Vacationers have been making the trek to scenic Beaver Lake, nestled in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, since the late 1960s. Located just ten minutes from downtown Rogers off Scenic Highway 12, Beaver Lake boasts 28,000 sparkling blue acres of water for boating, fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding, scuba diving, swimming and recreation. The lake is surrounded by 450 miles of spectacular shoreline featuring limestone bluffs, caves, wildlife and fall foliage rivaling New England.
The lake area is ideal for camping, hiking, bird watching (watch for the bald eagles) and enjoying nature. Beaver Lake is also world renowned for fishing, especially for striper and largemouth bass, crappie, bream and catfish. The lake is home to several professional and amateur fishing tournaments annually.
Access to the natural beauty and recreational activities at Beaver Lake is available at 12 developed parks including modern campsites, picnic sites, swimming areas, hiking trails, group shelters and amphitheaters (see the lodging section for more information on Beaver Lake area lodging and campgrounds). Boat launch ramps abound, and seven of the parks have year-round marinas offering groceries, fuel, boat rental and storage, fishing guides and other supplies.
Beaver Lake is a man-made lake completed in 1966 for flood control, hydroelectric power generation and to serve as a public water supply. The lake is managed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers.
From Rogers, access to Beaver Lake is quick and easy on Scenic Highway 12 East, which leads to Prairie Creek Recreation Area and Marina and Rocky Branch Marina and Recreation Area. Horseshoe Bend Recreation Area and Hickory Creek Recreation Area along with a ramp at Monte Ne are the closest lake-access points to Lowell.
With more than 28,000 surface acres of water and 450 feet of shoreline, Beaver Lake offers plenty of places to drop a line. At the dam, colder water provides habitat for rainbow and German brown trout, while other sections of the lake are known for large- and small-mouth bass, crappie, bream, white bass, stripers, and channel or spoon-bill catfish. For an assortment of rainbow and brown trout, bass and sunfish, try the White River, Beaver Lake’s tailwater, below Beaver Lake Dam. The catch-and-release zone is located from the Dam Site Park Camping Area C to 100 yards above Parker Bend Access. Fishing is also allowed from the edge of Lake Atalanta, minutes from downtown Rogers, and great floating and fishing can also be found on War Eagle River.
For detailed information on fishing guides, bait and tackle shops, click visit our Business Directory for current business listings.
CAMPING AND HIKING
The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers operates 650 camping sites with electrical hookups in 11 parks around Beaver Lake. For more information, contact the Corps of Engineers at 479-636-1210 or log onto www.Recreation.gov to check campsite availability. Several private RV and campground facilities are also available in the area. For a listing of private campgrounds, click here or call the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce at 479-636-1240.
A variety of hiking paths are available around Beaver Lake. The Shaddox Hollow Nature Trail (1.5 miles) offers easy hiking with a beautiful scenic view overlooking Beaver Lake. The trail winds along a creek among various hardwoods and Ozark vegetation, including interesting limestone bluffs. The trail is rated easy to moderate in difficulty, and takes approximately one to two hours to hike.
For a more challenging hike, try the Pigeon Roost Trail (8.5 miles), located entirely within Hobbs State Park. The trail winds through narrow hollows, up along ridges, and through stands of pines, hardwoods and Ozark vegetation. There are several campsites available along the trail located on a ridge overlooking the lake. Bald eagles are often visible from the trails in the winter, and gorgeous Ozark scenery makes up for their absence the rest of the year. The Van Winkle Hollow trail is short and easily accessible for children or the handicapped.
OTHER RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Boating, scuba diving, water skiing, wakeboarding, kayaking, swimming and picnicking are just as popular as fishing on Beaver Lake.
Scuba diving is popular at Beaver Lake, with several lake-area businesses offering equipment, accessories and training. Thanks to a rock bottom, the water is also crystal clear for snorkeling. Underwater bluffs and old foundations are a few of the hidden treasures of the lake.
Smaller coves offer the perfect spot for water skiing and wakeboarding or just floating in the sun. The lake is rapidly emerging as a prime destination for wakeboarding in the central United States, featuring competitions and a growing population of devoted fans.
Wide open spaces on Beaver Lake leave plenty of room for tubing or exploring on personal watercraft. Kayak around Bear and Deer Islands or sail from Prairie Creek to the dam. Boats of all shapes and sizes, including ski boats, fishing boats, pontoons, houseboats, and sail boats, share the wide open water of Beaver Lake.
HOBBS STATE PARK CONSERVATION AREA
One of 51 state parks in Arkansas and its largest in land area, Hobbs State Park stretches out along 22 miles of Beaver Lake shoreline. More than 12,000 acres of Ozark plateaus, ridges, valleys and streams featuring an upland forest of pine, oak and hickory along with disappearing streams, springs and seeps make up the conservation area.
Stop in at the state-of-the-art Visitor Center off Highway 12 to view an introductory film, play with interactive kiosks explaining the park’s history, geology, caves, and wildlife, or join in a program on bird watching, hiking, or nature photography.
The park’s one-half mile Historic Van Winkle Trail leads hikers through a tunnel under Scenic Highway 12. The trail leads to the site of the historic Van Winkle lumber mill and home in Van Winkle Hollow on the West Fork of Little Clifty Creek, where remnants of a sawmill and an antebellum garden owned by Peter Van Winkle during the 19th century are still visible. Major General Earl Van Dorn retreated from the Civil War battle of Pea Ridge with the majority of the Confederate Army of the West and stayed the night at the Van Winkle Mill on March 8, 1862. Van Winkle’s first house and mill were burned during the Civil War, but both were rebuilt by 1872, with the mill providing wood for the reconstruction of northwest Arkansas. Van Winkle built and operated one of Arkansas’ largest sawmills, which provided the majority of the lumber used in the construction of Old Main at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Recent archeological digs have unearthed parts of the property including the slave quarters, blacksmith shop, mill site and home site.
Hobbs State Park also features the eight-mile Pigeon Roost Trail, and the Shaddox Hollow Trail, a 1.5 mile loop that leads hikers through a variety of Ozark microclimates and serves as an environmental education trail. The park offers an all-weather public firing range, regulated season hunting, undeveloped access to Beaver Lake and interpretive programs.
For more information on Hobbs State Park Conservation Area call 479-789-5000 or visit www.arkansasstateparks.com/hobbsstateparkconservationarea.