Surrounded by the natural beauty for which the Arkansas River Valley is known, Lake Dardanelle is a sprawling 34,300-acre reservoir on the Arkansas River. These two water resources combined here have put this area into the national spotlight as a major bass fishing tournament site. Lake Dardanelle State Park offers two areas on the lake: one park site is at Russellville, and the other is located at nearby Dardanelle. Both the Russellville (main park) and Dardanelle locations offer camping (74 sites: Russellville--16 Class AAA, 13 Class AA, and 27 Class B; Dardanelle Area--18 Class B), launch ramps, standard pavilions, picnic sites, restrooms, and bathhouses with hot showers.
The Russellville site also features a 10,527-square-foot visitor center on the lakeshore overlooking Lake Dardanelle. Interpretive exhibits and state-of-the-art touch screen kiosks share information about the park, the area’s water resources and its history. An aquatic exhibit in the center features six aquariums that hold fish from the lake and the Arkansas River and its tributaries Piney Creek and the Illinois Bayou.
Another unique facility in the (Russellville) main area is the park's 1,861-square-foot, fishing tournament weigh-in pavilion, a world-class facility and the first of its kind in the nation that serves as a staging area for tournaments. Near the weigh-in pavilion is a covered, barrier-free fishing pier, a popular facility for bank fishing enthusiasts, sightseers, and photographers because of its sweeping view of lake and 1,350-foot Mount Nebo to the south.
The main park also includes a trail. Rental kayaks are available here. And here in the main park area, visitors can enjoy nature programs on a wide variety of topics presented by park interpreters. These programs include guided lake tours by party barge or kayaks. NOTE: You do not have to be an overnight camping guest to enjoy the park's interpretive programs. Local residents, day visitors, and nearby Mount Nebo State Park visitors are all welcome.
Privately-owned marinas and boat docks are located in both the Russellville and Dardanelle areas.
To reach each area: 1) Russellville, Pope County Side--From I-40 (Exit 81) at Russellville, take Hwy. 7 south, then turn right on Hwy. 326 and travel four miles to the main park; OR, from west on I-40, take exit 78, go left on U.S. 64, stay in the right hand lane and turn right on Hwy. 326 to the park. 2) Dardanelle, Yell County Side--From the town of Dardanelle, take Ark. 22 west for 3.5 miles and turn right into the park.
For more information about Arkansas State Parks historic, heritage, and cultural parks, go to: http://www.historystateparks.com/