White River Kayak

Trip Report: Bull Shoals – White River State Park

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This past weekend we took a trip to one of our favorite Arkansas State Parks, Bull Shoals – White River State Park. This park is a wonderful warm or hot weather park. The campground is situated on the White River just below the Bull Shoals dam. With a cold constant water temperature campers are assured of a cool evening. The area is known as the best fly fishing area in the Midwest. The park recently added a new visitor center with wonderful displays, a gift shop, and views.

We got in late on Friday and met some friends that were already there. After quickly setting up camp we headed over to the fire they had going for some smores and conversation. Finally, about 11 p.m. we headed back to the tent for a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, I had just replaced our old blow-up mattresses with some new lightweight cots. Well, I somehow measured wrong and all three wouldn’t fit in the tent. Luckily, we had brought our backpacking pads so Lisa and I slept on those and let the little one sleep on her cot. It was a long night for me. My back was acting up and I just couldn’t get comfortable. So the next day I used a tarp to set up a lean-to between some trees so that the girls could have cots and the tent to themselves and I opted for a night outside.

The next morning we took our time getting up and then went for a walk on the 1.75-mile big bluff trail. We’d done it before but always enjoy the view from the bluff above the river. Later, our friends took the little one fishing while Lisa and I went to check out the visitor center. I have been here many times but Lisa had only seen it before it was finished.

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That night we went to Gaston’s Resort for dinner….mmmmmmmm……

Then back to the campsite to wait on yet more friends. About 9 p.m. that night Sarah & Aaron got in with their two dogs. We helped them get set up and then turned in. I got to try out the “groovy bachelor pad” outside.

After a great nights sleep we got up and set up for some kayaking. The park has kayaks for rent so all 9 of us (including the dogs) did an 8 mile float down the river. This is what it looked like:


Mike & Cari

Mc & Aaron

Shortly after the kayak trip Mike and Cari had to leave. So that afternoon Lisa, Sarah, Aaron and I went for a quick little, 3-mile mountain bike ride while Mc stayed in camp and watched the dogs and read.

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After dinner that night the very tired family headed back on the 3-hour drive to Little Rock getting home about 10 p.m. on Sunday night.

Now that is a full weekend!!!

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