Riders in the Harrison, Arkansas area can pay the Bull Shoals Dam route a visit to witness the great backroads scenery.
If you ever wanted to ride (or stand) across a 265 foot tall dam, then we’ve got just the right motorcycle ride for you. The Bull Shoals Dam Route starts and ends in Harrison, Arkansas. Looking down at the White River from the top of the dam is a site to behold and the ride to and from the dam might just be even better.
Bull Shoals Dam was built over the White River, one of America’s finest trout fishing streams. Its cold waters are a haven for all sizes of Rainbow and Brown trout. The White River begins in the Northwest corner of Arkansas and travels to the Mississippi River. Even if you don’t have time to fish, the ride will prove to be worth the time.
Just before you cross the dam, the Jim Gaston Visitors Center will be on your right. The Center is named for Jim Gaston, one of the longtime promoters of the river and tourism in Arkansas. It tells the complete story of the dam, White River and the development of the area. There are many river artifacts, aquatic tanks, educational movies and interactive displays at the Center. You can also view the dam from the top of the Visitors Center through viewing cameras.
The dam itself was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in response to severe flooding between 1915 and 1927. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized the construction of the dam as well as six others on the White River and its tributaries in the Flood Control Act of 1938. Construction started in June 1947 and the dam was completed in July 1951. When finished, the dam was one of the largest concrete structures in the world. From its completion until 2009, it is estimated that the dam has prevented about $225.5 million in flood damages.
The dam created Bull Shoals Lake and made a 71,000 acre impoundment for fishing, boating and camping. This Corps of Engineers Lake has numerous camping and boat launch areas around the lake and is beautiful during all seasons of the year.
Bull Shoals Dam Route Directions:
Leave Harrison on US 65 south to Bellefonte. Turn left on US 412/62 east through Pyatt. Just before you get to Yellville (just past the uneven railroad tracks) turn left on Arkansas 202. Go through Summit until you get to Flippin and Arkansas Highway 178. Turn left there towards the town of Bull Shoals. Travel through Bull Shoals until you reach the Gaston Visitors Center and Dam. To get to Gaston’s, turn right just past the bridge. Leaving Gaston’s go back up the hill and turn right (back) onto Highway 178 to Lakeview and Midway. Turn right on Arkansas 126 in Midway to Gassville where you will turn right back on 412/62 to Cotter and Flippin (you can stay on the bypass before you come into Flippin). Stay on that highway to Yellville, back to Bellefonte and Harrison.
Other route highlights;
• Bull Shoals Boat Dock (on the left as you come to Bull Shoals)
• Bull Shoals White River State Park
• Cotter Historic Bridge over the White River (in the town of Cotter)
• Forest Wood Outdoor Gallery in Flippin
• Yellville Historic Square