All the attention goes to the glorious Arkansas River, the mighty Mississipi, and even the Illinois River that runs through a part of the Natural State…and they deserve every single bit of the love from nature aficionados, outdoor enthusiasts, and photographers seeking true beauty! However, these rivers in Arkansas are also every bit as worth exploring and capturing on film.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
17. St. Francis River
The St. Francis River begins in southeast Missouri and runs some 300 miles through Arkansas before joining the Mississippi River just north of Helena. Historic landmarks and natural Delta beauty are abundant on the St. Francis River. Both Storm Creek and Bear Creek lakes offer excellent fishing and camping. The point where the St. Francis flows into the state marks the beginning of the Missouri "bootheel." The St. Francis River flows adjacent to the Parkin Archeological State Park and later, on the lower reaches of the river, runs through the St. Francis National Forest.
16. Saline River
The Saline River is the last major undammed stream in the entire Ouachita Mountain drainage and offers excellent fishing and scenery. Remaining relatively unspoiled by visitors, forests line the river banks along the Saline; spectators may even spot deer, otter, muskrats, or a variety of bird species.
15. Black River
The Black River is formed by three smaller streams in southeast Missouri and flows into Arkansas northeast of Corning. Davidsonville Historic State Park (located between Pocahontas and Black Rock) offers a free launch for boaters. After flowing across four counties, the Black enters White River at Jacksonport.
14. North Fork River
North Fork River (situated below Lake Norfork Dam) travels approximately 5 miles miles before joining the White River and is well-known for great trout fishing. Access to the river is provided by private resorts and through public access points. Quarry Park, just below Norfork Dam, has both a concrete boat launching ramp and public access for bank fishing and wading.
13. Eleven Point River
Eleven Point River begins in Missouri, and enters Arkansas in a remote area of Randolph County, north of Pocahontas. The river is popular with canoeists, anglers, and kayak enthusiasts between Dalton and U.S. 62, both in Randolph County. Because it's spring-fed, the Eleven Point can be floated the year around.
12. Fourche LaFave River
An Arkansas River tributary that's 140 miles long, the Fource LaFave River runs through the Arkansas River Valley and the Ouachita National Forest. The Fourche LaFave Bridge in Perry County is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The South Fourche LaFave River, which flows into the Fourche LaFave, is floatable for approximately 40 miles, from Hollis to the community of Deberrie near Aplin.
11. Mulberry River
One of the state's wildest rivers during spring, the Mulberry River begins deep in the Ozarks with vastly wild whips and turns that give the stream a Class II or Class III rating and make the locale popular with outdoors lovers. Traveling on the Mulberry provides breathtaking Ozark Mountain scenery. A variety of wildlife is alive on the banks as well.
10. Cache River
The Cache River begins in southern Missouri and becomes a glorious wonder in Jackson County. Slowly winding its way southward, the river and surroundings become part of state and federal wildlife preserves. Outdoor opportunities in Cache River public use areas include fishing, hunting, and awesome opportunities for photography.
9. L'Anguille River
This stream starts in Poinsett County and runs southward to near Marianna, where it joins the St. Francis River. Access is at highway crossings and outside Marianna. The L’Anguille River also borders parts of the St. Francis National Forest. Fishing and waterfowl hunting are favorites along this delta stream.
8. Kings River
Kings River begins high in the mountains of Madison County, twisting northward to the White River and then flowing into southern Missouri's Table Rock Lake. The water is clear, cool, and the Kings' River's loveliest features are the flora and fauna found along the rocky banks and bluffs. The headwaters area offers some hiking opportunities at locations like Kings River Falls Natural Area. The rest of the river offers excellent floating and fishing.
7. Ouachita River
The Ouachita River begins in western Arkansas and flows through the Ouachita Mountains into the western end of Lake Ouachita. Features of the Ouachita River include clear water in sparkling shoals and long pools as well as amazing rock formations. Photographers will enjoy looking at the shoreline wildlife, such as deer and wading waterfowl.
6. Little Missouri River
Beginning southeast of Mena, the Little Missouri River flows through the Ouachita Mountains and scenic areas of the Ouachita National Forest. Later, a little north of Murfreesboro, Narrows Dam impounds its waters to form Lake Greeson. The river then runs past Murfreesboro before proceeding southeast to its mouth in the lower Ouachita River.
5. Caddo River
The Caddo River begins in the Ouachita Mountains in southern Montgomery County and flows past the communities of Norman, Caddo Gap, and Glenwood before eventually becoming a part of DeGray Lake. Above the lake, the Caddo has been rated an excellent float stream for families. Below DeGray, the Caddo continues for about four miles before joining the lower Ouachita River just north of Arkadelphia.
4. Little Red River
Presenting from icily cold water underneath the huge dam at Greers Ferry Lake, the Little Red River is a top spot for fishermen from Arkansas and all over. Trout were introduced to the Little Red in 1966 . Attractions in the area include the William Carl Garner/Corps of Engineers Visitor Center, hiking trails overlooking the river, trout hatchery, boating, fishing, and resort villages around the lake.
3. Cossatot River
The Cossatot River begins south of Mena in the Ouachita Mountains. The river passes through the Cossatot River State Park and Natural Area as it flows southward - this is where photographers will want to catch a glimpse of Cossatot Falls. The river also features challenging stretches of white water rapids after a significant amount of rainfall.
2. White River
The entirety of the White River itself stretches 720 miles; the headwaters in northwest Arkansas run swiftly during the state's rainy months but are rather calm throughout the rest of the year. The White River features a series of pools and shoals with forests and pastures. The White River turns southward at Newport and passes historic river towns such as Augusta, Des Arc, Clarendon, and St. Charles along the way.
1. Buffalo National River
The Buffalo River was America's first national river in 1972. The river offers both swift-running and placid stretches, eye-catching sand/gravel bars, impressive limestone bluffs, and protected wilderness areas as well as other nature watching opportunities. Over 100 miles of trails have been blazed for public use.
How blessed are we to have such gorgeous wonder waterways in our state, Arkansas? One of the best things about these majestic locations is that outdoors enthusiasts can enjoy heading out to see these places at any time of the year. What do you love most about the rivers that run through Arkansas? Sound off and tell us about the amazing experiences you can have on an Arkansas river!