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Scenic Drives, Attractions, Activities, & Services
Between Mountain Home & Mountain View Arkansas
Sylamore Area is Norfork, Calico Rock, Allison, Fifty Six, Sylamore National Forest, White River, North Fork River, Norfork Lake, Sylamore Creek National Scenic River Corridor, Leatherwood Wilderness Area

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Norfork National Trout Hatchery

Also Dry Run Creek, North Fork River, Lower Quarry Park, Upper Quarry Park, Norfork Lake Dam

Point 2 Details
1.5 miles between points 1 & 2

Norfork National trout hatchery
Hatchery entrance from highway 177

Once A Town of 10,000 - Between the Y Store and the dam is what used to be a town of some 10,000 people. Back in the 1940's when Norfork Lake dam was being built there where houses, hotels, stores, bars, and all the action you'd expect in a construction town.

Activities - Tour the Norfork National Fish Hatchery (free), picnic in several waterside places, trout fish, swim, let the kids fish Dry Run Creek, let the kids play on the public play stations in the parks.

Rest Rooms - Yes, at the hatchery, and at both lower and upper Quarry Parks.

Cell Phone Signal - Most cell phones work in this area. But if they don't there is an honest-to-God coin operated pay phone in one of those blue egg-shaped booths at the entrance to the Park. It actually works!

Hatchery Tour - How would you like an investment that annually produced $6 for every $1 you put into it? And would you like a wonderful example of what a well-run government agency can produce? Yes, for every $1 this hatchery invests in raising trout, $6 goes back into our economy. Every year they stock over 2 million trout in various rivers in Arkansas and surrounding states. The 22,000 gallons of fresh clean water needed every minute, 24/7, is efficiently drawn from Norfork Lake into the fish raceways. The hatchery is open year around for self-guided tours. See trout in sizes from barely visible to 10 pound lunkers. Be sure to tour the Visitor Center here. The sad story is that every year this successful government operation gets it's budget cut back more and more.

Hatchery is at 1414 Highway 177 South, Norfork Arkansas. Phone 870-499-5255. Open to the public everyday except Christmas from 8am to 4pm.

dry run creek fishing platform
Fishing platform on Dry Run Creek

Dry Run Creek - A Very Special Treat For Kids Under 16 - And Handicapped Fishers
Dry Run Creek is anything but dry. That 22,000 gallons of water flowing through the hatchery every minute of the day ends up in Dry Run Creek. Beautiful walkways along the creek edge make this a park setting. If you let your children fish here, they will be spoiled for life. The concentration of trout, and the size of the trout they will catch (trout of 8 to 10 pounds are common) is unmatched anywhere in the United States. Dry Run is a narrow, shallow creek that is very easy for children to fish. There is also a very well designed platform system for those who fish from wheelchairs.

leaping brown trout
Brown trout leaping the Dry Run Creek Falls

Dry Run Falls Leaping Trout - If you are running this tour in October or November, go right across the road from the hatchery to Quarry Park. Within a few feet of the highway on your left, look for a small four-car parking spot. In front of the parking spots look for a set of steps, which lead down to the falls. Stand on the bank for a few minutes and you will see a very rare site - trout leaping waterfalls like salmon. This happens in only a few spots in America. Click here for more photos of leaping trout

Upper & Lower Quarry Park - Technically Quarry Park is what you see across from the hatchery. What the locals call upper Quarry Park is Quarry Cove Recreation Area. Lower Quarry is a beautiful RV and camping area along the river bank. Upper Quarry is for lake recreation and has no camping or RV spots. Both lower and upper Quarry Parks are managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

quarry park Rv and camping sites
Quarry Park RV and camping sites

Lower Quarry Park - Trout Fish, Picnic - A U.S. Army Corps of Engineer facility. RV dump stations, public restrooms, children's play stations. Enter directly across the main road from the hatchery. There is a public access to the North Fork river here. Shaded picnic tables make this an ideal riverside picnic spot. Launch a boat, wade fish, or fish from the bank. You can see Norfork dam a couple of hundred yards away. If a loud horn sounds, get out of the water and go up the bank. Shortly following the horn will be a water release. Up on the river bank are several camping and RV sites. There are also picnic tables. Inquire at the little ranger hut about where you can picnic. If you want to walk for exercise, this is a great place to do it. It's nearly a mile all away around the paved road.

Camping & RV - Sites available at lower Quarry Park below Norfork Dam.

Making Reservations - You can place reservations from May 15 to September 15 as far as six months in advance. The rest of the year a stay in the Park is on a first-come-first-served basis. In this area COE parks typically officially open from April 1st to September 15th. You can camp in the parks the rest of the year, but services are not turned on, and staff is not on site.

For reservations at Quarry Park you'll need to call Recreation.gov, or sign in to their web site. When using the Recreation.gov site use the name "Dam Quarry on Norfork Lake" in their search box. Be prepared for the reservation agents to know very little about the park since they've never been there. If you have specific questions you'll need to call the local U.S. Army Crops of Engineers Project Office in Mountain Home, Arkansas 870-425-2700.

It is always a good idea to call the Mountain Home office before you leave home. Sometimes the parks are closed, or partly closed, due to high water.

The Recreation.gov site has a good online site-by-site reservation system with a very nice set of clickable features showing details for each site. There is also a good park map so you can see which sites are open for the dates you want. The map is helpful even if you don't want to make reservations.

Mountain Home COE office: 870-425-2700 8am to 4:30pm Monday-Friday.
Recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777

upper quarry park boat launch
Public boat launch and swimming at Upper Quarry Park

Upper Quarry Park - From the hatchery or lower Quarry Park drive up the hill toward Norfork Dam. Once on top of the hill there are two entrances into Upper Quarry (Quarry Cove Recreation Area). Pull in either one. Norfork Lake swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking, and a marina are what you find here.

Part of upper Quarry has been closed due to budget cutbacks. This is the section that does not look out over the lake. It is across the road from the dam side part of upper Quarry.

Marina - At the end of the park farthest from the dam is Quarry Park Point road which goes to Quarry Marina. The marina rents boats, sells bait and tackle, snacks, swim suits, etc. For boat rentals and other Norfork Lake watersport information contact Quarry Marina as follows: street address is 209 Quarry Park Point, Salesville, Arkansas, phone is 870-499-5388. The marina floats over an old deep rock quarry from which the area takes it's name.

Birding - Depending on the time of year, typically fall and winter, there will be different species of ducks along this shore next to Quarry Park Point road.

Lake Access - Going toward the dam you next come to the public boat launch and swimming area. This is a nice paved access with lake view picnic tables, swimming, and boat trailer parking. Above the lake access is more trailer parking and the bathrooms.

Play Ground - Continuing toward the dam brings you to the play ground, which is a large flat grass yard with a volleyball net and a climbing/play station for children.

Pavilion - Right next to the dam is a large covered picnic pavilion and parking lot. Pavilion use for groups is by reservation only. Otherwise anyone can use it if it is not in use at the time you drive up.

Tour Options From Point 2

Option #1 - Go back the way you came, then go behind and past the Y Store and continue to Point 3 down Hwy 5.

Option #2 - CR 63 - Short Cut To Point 4 - Drive across the dam and go 1.4 miles up Hwy 177 until you come to Whispering Woods Resort and Grill. A few feet past Whispering Woods turn right onto CR 63 (aka Norfork River Road). About 5 miles long CR-63 is paved down to the 1.5 mile point, then turns to dirt for the rest of the way. It ends at the confluence of the White and North Fork Rivers in the village of Norfork, which is Point 4 on the main tour loop. Creekside Cabins is on this road just after you cross the bridge over a little stream (Otter Creek).

All along the last 1/2 mile of CR-63 is one of the best places around to see beautiful wildflower colonies. You'll go past Rose's Trout dock. Right after Rose's you can turn left and be back out on Hwy 5 in a tenth of a mile, or go straight to Norfork Resort & Trout Dock, which is the northern end information center of this tour.

Whispering Woods Grill - This is a unique little place serving excellent food. They also have the best view of Norfork Lake with a large deck to enjoy it from. Open hours vary with the seasons. Best thing to do is call to confirm open hours, or stop by and look at the hours on the door. Call Whispering Woods Resort at 870-499-5531. Their address is 4245 Hwy 177 South, Jordan Arkansas. They are at the corner of CR 63 (Norfork River Road) and Hwy 177.

Option #3 - See More Of Norfork Lake At Jordan Park at Point 2A
It's about 12 miles from upper Quarry Park to Jordan Recreation Area (aka Jordan Park). This is a beautiful lakeside campground with swimming, bank fishing, bathrooms, and a full service marina offering boat rentals, fishing guides, a store with bait and tackle, and a scuba diving shop. Lakeside picnic tables make Jordan a great place for a picnic. For more details click the link above.

To get to Jordan Park from Norfork dam, go about 3.5 miles on Hwy 177. Look for a sign on your right saying "Jordan", then in a 100 yards look for the four-way intersection of Hwy 177, CR-70, and CR-64 (aka Jordan Road). To get to Jordan Park turn left onto CR-70 and go 8 miles. The road is paved all the way to the park.

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