Arkansas White River
The source of the White River in Arkansas is located deep in the 1.2 million acres of the Ozark and St. Francis National Forests, which are located not far from Fayetteville. It begins as a small mountain stream with rapids that are excellent for white water kayaking, and ends up flowing into the mighty Mississippi River as a broad, meandering waterway serving the barges and towboats from New Orleans. In between, the Arkansas White River is dammed in six places in the state and an additional two places in Missouri. The largest of these, the dam at Bull Shoals, has converted what was a warm-water fishery into one of the nation's premier stretches of trout habitat. Today this cold-water section of the White River in Arkansas is among the state's major tourist destinations.
This is the prime location for the best fishing in the state, and White River Arkansas fishing is excellent along almost its entire 722-mile length, including the portion that flows north to Branson, Missouri. For purists, fly fishing for trout is the ultimate sport, and the Arkansas White River has scores of fishing resorts, as well as professional river guides and outfitters to help you land the big one.
If you're deciding when to go, remember that trout prefer cold water, so winter is an excellent time. The best White River Arkansas fishing for bass is also during the colder months. Other sport fish in the Arkansas White River include catfish and sunfish. If you're staying and dining at one of the fishing resorts, it's possible to have the resident chef cook your catch for you. And, you may find your best restaurant consists of pan-frying your catch over your own campfire.
Since it's such a popular destination, you won't have any difficulty finding White River Arkansas lodging in rustic cabins, full service resorts, and a variety of cheap hotels and motels. Plenty of campgrounds also line the river, many with hook ups for recreational vehicles and motor homes. Much of the White River Arkansas lodging is in cabins of varying rusticity. They range from quite deluxe to very basic. Many are part of resorts that have a central lodge, full-service restaurant, and other facilities such as tennis courts, barbecues, and piers or boat ramps.
Because you have a choice of more than 700 miles of the river's course to choose from, you're not limited to camping, country lodges, and cabins. You can choose deluxe Jonesboro or Fayetteville hotels or a cheap motel in the little town of Des Arc. Even the portion of the White River in Arkansas as it enters the Mississippi River has great places to stay. This White River Arkansas lodging includes cities like Eureka Springs, Pine Bluff, and even Little Rock. This places you near some of the major attractions in the state.
White River Arkansas fishing may be the most important sport on the river, but there are plenty of other activities available if you're not an angler. There are miles of hiking, horseback, and biking trails, and lakes (like Beaver Lake and Bull Shoals) that were created by dams provide water skiing and swimming opportunities. It's also possible to enjoy miles of lazy floating or canoeing on the river.
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