Beaver Lake, Arkansas, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Arkansas - Ozarks -

Majestic limestone bluffs, hidden natural caves, and beautiful crystal clear water combine to make Beaver Lake an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. Add a rich history and exceptional fishing, and there is sure to be something to please everyone. Unsurpassed natural beauty makes Beaver Lake a popular Ozark Mountain destination.

Built on the Upper White River, Beaver Dam created Beaver Lake. Construction of the Dam, authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1944, was started in 1960 and finished in 1964, with Beaver Lake reaching full pool two years later. The lake was created for flood control, hydroelectric power, recreation and water supply. Today, the lake supplies water to more than 300,000 people in five counties. In fact, the lake supplies more drinking water than any of the other lakes in the Little Rock District. According to the US Army Corps of Engineers, who manages the dam and lake, its primary purposes are power generation and flood control.

Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart store in nearby Rogers, but Mr. Walton wasn’t the first business pioneer to start in the Beaver Lake area. After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, many ambitious pioneers journeyed to Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains. Peter VanWinkle was the fourth son of Dutch immigrants whose family moved west seeking new opportunities. Mr. VanWinkle found exceptional timber in the area that was to become Beaver Lake, and by 1840 he was known as the “lumber king.” He built VanWinkle’s Mill and a plantation style house where he lived with his family of eight children. Mr. VanWinkle was an avid Confederate supporter and when the direction of the war turned against the Confederacy, he fled with his family to Texas. His mill and house burned to the ground, but after the war, he moved back and rebuilt. The University of Arkansas is conducting archeological digs at the site and has uncovered the slave quarters, graveyard, blacksmith forge, mill and house. Visitors to Hobs State Management Area can see remnants of the mill and garden from the Historic VanWinkle Trail.

Jointly managed by Arkansas State Parks, the Natural Heritage Commission, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the Hobbs State Management Area is the largest state park area in Arkansas. The park encompasses twenty-two miles of Beaver Lake’s shoreline and provides undeveloped access to the lake. It includes a public firing range and is the only Arkansas state park that allows seasonal hunting. There is primitive camping and hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding on the Hidden Diversity Multi-use Trail. Visitors can learn about the lake and its history at the new visitors’ center.

The US Army Corps of Engineers manages and maintains several parks, trails, and campgrounds around Beaver Lake. Visitors to the lake can explore limestone bluff shelters from Corps-maintained trails including the largest bluff shelter at Beaver Lake on the Dogwood Trail. The shelters were used by the Native Americans who were the region’s first residents. There are plenty of Corps-maintained hiking trails where visitors can hike past wildflowers in the spring and colored leaves in the fall.

The shoreline at Beaver Lake is surrounded by high limestone cliffs, bluffs, and dotted with caves. Most caves are too small or unsafe to visit, but there is some spelunking for the adventurous. War Eagle Caverns has a natural entrance on the shores of Beaver Lake and is home to over 75,000 bats, including eastern pipestrelle and gray bats. The cavern has been opened to the public since 1978.

Beaver Lake’s crystal clear water calls boaters, anglers, and scuba divers from all over. There are conveniently located marinas catering to boaters and water skiers. Anglers will love the challenge of catching large and small mouth bass and stripers, as well as channel and spoonbill catfish. Below the dam there is exceptional trout fishing on the White River. Every year millions of fingerling game fish are released from the Blackburn Creek Nursery Pond into the lake by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Anglers can fish the lake from a boat, underwater with a spear and scuba gear, or downstream with a trout fly, making Beaver Lake an angler’s paradise.

When boat guides take visitors out on the lake, they often take two bottles along – one empty and one full of purified water. Visitors are amazed when the guides fill the empty bottle with lake water and hold it beside the purified water. Because the lake is also spring fed, its water is crystal clear making it a haven for scuba divers. Divers can explore the normal sunken debris, looking for fish in old boats, cars and trees, but residents of Beaver Lake have also placed sculptures for divers to find and explore. In the fall there is an underwater pumpkin carving contest. Divers carve their pumpkins underwater and then bring them to the surface for judging.

Remains of the underwater Monte Ne resort are hard to see because of their proximity to the river. Built in the 1800’s, Monte Ne was a world class resort area including two of the biggest hotels of the time. Wealthy guests rode gondolas imported from Venice through the streams to the hotels. When the lake was filled, the abandoned resort was flooded. When lake levels are low, visitors can see the resort foundations, large gondola bridges, and most spectacularly, the resort’s amphitheatre.

With its natural beauty, rich diverse history, and crystal clear water, Beaver Lake is sure to beckon to outdoor enthusiasts, adventurers, and explorers alike. Guest can camp, stay in a rustic cabin or a modern motel. Everyone will find something that fits them at Beaver Lake.

Things to do at Beaver Lake AR

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Water Skiing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Spelunking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Playground

Fish species found at Beaver Lake AR

  • Bass
  • Catfish
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout

Beaver Lake AR Photo Gallery

Beaver Lake AR Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: US Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 28,200 acres

Shoreline Length: 449 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,120 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 1,077 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,130 feet

Average Depth: 100 feet

Maximum Depth: 210 feet

Water Volume: 1,200,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1966

Water Residence Time: 348 days

Drainage Area: 1,186 sq. miles

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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