Famous for its world-class trout fishing, Bull Shoals–White River State Park lies along the shores of both Bull Shoals Lake and the White River. The scope of the park can first be experienced from the 15,744-square-foot visitor center set high above the Bull Shoals Dam. Its state-of-the-art visitor exhibit hall and theater share the history of the area and tell the fishing stories from these waters. Venturing down into the park along the White River, visitors are greeted with 113 campsites (63 class AAA, 30 Class B, and 20 tent sites with no hook ups) plus three Rent-An-RV sites.

The riverside marina and store offer boat rentals, bait, tackle, and supplies. Besides being the state’s premier park for trout fishing, the park also offers great hiking and mountain biking. Interpretive programs include campfire-cooking demonstrations, trout fishing workshops, and nature walks.

Bull Shoals-White River State Park Arkansas

Video by Ken Click from YouTube

Location

Bull Shoals–White River State Park
153 Dam Overlook Lane
Bull Shoals, AR 72619

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Hours

Visitor Center:
Open all year
Jan. 1 – May 17: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
May 18 – Sept. 1: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sept. 2 – Dec. 31: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Camping Registration Center:
Open all year 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

With the following exceptions:
Jan. 1 – Jan. 31: Sun. – Sat. Closed
Feb. 1- Feb. 28: Mon. & Tues. Closed
Nov. 11 – Nov. 30: Mon. & Tues. Closed
Dec. 1 – Dec. 31: Sun. – Sat. Closed

Campground/Picnic Area:
Open all year
Restrooms are open March – October.

Rent-An-RV:
Available year round.

Marina:
870-431-5557
Open all year
Jan. 1 – Jan. 31: Sun. – Sat. Closed
Feb. 1 – Feb. 28: Sun. – Sat. 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
(Closed Wed. & Thurs.)
Mar. 1 – Oct. 31: Sun. – Sat. 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Nov. 1 – Nov. 30: Fri. – Tues. 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
(Closed Wed. & Thurs.)
Dec. 1 – Dec. 31: Sun. – Sat. Closed
Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day &
noon Christmas Eve through Christmas Day

Contact Details

Phone Number: ( 870) 445-3629
Email Addresses: bullshoalswhiteriver@arkansas.com
Official website: https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/parks/bull-shoals-white-river-state-park

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Area Attractions

Suggested Equipment for Bull Shoals White River State Park Adventures:

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The following activities within the park should be done with utmost caution. Make sure that you have the proper protective gear and equipment necessary to make your adventures safe and accident-free. We advise you to read the TIPS underneath each activity to serve as a guide on what you may need to bring in order to enjoy your stay fully.

Activities & Tips

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Before you head out on your trout fishing adventure along the White River, familiarize yourself with the regulations of the specific section you will be fishing and outfit your tackle box accordingly.  

In addition to needing a current Arkansas State Fishing License, both residents and out-of-staters also need to purchase a Trout Permit. Make sure to understand where fishing is and is not allowed, as there are year-round and seasonal catch-and-release spots, locations restricted by bait and tackle mandates, and prohibited fishing areas. Check out this link for fishing regulations around Bull Shoals-White River State Park.   

In terms of keeping fish, (at the time of this publication- subject to change) the statewide daily limit is 5 trout, and within the Bull Shoals Lake Tailwater section where the state park is located, only 1 trout over 14 inches may be kept. There are other specific limitations on sizing and number of each trout species that may be kept, so stay accustomed to these rules. However, many people choose to release their catch, especially as the fish get larger. This is especially crucial for brown trout because out of the four species, they are the only type that naturally breed in the tailwaters right below Bull Shoals Dam. 

For the most up-to-date trout fishing regulations, area maps, trout stocking schedules, and other trout fishing locations around the state, check out the Arkansas Trout Fishing Guidebook published by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission annually.  

  • Trail Type: Day Hikes
  • Difficulty: Moderate, Strenuous
  • Distance: 1.75 miles
  • Time: 2 hours hiking time

The first part of this loop trail is a level walk over the remains of the railroad tram built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to bring in steel and lumber from Cotter to construct Bull Shoals Dam. Once the trail crosses the paved road, it goes up the hillside to an area overlooking the White River, Bull Shoals Dam, and the Ozark hill country. The trail then leads through cedar glades, mature deciduous forests, and across streams. These areas provide excellent habitat for colorful Ozark wildflowers.

  • Trail Type: Day Hikes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Time: 2 hours hiking time

Not a traditional trail, this collection of bluebird houses through the campground is a flurry of activity each spring and summer as the eastern bluebirds use these homes to raise their young. Hikers can walk along a grassy lawn to observe the nesting and feeding behaviors of these bluebirds.

  • Trail Type: Day Hikes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 0.75
  • Time: 1 hour hiking time

This memorial wildflower garden loop trail meanders through three acres of wildflowers that change each week through the season. Wildlife, including birds and butterflies, can be throughout the trail at feeders and rest areas. The area is under constant development and memorial contributions may be made at any time.

  • Trail Type: Barrier Free (ADA), Day Hikes
  • Difficulty: Easy, Moderate
  • Distance: 1/2 mile
  • Time: Estimated 1 hour hiking time

The stories along this ADA accessible trail are of land use and natures ability to regenerate itself. Along this trail you will see how this land looked during the construction of the dam and now, how it is ecologically succeeding into the forest it once was; a forest that provides a home for plants and animals as part of Bull Shoals-White River State Park.

  • Trail Type: Barrier Free (ADA), Day Hikes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Time: 1 hour hiking time

Constructed in 1979 by the Young Adult Conservation Corps, this loop trail offers relatively easy walking. Bull Shoals Lake, combined with the Ozark plant and animal life, makes this trail an ecosystem in itself. Any season of the year, even in the deepest winter, a surprise awaits you around each corner. Eagle Point and Titmouse Alley provide excellent habitats for bird watching. Bald eagles, waterfowl, and gulls are often seen from Eagle Point in winter. During spring, summer, and fall over 90 species of migrating and summer resident songbirds populate the area.

Note: Wearing of Bicycle helmet & other safety equipment is required.

For a map and more information, visit MTBProject.com.

Bull Shoals-White River State Park is a must-visit state park in Arkansas. Check out other state parks in Arkansas here.

ARKANSAS State Parks