Lake Dardanelle is one of the most easily reached and beautiful recreation areas in Arkansas. Located about midpoint between Little Rock and Fort Smith and near the city of Russellville, the lake stretches some 50 miles as part of the $1.2 billion Arkansas River Navigation System. With just over 34,000 acres of boating and fishing waters, 315 miles of shoreline, and rimmed by choice picnic and camping areas, offers many recreational opportunities. Parks offer drinking water, toilet facilities, boat launching ramps, parking areas, and tables. Several have trailer dump stations, electrical outlets, and group picnic shelters. Public boat docks offer boat and motor rental services, fuel, food, and other supplies and services.
Some 250 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campsites are available around the lake, plus Lake Dardanelle State Park welcomes visitors at two shoreline locations. For the birdwatchers the river valley is a favorite wintering area for the American Bald Eagle. From late fall through early spring, eagles are often seen perched in large trees and on snags along the river as they hunt for their prey. Old Post Road Park in Russellville and Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge are popular viewing areas for these majestic creatures.
Lake Dardanelle Fishing
Lake Dardanelle was named the 34th best lake by Bassmasters in 2015. The lake has one of the most consistent bass habitats in the Arkansas River system. One of the better known spots for largemouth is near the river mouth on the lake near Russellville. The lake is extremely popular with anglers going big catfish as well. White bass are native to the river, with adults traveling in schools and feeding near the surface. Bream fishing is excellent in the lake, which has also been stocked with crappie and largemouth bass. With no closed season and mild winters, fishing is good year round. The lake has one of the most consistent bass habitats in the Arkansas River system.
Lake Dardanelle Attractions
There are many attractions in close proximity to Lake Dardanelle. The city of Russellville offers golfing, 160 miles of shopping including yard sales, flea markets, antiques shops and collectibles. If none of that excites you try hang gliding at the Mt. Magazine State Park and biking and hiking at the Bona Dea Trails.