I grew up in God’s country, ARKANSAS! There is a very valid reason Arkansas is called “The Natural State”. From the backwaters of the southeast to the northwest Ozark mountains, everywhere you turn is a nature lover’s wonderland. We didn’t have a whole lot of extra money growing up, so family vacations tended to be close by and on the cheaper side. As a kid, I couldn’t have asked for more memorable experiences than camping around this scenic state (see 6 Reasons to Take Your Kids Camping).
Unfortunately, Joe did not grow up in Arkansas. As the wonderful wife that I am, I feel that it is my duty to show Joe the memorable sights from my childhood. North central Arkansas and Greers Ferry Lake is one of those spots that I remember well. Our recent camping trip reminded me of why it is such an ideal camping and outdoor destination!
5 Reasons to Visit Greers Ferry Lake
1. Shaded, Roomy Campsites
Most campers want to get away from it all. I’ve been camping at some campgrounds where you can hear everything, and I mean everything that is going on in the tent next to yours. With ten Corp of Engineers campgrounds surrounding Greers Ferry Lake, there are plenty of campsites to chose from. Most of the campsites are shaded or partially shaded. Campsites range from primitive to full hook-ups. Some spots are reservable at recreation.gov.
Since I enjoy campfire cooking (Camp Cooking Equipment You’ll Love), I love using the big, grilled-covered fire rings. Some of the bathroom facilities could use some TLC, but newer ones are scattered throughout each area. Most importantly, the campgrounds are clean!
2. Lake and River Recreation
Greets Ferry Dam was completed in 1964 creating the 40,000 acre lake at the base of the Ozark Mountains. The dam was dedicated by President John F. Kennedy. It would be his last public appearance before his trip to Dallas. The dam overlook and one of the campgrounds are named in his honor.
All across the lake, you’ll see a variety of activities happening everyday. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stocks the lake with every species of fish native to the state. If river trout is more your speed, from the dam springs the Little Red River. Trout fishing at its finest!
The crystal clear waters are ideal for scuba diving, skying, and swimming. Don’t have a boat? Eight marinas surround Greers Ferry Lake. Not my cup of tea, but there are plenty of high cliff areas that swimmers use for jumping off. Some as high as forty feet from the water. Scary!!!
Need more ideas? Stop by the friendly, informative visitor’s center for maps, guides, and suggestions.
3. Beautiful, Natural Scenery
Crystal clear lake waters, high bluffs, forests galore, natural wildlife, and a fog covered river combine at Greers Ferry for an Insta-worthy backdrop from every angle.
4. There’s a Fish Hatchery!
The kids (and geeky adults like me) will love going to the fish hatchery which supplies the 200,000 pounds of rainbow and brook trout annually for the Little Red River and other nearby waters. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it is FREE!
5. Heber Springs is Close By
I love being in the great outdoors, but a little civilization is nice, too, especially if you’re camping for more than a couple of days. The campsite we stayed at, Dam Site, is only minutes from the Heber Springs business district. Heber Springs is a fairly small town but has good restaurants, a Wal-mart, movie theater, and several grocery stores. We always forget at least one thing at home (this weekend it was bread) so having stores nearby is convenient! There’s also several hotels for those who love the outdoors but like to sleep in a real bed. Word of warning, if you like alcohol when you’re on vacation, stock up before you leave. Heber Springs is located in a dry county.
Does Greer Ferry Lake look like a place you’d like to visit? Maybe you’re like me, and it is a summer staple. Please let us know your thoughts by commenting below. Want to hear about our next adventure? Follow us on social media and subscribe to our weekly newsletter!