Beaverfork Lake, Arkansas, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Arkansas - Central -

Also known as:  Beaver Fork Lake, Lake Beaverfork

Beaverfork Lake is at the gateway of the Ozarks in the Central tourism region of Arkansas. It is a great place to catch a breeze and windsurf or throw out a line in search of a trophy bass. Located in the collage town of Conway, Beaverfork Lake is a favorite of residents and college students alike who are looking for fun on the water.

Owned by the City of Conway, 960-acre Beaverfork Lake is dwarfed by Conway’s other lake: Lake Conway. The 6700-acre lake is one of the largest ever created by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and known for excellent fishing. Beaverfork Lake, on the other hand, is better know as the local hotspot for water recreation. Besides providing drinking water to the city, the lake’s 25-acre Beaverfork Park is the city’s largest park and offers plenty of recreational activities for city residents.

Beaverfork Park is located on the west end of the lake on Highway 25. The 1,200-acre park is packed with fun stuff to do. There is s swimming area, concession stand and three large bathrooms. The picnic area includes grills, and there are two pavilions: one large and one small. A new playground was just installed. The sanded volleyball courts are popular in the spring, as is the lighted softball field in summer. There is a fee to use the boat launch. Check with the city parks and recreation department for hours and cost. Beaverfork Lake is between 12 and 15 feet deep in most places. Bass, bluegill, catfish and crappie swim in the waters. In 2008 a fisherman pulled out a catfish that was 41 inches long and weighed 32 pounds. The breezy lake attracts windsurfers and swimmers.

Private homes occupy most of the land around Beaverfork Lake. Several parks in the area provide visitors with the opportunity to pitch a tent or park an RV. Conway is located about 30 miles northwest of Little Rock. It is home to three colleges (University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix, and Central Baptist), so you do not have to travel down to Little Rock for some excitement. There is always a play, art exhibit, concert or a nationally known speaker in town to give a talk. There are also ample restaurants and shops around town.

There is no camping on Beaverfork Lake, but there are several opportunities nearby for campers. Toad Suck Park in Conway is a great place for a family vacation. The RV park is run by the Army Corp of Engineers and includes drinking water, toilets, boat launches and picnic areas. A ferry used to operate there; now there is a bridge crossing the Arkansas River. From the bridge you can watch the boats traveling through the lock and dam system. The lock and dam system travels 80 miles up the Arkansas River. There are 19,000 acres of water to delight boaters and anglers. All of Arkansas’ native fish can be found in the Arkansas River, including bream, crappie, white bass, largemouth bass, hybrid bass and striped bass. Scenic views of the mountains and lush crop land on the river’s banks soothe the soul.

Cadron Settlement Park is about five miles west of Conway. The Tollantusky Trail is located along the Arkansas River in the park. a 1.3 mile hike. The trail is named after a Cherokee Chief who lived in the area and traveled to Washington, DC as a representative for the Arkansas Cherokees. The Butterfield Overland Mail Route trail is nearby; both it and the Tollantusky Trail are part of the Arkansas Historic Trails System. The park includes Cherokee Trail of Tears exhibits, interpretive signs and markers and a boat launch, . There is also the Blockhouse restoration. The structure, built in the 1800s, was used as a trading post, residence and public gathering place.

The Harris Brake Wildlife Management Area near Perryville is just a short drive from Beaverfork Lake. It was developed in the 1950s and is home to ducks, deer, turkey, songbirds and raptors. It is 2,788 acres, including a 1,200-acre lake. The area is popular with both anglers and hunters. Near the WMA is Petit Jean State Park. The park was Arkansas’ first state park. It is home to one of the largest and most significant Bluff Shelters in the state. The bluff was once home to Native Americans more than a thousand years ago. The Rock House Cave Trail gives visitors access to the bluffs. The park is named after a young French woman who dressed as a man to travel with her fiance to explore the new world. Disguised as a cabin boy, she called herself Jean. The sailors on the ship her fiance captained called her Petit Jean, which is French for Little John. Her identity was discovered when she became fatally ill. She requested to be buried on the mountaintop overlooking the river. That place is now called Petit Jean’s Grave.

The Ouachita National Forest is southwest of Beaverfork Lake. Ouachita is located in the Ouachita Mountains spanning the Arkansas and Oklahoma border. The scenic drives feature exhibits about the area’s rich history and unique prehistoric, mineral and botanical resources. An extensive trail system is available to hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders and for off-highway vehicles. Campers can either rough it on the rustic tent pads or pull in their RVs at the full-service hook-ups. Hunting and fishing using non-motorized boats are popular with visitors as well.

Beaverfork Lake is located in the heart of an area full of outdoor fun. The colleges located in Conway provide arts and culture for people who want to spend part of their vacation on land.

Things to do at Beaverfork Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • National Forest
  • City Park
  • Playground

Fish species found at Beaverfork Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish
  • White Bass

Beaverfork Lake Photo Gallery

    Beaverfork Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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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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