lakeside resorts or motels, in-town motels/hotels, riverside resorts, or bed & breakfasts.
Norfork Lake Fishing
Nearly all varieties of freshwater game fish make Lake Norfork home, which is fed by the North Fork River and its tributaries. Bass, walleye, crappie, bream, and catfish all make their home in its waters. The oldest of Arkansas’s large man-made impoundments, Norfork has provided regular variety for its anglers. Norfork Lake has one of the best striped bass fisheries in Arkansas. The lake is stocked annually, and stripers over 40 pounds are frequently caught. Many in the 30-pound class are caught every year. Because the food source for stripers is abundant it is not unusual to see up to a 3 lb. rate of growth annually. Black bass peaks from September through May and night fishing with lights for white bass and crappie are becoming popular. The North Fork River below the dam is a popular and productive trout fishing stream, and the Norfork National Fish Hatchery, available for tours, assures a continuous supply of trout to maintain the populations of the North Fork, the White, and other area trout streams. A former world-record brown trout was taken from the river in 1988. A state-record 4-pound 12-ounce brook trout was caught in 2000.
Norfork Lake Attractions
For the visitors that enjoy local history stop by the Wolf House on Highway 5 in the town of Norfork. It was built in the early 1800s is believed to be the oldest log structure in Arkansas. For the anglers, it is near the banks of the White River which offers the #1 trout fishing in the country.
You can head into the town of Mountain Home if you want a meal out. There you can choose from a variety of restaurants or if you want to see a movie at the two cinemas in town. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, you can stop by the Farmer’s Market in the town square to pick up fresh produce and a variety of other food choices.
Arkansas's Top Outdoor Destination
Lake Ouachita is the biggest lake located entirely within Arkansas at just over 40,000 acres. It is famous for its scenic beauty and clear waters. It was created in the late 1940s when Blakely Mountain Dam dammed the waters of the Ouachita River near Hot Springs, AR. Lake Ouachita is nearly surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest and has around 970 miles of Arkansas’s most pristine shorelines. At forty miles long it has large stretches of open water that make it a favorite spot for sailors. Scuba divers from all over the world enjoy the crystal clear waters as well as the special spearfishing season.
Recreational boating, water skiing, and other water sports are also very popular on Lake Ouachita, which boasts more than 100 uninhabited islands for primitive camping. Available rentals include houseboats, sailing crafts, fishing rigs and more. Contributing to make the lake one of Arkansas’s finest outdoor destinations is Lake Ouachita State Park which offers cabin rentals, marinas and a plethora of resorts along with more than 400 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ campsites.
Lake Ouachita Fishing
Bassmaster Magazine selected Lake Ouachita as the 88th best bass lake of the country’s Top 100 Bass Lakes (May 2015). Millwood Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, and Lake Dardanelle are 3 more Arkansas Lakes that made the top 100. Anglers will enjoy a wide variety of fishing opportunities such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, bream, crappie, catfish, walleye and world-class trophy striped bass. Lake Ouachita is known as the striped bass capital of the world and is consistently ranked in the top ten nationally for largemouth bass fishing. Fishing guides are available. Ouachita’s acres are at normal pool level, with a crooked, rugged shoreline and an abundance of islands, especially in the lower (east) end of the lake. There are also many shallow areas that provide excellent feeding and holding places for bass, with deep-water escape just a few fin strokes away. Bass fishermen do well around these islands and shallow areas using surface lures, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs, and plastic worms. Deep, crystal-clear, with a floor of rocks, trees and other cover, and plenty of baitfish, Ouachita is ideal for big stripers. One of the most successful methods used for catching them is trolling with downriggers along the river channel near the dam to where it is joined by the Little Blakely and Big Blakely creek channels. The month of May the stripers also congregate in the upper end of the lake, especially in the area around the Ark. 27 bridge.
One of the more unusual features of the lake was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is the Geo-Float Trail, a marked route that can be followed by boaters guided by a brochure that details prominent geologic features to be seen on the lake.
Lake Ouachita Attractions
The city of Hot Springs which can be found near the east end of the lake is Arkansas’s #1 tourist destination. It is home to Hot Springs National Park and many other tourist attractions. At the west end of Lake Ouachita is Mount Ida which is famous for its rock shops and quartz crystal mines, many of which are open to the public for a fee.
Beaver Lake | Hobbs State Park
Eureka Springs Arkansas
With nearly 487 miles of natural shoreline and 28,400 surface acres, Beaver Lake offers exciting recreational choices for outdoor enthusiasts of any age. Beaver Lake is a nature lover’s delight during all seasons. Soaring limestone bluffs, natural crevices, an abundance of trees species and flowering shrubs, and a diversity of wildlife and birds provide camera buffs, hikers, and nature lovers hours of enjoyment all through the year.
Crystal clear waters attract boaters, campers, fishermen, and scuba divers. Naturalists and hunters can enjoy the public lands adjoining the lake, as well as the Hobbs State Park Conservation Area, which covers 12,055 acres along the southern shores of Beaver Lake; as well as the newly purchased Devil’s Eyebrow Natural Area, which covers 1,375 acres along the northern shores in the Indian Creek Arm.
Beaver Lake Fishing
Beaver Lake offers striper, smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing, along with plentiful supplies of crappie, bream, white bass, channel, and spoonbill catfish. For the serious angler looking for some fast-paced action, November is the month for plentiful striped bass. Generally, the north end of the Beaver Lake will offer clear water whereas the fishing on the southern end of the lake will be dingier. This Arkansas lake has provided numerous 40-pound-plus state-record stripers. During the spring one of the hot spots for stripers is in the flats near the conjunction of the Ware Eagle and White River in the upper end of the lake.
Beaver Lake Attractions
For the visitors of this great lake, there are many great options to explore in the vicinity. Eureka Springs is nearby and offers many fun things to do including the famous spas, historic tram tours, haunted house tours, and many musical events. You can also head just west into the Bentonville-Rogers-Fayetteville stretch and find just about anything you can think of for dining and entertainment. This is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country with one of the lowest unemployment rates as well. Fayetteville is home to the Arkansas State University Razorbacks.
Lake Dardanelle State Park
Lake Dardanelle is one of the most easily reached and beautiful recreation areas in Arkansas. Located about the midpoint between Little Rock and Fort Smith and near the city of Russellville, the lake stretches some 50 miles as part of the $1.2 billion Arkansas River Navigation System. With just over 34,000 acres of boating and fishing waters, 315 miles of shoreline, and rimmed by choice picnic and camping areas, it offers many recreational opportunities. Parks offer drinking water, toilet facilities, boat launching ramps, parking areas, and tables. Several have trailer dump stations, electrical outlets, and group picnic shelters. Public boat docks offer boat and motor rental services, fuel, food, and other supplies and services.
Some 250 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campsites are available around the lake, plus Lake Dardanelle State Park welcomes visitors at two shoreline locations. For the birdwatchers, the river valley is a favorite wintering area for the American Bald Eagle. From late fall through early spring, eagles are often seen perched in large trees and on snags along the river as they hunt for their prey. Old Post Road Park in Russellville and Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge are popular viewing areas for these majestic creatures.
Lake Dardanelle Fishing
Lake Dardanelle was named the 34th best lake by Bassmasters in 2015. The lake has one of the most consistent bass habitats in the Arkansas River system. One of the better-known spots for largemouth is near the river mouth on the lake near Russellville. The lake is extremely popular with anglers going big catfish as well. White bass is native to the river, with adults traveling in schools and feeding near the surface. Bream fishing is excellent in the lake, which has also been stocked with crappie and largemouth bass. With no closed season and mild winters, fishing is good year-round. The lake has one of the most consistent bass habitats in the Arkansas River system.
Lake Dardanelle Attractions
There are many attractions in close proximity to Lake Dardanelle. The city of Russellville offers golfing, 160 miles of shopping including yard sales, flea markets, antique shops, and collectibles. If none of that excites you, try hang gliding at the Mt. Magazine State Park, or biking and hiking at the Bona Dea Trails.
Millwood Lake Arkansas
Millwood State Park
Millwood Lake is known for its beauty and fishing. Fifteen recreational parks around the lake provide hikers and campers with picnic areas, boat ramps, swimming areas, showers, and restrooms. Millwood is an excellent place to fish, mainly due to its 35,000 acres (14,000 ha) of submerged timber that provide excellent cover for the many varieties of fish in the lake. Millwood has also been known as one of the best bass fishing lakes in the United States. Millwood Lake is located just of Arkansas Highway 32 and nine miles east of Ashdown in southwest Arkansas. It was formed when the state’s longest earthen dam (3.33 miles) was completed across the Little River.
Millwood is a renowned fishing lake and was rank #72 out of the top 100 lakes by Bassmasters in 2015. Spotted, striped, white and largemouth bass along with crappie, bluegills, and catfish can be found in abundance. Boat lanes mark the way through the timbered waters, and there are 5,000 acres of open water near the dam. Every year numerous bass fishing tournaments and fishing derbies are held by local and out-of-state organizations.
The lake and its surrounding environs are also rated as one of Arkansas’s best birding locations. As of early 2001, 333 different species had been sighted in the area, including the first-ever Arkansas sightings for at least 15 of them. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ project office near the Millwood Dam has wildlife displays and free brochures on such subjects as area birding and hunting.
Located on the lake’s southeast shore, Millwood State Park offers a full-service marina and boat dock, 117 campsites, and hiking and biking trails. Corps of Engineers’ recreational areas on the lake offers 230 campsites, picnic areas, boat launching ramps and group picnic shelters available by reservation.