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story.lead_photo.caption The Sentinel-Record/Corbet Deary SCENIC STRETCH: Horseshoe Bend Recreation Area is located along a scenic stretch of the lake and offers a plethora of opportunities for those with a passion for the wonderful outdoors.

Outdoor writer and photographer Corbet Deary is featured regularly in The Sentinel-Record. Today, Deary writes about Horseshoe Bend Recreation Area.

We're blessed, here in central Arkansas, with four premier reservoirs situated less than an hour from our homes. All of these lakes are bountiful with fish, offer water activities galore and lend to beautiful scenery.

We, in turn, might forget that there are other reservoirs throughout the state that are equally as scenic, bountiful and alluring to those who enjoy various water activities. Beaver Lake fits in that category.

Nestled in northwest Arkansas near the towns of Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville, the reservoir consists of 28,370 acres of water surface and sports in the neighborhood of 487 miles of shoreline.

Completed in 1966, Beaver Lake rests along the White River System and provides clear water at its upper end. Anglers who prefer less clarity might welcome the fact that the water grows more dingy near secondary tributaries flowing in on the south end of the lake.

Located in the Ozarks, the waters are sometimes contained by the limestone bluffs that are known to lurk in the Ozarks. A plethora of tree species thrives within sight of its waters as do a variety of wildflowers and other plant life.

The main river channel averages about 60 feet in depth and is surrounded by flats averaging 10 to 30 feet deep. In turn, anglers should have no problem finding the type waters they prefer fishing.

Fishing is good on the reservoir, providing a reputable fishery for just about any species we pursue on our area lakes. However, the lake differs from our area lakes in the sense that it provides a habitat conducive for smallmouth bass to survive.

Largemouth bass are plentiful and 40-pound-plus stripers have been pulled from its waters. Hybrid bass are also plentiful and are known to break during the fall season. Crappie, bream and catfish also thrive in its waters, deeming the lake a potential destination for anglers with an array of interests.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recognized the lake's potential, and provided outdoor enthusiasts with ample recreational facilities along the shoreline. In fact, it sports 12 developed parks, consisting of 2,008 acres of campgrounds and 650 campsites catering to everybody from primitive camping enthusiasts to those who prefer the luxuries of RV camping.

Of course, day-use areas welcome those who prefer spending the night in the comfort of their own beds, and group shelters are available at some of the recreation areas, as well.

I recently had the opportunity to visit Horseshoe Bend Recreation Area, located on Beaver Lake, and was impressed with the facility. The park was well-maintained and nestled in the midst of natural beauty.

There are 140 campsites on the premises, each spaced liberally, allowing ample room for one to enjoy the outdoors without feeling congested by their neighbors. Of the sites, 134 sport electricity and are the most popular throughout the facility.

Although designed with RV camping in mind, these designated spots might also be considered by those who prefer getting more back to the basics and sleeping under the cover of a tent. Even tent campers can find benefits to access to electricity, as it gives them the option of using fans on those sultry summer nights, and a steady light source, to name a few.

All of these sites are located within sight of the water and are equipped with fire rings and picnic tables. And, of course, all of the spots are designed where one can easily park and level their campers and RVs.

There are also three sites that are designated strictly for primitive camping, These three sites lack electricity and are designed with tent camping in mind. These spots, too, sport picnic tables and fire rings, and have a designated spot where one can pitch their tent on level ground.

There are also three group shelters on the premises. However, these sites are not designed with camping in mind. They are a great destination where groups can meet for the day and fellowship while breaking bread in the wonderful outdoors.

The park is a popular destination for those longing for a short stint amongst Mother Nature. In fact, several picnic sites are situated in the day-use area. These sites are also nestled within sight of the lake and in a scenic setting.

The swimming area is likely a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, especially during the brunt of summer. And although cooler days lurk ahead, it's not too late to enjoy cooling one's self in the refreshing waters before the change of seasons.

Although I am a primitive camper, I have grown to appreciate some of the amenities of home with age. I am certainly one who will dish out the extra cash for access to electricity. But there are other amenities that I appreciate even more. That's right, I gravitate toward destinations where potable water and flush toilets are available. And it just so happens that both of these particular luxuries await at Horseshoe Bend Recreation Area.

The Sentinel-Record/Corbet Deary CASUAL STROLL: Hikers might enjoy a casual stroll along the short trail located at Horseshoe Bend Recreation Area.

We also happened upon a hiking trail during our most recent visit to the facility. Although not well marked at the trailhead, this designated path is well-marked after entering the woods.

The route begins at the entrance of the park. The trail's length is hardly a half-mile and runs through a level wooded area. But one does not have to be faced with a challenge every time they walk through the woods. In fact, Sandy and I enjoyed a leisurely stroll through a predominantly pine forest before the path ended in the day-use area near the playground.

In lieu of backtracking, we opted to walk the road back to the vehicle with hopes of discovering a few sun-loving wildflowers taking root along the shoulder.

We only stayed at the destination for the portion of a day, as we decided to make a short detour for a visit during our trip home. But the Horseshoe Bend Recreation Area is definitely a location where I would like to return in the near future. It would prove a great location where one could enjoy a couple of days in the midst of the wonderful outdoors. And I wouldn't be surprised if even half an angler might be able to entice enough fish into biting to put a scrumptious meal on the table. And that, my friends, would be icing on the cake.

To get to Horseshoe Bend Recreation Area from Interstate 49 near Fayetteville, take Exit 78 onto Highway 264 toward Lowell and Rogers. Go one-third of a mile and turn right onto West Monroe Avenue toward Lowell and Rogers. Go six-tenths of a mile and take a left on North Bloomington Street. Travel 4.1 miles and turn right onto West New Hope Road. Go 3.7 miles and turn left onto east Highway 94. Travel eight-tenths of a mile and turn right onto east Highway 94. Travel 3.4 miles and take a right onto Horseshoe Bend State Park. Go 800 feet and the destination will be on the left.

Local on 09/11/2018

Print Headline: Horseshoe Bend Recreation Area surrounded by natural beauty

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