Once A Town of 10,000 - On Highway 5 South, between the Y Store and the dam is what used to be a town of some 10,000 people. Back in the 1940's when Norfork Lake dam was being built, there where houses, hotels, stores, bars, and all the action you'd expect in a construction town.
Activities - You can take a tour the Norfork National Fish Hatchery (free), picnic in several waterside places, trout fish, swim, let the kids fish Dry Run Creek, and/or let the kids play on the public play stations in the parks.
Rest Rooms - Yes, they are located at the hatchery and at both lower and upper Quarry Parks.
Cell Phone Signal - Most cell phones work in this area. If they don't, there is a coin operated pay phone in one of those blue egg-shaped booths at the entrance to the park. It actually works!
Hatchery Tour - How would you like an investment that annually produced $6 for every $1 you put into it? And would you like a wonderful example of what a well-run government agency can produce? Yes, for every $1 this hatchery invests in raising trout, $6 goes back into our economy. Every year they stock over 2 million trout in various rivers in Arkansas and surrounding states. The 22,000 gallons of fresh clean water needed every minute, 24/7, is efficiently drawn from Norfork Lake into the fish raceways. The hatchery is open year around for self-guided tours. See trout in sizes from barely visible to 10 pound lunkers. Be sure to tour the Visitor Center here. The sad story is that every year this successful government operation gets it's budget cut back more and more.
The Norfork National Fish Hatchery is at 1414 Highway 177 South, Norfork, Arkansas. If needed, you can call them at 870-499-5255. It is open to the public everyday except Christmas from 8am to 4pm.
Dry Run Creek - A Very Special Treat For Kids Under 16 - And Handicapped Fishing Enthusiasts!
Dry Run Creek is anything but dry. That 22,000 gallons of water flowing through the hatchery every minute of the day ends up in Dry Run Creek. Beautiful walkways along the creek edge make this a park setting. If you let your children fish here, they will be spoiled for life. The concentration of trout, and the size of the trout they will catch (trout of 8 to 10 pounds are common) is unmatched anywhere in the United States. Dry Run is a narrow, shallow creek that is very easy for children to fish. There is also a very well designed platform system for those who fish from wheelchairs.
Dry Run Falls Leaping Trout - If you are running this tour in October or November, go right across the road from the hatchery to Quarry Park. Within a few feet of the highway on your left, look for a small four-car parking spot. In front of the parking spots look for a set of steps, which lead down to the falls. Stand on the bank for a few minutes and you will see a very rare site - trout leaping waterfalls like salmon. This happens in only a few spots in America.