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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 Ozark National Forest, White River, North Fork River, Norfork Lake, Sylamore Creek National Scenic River Corridor, Leatherwood Wilderness Area

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Gunner Pool Recreation Area (VT)

Point 25 Details
Southern End of Gunner Pool Road
1 mi. between 24 & 25
In Sylamore Creek National Scenic River Corridor Near Fifty-Six
You are in Stone County Here, Close To Baxter County

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Point 25 - Turn off Hwy 14 onto road 1102 for Gunner Pool Recreation Area

See Photos of Gunner Pool Recreation Area

Directions - The turn onto Gunner Pool Road is a mile west outside of Fifty Six on Hwy 14 just past the U.S. Forest Service Fifty Six Work Center (not open to the public).

Road Names - Gunner Pool Road, Stone CR-96, FSR-1102. This is not a dead-end road. It connects with several other back country roads on our map.

New To Driving Back Roads? - Read Our Back Roading Tips

Where Does It Go? - Picnic, Swim, Camp, Hiking Trailheads, Historical, Back Country Runs, Horse Trail Access - The Gunner Pool Recreation Area was built by the CCC in the 1930's. Gunner has fresh running drinking water, bathrooms, camping sites, a pond, and a pretty creek you can swim in. Gunner is in a wildlife management area, and it is legal to hunt here.

Historic Note - Gunner Pool Recreation Area was originally called Camp Hedges. From 1933 to 1942 this was a base camp for some 2,200 enrollees in the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). From here they worked on many projects within the Sylamore National Forest.

Running Back Country Roads From Gunner Pool Rec. Area
Gunner Pool road, aka FSR 1102, runs between Point 12 and Point 25 on the 2Cooleys map. It is just a little over 12 miles. It's a well maintained gravel and dirt surface road. Great road for dogwood blooms in the spring, great for understory fall foliage. Right up the road from Gunner Pool is the Sandstone Hollow Special Interest Area. Controlled burns here have kept the understory open so you can see further in the understory making spotting wildlife easier. Several other Back Country roads intersect with 1102. About 2.7 miles up 1102 from Gunner Pool is an old barn and house. At about 2.8 miles you come to FSR 1113, aka Green Road. For complete details on back country roads, visit our
Forest Roads Loop.

Gunner Pool Recreation Area - You'll find scenic Gunner Pool on the west side of the road. This is a small pond of about one-half acre. Gunner Pool is filled by Gunner Creek, which is spring fed from way up in Gunner Hollow. The water is cold and is the turquoise blue-green color common to creeks and springs in the Ozarks. This coloring is caused by dissolved limestone and other minerals eroded from underground caverns. Gunner Pool drains over a pretty little step stone dam forming a little water fall. Walk down to the middle of the old bridge, then look back for the best view of the falls. The bridge was built in 1931. North Sylamore Creek flows under it.

Season & Fee - Open all year. $7 per site per night all year. The fee station is next to the road, on the east side of the road on the Hwy 14 side of the old bridge.

Supplies & Dining - About four miles away is the little town of Fifty-Six. Fifty Six General Store sells food, gas, ice, and basic sundries. Down the street a couple hundred yards is Cody's Restaurant. Blanchard Springs Liquor Store is about 7 miles away.

Campground - There's 24 camp sites with lantern hook, picnic table, tent pads (gravel) and fire ring with grill. There are three camping areas, one on the west side of the road next to the actual pond called Gunner Pool having 5 sites, another across the road (east side) down by North Sylamore Creek having 5 sites, and the third, also on the east side of the road, has 14 sites. All three camping areas have His & Her restrooms, which are vault toilets (non-flushing). A water hydrant supplies fresh drinking water. There are no other water hook ups, or sewer or power hookups. Trees shade all camp sites. Use fee is $7 per night per sight.

Swimming In North Sylamore Creek - A few feet past the falls Gunner Creek drains into North Sylamore Creek, actually almost under the bridge. From the bridge you can look upstream for several hundred yards. This is particularly beautiful in the fall. Down at the lower camp ground you'll find a small parking area. For here walk to the creek and you'll find a swimming hole.  North Sylamore Creek offers true Ozark clear creek swimming here. The pools are not deep and are more of a place to wade than swim. It's a great way to cool down on a hot day!  Swim at your own risk, there are no life guards on duty. The kids love it, and they also enjoy the rocks on the other side. You can get up close to some bluffs, which are about 40 feet high. You'll see some knarled old cedar trees growing out of the rock faces. These tough trees are over 200 years old.

Picnicking - Gunner is one of our favorite spots to stop for a meal. Use any unoccupied camping site, or there is also a picnic spot near the west side parking lot.

Fishing - Fishing here is not productive in Gunner Pool or Sylamore Creek. The few fish there are tend to be small and hard to catch.

Hiking - You can hike in two directions along the North Sylamore Creek Hiking Trail (NSCT) from Gunner Pool Recreation Area. Park your car in one of the parking lots, then either head across the bridge, or walk up the opposite direction. Across the bridge and down the road about 100 yards you'll find the North Sylamore Creek hiking trail access sign next to the road. This is the upstream part of the trail. You can hike for a short distance and come back, or continue for many miles. Hiking upstream takes you to Barkshed Recreation Area in about 4.1 miles.

Hiking downstream takes you to Blanchard Springs Caverns Recreation Complex in about 5.1 miles. You'll find this trail section on the edge of the road, up past the camp sites away from the bridge about 100 yards. The trail follows North Sylamore Creek most of the way in both directions. There are several spots where the trail does leave the creek and heads up the hillsides.

Hiking northwest from Gunner Pool on the NSCT up to Cripple Turkey Road allows you to connect to the
Ozark Highlands Trail. However, this is a long hike of about 12.4 miles.

Hunting - Gunner Pool is located within the Sylamore Wildlife Management Area. Hunting is permitted anywhere except within developed recreation areas or where otherwise posted. This management area provides hunting for whitetail deer, wild turkey, black bear, squirrel and other game in season

ATV Use - You can run your ATVs on many of the roads in this area. You can't run then in the Recreation Area other than to leave and come back. Please visit our Sylamore ATV Use Site for more information.

Alternative Access - You can also get to Gunner Pool from Points 11, 12, 18, 25, 26, 27, 35, and 36. The most common access is from Point 25 where you come in from Hwy 14, and is the access point we recommend. If you want to combine a little Back Roading on your way to Gunner, take Gunner Pool Road from Point 12 on Hwy 5, a 9 mile drive taking about 30 minutes from Gunner Pool. We recommend the other access points only if you want to drive the longer Back Road Loops on our map.

Horse Trail Access - The trailhead for the Sylamore Horse Trails is a few miles past Gunner Pool. Go across the bridge following FSR-1102. Go past the intersection of 1102 and 1113. Stay on 1102 until you come to FSR-1112. Turn down 1112 as if headed to Barkshed and in 0.8 of a mile is the trailhead on your right. It's a little shorter to come in from Point 26 from Barkshed, but not by much.

Back Country Road Loops From Gunner Pool

Gunner Pool road, aka FSR 1102, is the main connection road for all other back country roads on the 2Cooleys map. For complete details on back country roads, visit our Forest Roads Loop.


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