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Lakes and Rivers

The Twin Lakes Region in North Central Arkansas is filled with majestic rivers, lakes and springs; some of which are very well known among fisherman from across the globe.  Cotter and Gassville puts you and your party right in the thick of all of it when you visit.  With boat ramp access and boat rental facilities near by, you are sure to fill your on the water dreams and objectives on your visit or permanent stay whether you like to water ski, tube, sun bath, explore or just plain relax.  


The White River has an incredible history that comes with it and its fun to read about events that took place here like; the Trail of Tears and the old Cotter crossing. Head over to the Bull Shoals Lake Dam and the Gaston's Visitor Center to learn about the project that forever changed the White River from a warm watershed to the fabeled cold waterway it is today.  For those that are seeking to hit your adventure with a little more splash there are countless ways to explore and enjoy both warm and cool water with your family and friends and it can all be done either by boat, canoe, kayak, vehicle or hiking.  Below is a list of some of the water options available to you in North Arkansas to have fun and spend time around.  


Area Rivers and Streams


The White River ~ A beautiful stretch of cold water that starts in Arkansas's Boston Mountains, works its way North into Missouri before turning back South where it eventually ends up in the Mississippi River. The famous trout fishing sections of the White River that's close to Cotter and Gassville start just below the Bull Shoals Lake Dam and run approximately 40 miles down stream before turning into warmer water more suitable for small mouth, perch and large mouth bass.   


Big Spring Creek ~ Big Spring runs only a quarter of mile long but is loaded with fun for all ages.  Located in Cotter's Big Spring Park, just below the Rainbow Bridge, Big Spring comes up out of the ground and forms the swimming hole of Cotter complete with a rope swing and plenty of places to picnic, sun and relax along its banks.  If you are under the age of 16 and like to fish, Big Spring offers a perfect setting to try your hand at trout and explore the trails that run along side her.    


The Norfork River ~ The Norfork River starts below the Norfork Lake Dam and runs approximately 5 miles until in joins the White River in Norfork, AR. Famous for its beautiful setting and area scenery, the Norfork River not only offers great fishing but has plenty of opportunities to explore, sight see and camp.  If you find yourself staying in our area and haven't yet seen the Norfork River and Dam, it is well worth the drive.  We encourage you to spend some time at the Norfork National Fish Hatchery that is just below the dam and see some of our monster trout.  


The Buffalo River ~ America's 1st National Scenic Waterway, The Buffalo River is one of the most spectacular rivers in the country.  The river runs roughly 140 miles across Arkansas from East to West and brings with it stunning scenery seen either by boat or land.  From high bluffs and incredible overlooks to back country hiking and biking trails, the Buffalo River is a must see when visiting the area.  One can float the entire section of the river and the water is loaded with caves, springs, tributaries, small mouth bass and numerous sand bar stretches to camp along the banks at night if you wish.     


Crooked Creek ~ One of the more unknown small mouth bass streams in Arkansas to visitors but a secret honey hole to locals. Crooked Creek also runs East to West and starts in Harrison AR before emptying into the White River roughly around the 24 mile marker.  Known to be a great float for canoes and kayaks in designated places, Crooked Creek is a great way to pass the time and hunt for massive small mouth bass.  


Dry Run Creek ~ Dry Run Creek is one of those secret gems of a place that was built specifically for the mobility impaired and kids under the age of 16 to fish in Arkansas for alarmingly big trout! Dry Run Creek is the feeder stream of the Norfork National Fish Hatchery and runs roughly a quarter of a mile before washing into the Norfork River at the Norfork Lake Dam. Perfect for the introduction of fly fishing to a child, Dry Run Creek rarely disappoints in terms of catching a lunker and is typically open every day of the year from sunup to sundown.   


The Spring River ~ A little further of a drive than the other close by river systems but still worth seeing, the Spring River is located near Mammoth Spring State Park and Hardy AR.  The river is beautiful, cold and runs approximately 57 miles South through Arkansas.  Known for good floating, good trout fishing and gorgeous scenery, the Spring River is a good place to spend a day if you find yourself staying for longer than a week.  Otherwise, Cotter and Gassville can cover all of your lake and river needs all day long!  


Area Lakes 


Bull Shoals Lake ~ Home to Ranger Boats and many professional fishing tournaments each year, Bull Shoals Lake covers 45,440 miles across Missouri and Arkansas.  Strewn with rolling hills, bluffs, private coves, tributaries and scenic roads all around, Bull Shoals Lake is the go to place to spend some quality time boating on the lake while taking in the hot Arkansas summer weather.  Located just 20 minutes north of Cotter and Gassville, the lake has boat access, fishing guides, boat rentals and fun awaiting you. If you like to fish, Bull Shoals Lake is loaded with quality catfish, small mouth bass, large mouth bass, stripers, walleye and crappie within its depths.   


Norfork Lake ~ Norfork Lake is the other lake that signifies the Twin Lakes Region and is easily accessible from Cotter and Gassville to the SouthEast.  Only a short 25 minute drive away, Norfork Lake covers approximately 22,000 miles and has plenty of places to hideout for the day on the water to getaway from it all.  Like its counterpart, Bull Shoals Lake, Norfork Lake has exceptional fishing and plenty of boat ramps, guides and rentals.  It won't take you long to realize how beautiful this area really is when you get your first sneak peak glance at either one of these two great lakes when you visit.