Nimrod Lake is one of the most idyllic spots you'll find to hook-up your RV in Arkansas. The three and a half thousand acre reservoir, created in the early 1940s by the damming of the Fourche LaFave River, nestles between the Ozark and Ouachita mountain ranges in Yell County. Bordered by the Mount Nebo and Petit Jean State Parks, it's the perfect place to park up and unwind in peaceful surroundings. Nimrod Lake is much more than just a place to relax though. It's a paradise for anglers, hunters and anyone who enjoys hiking, boating or aquatic sports.
There are several superb COE campgrounds located around the shores of Lake Nimrod. Before you go, take time to check out the facilities at each to find the one most suited to the activities you like to participate in. While all have picnic sites and playgrounds plus ramps for launching boats, only Quarry Cove and Carter Cove have swimming beaches. For fishermen planning on hooking and cooking, the fish cleaning station and grills at the Sunlight Bay site make preparing the day's catch for dinner a cinch.
You can head over to Nimrod Lake in your RV at any time of the year. The lake's mild climate and low rainfall count makes it a popular spot during springtime, fall and winter too. Peak season runs from mid-March through to the end of October and you'll need to reserve your site during those months. If you're there in the summer be prepared for temperatures averaging in the low 30°C. It's the ideal time for taking a cool-off dip in the lake so don't forget to pack your swimsuit.
Whether you're travelling from the north or south, if you're on the AR 7, you're on the right state highway for getting to the COE campgrounds at Nimrod Lake. You'll be motoring through some of Arkansas' best scenery too. It's a beautiful drive with panoramic vistas of mountains, forests and national park lands on both sides. Where you turn off from the AR 7 will depend on which direction you're coming from.
If you're picking up your RV in Hot Springs or have just stopped off for a stroll around the historic town, to get to Nimrod Lake from there, head to Plainview where you'll be able to access the eastbound AR 60 and you'll soon come across the main park entrances. If you're arriving to Nimrod Lake after a sightseeing visit to the Arkansas state capital, Little Rock, take the AR 10 to Perryville before hitting the AR 60 to Fourche Junction.
Once you've driven your RV through the entrance gates, you'll find the park has a well-maintained network of county roads leading to the campgrounds. You'll have no problems getting your RV around and there are no hazardous obstacles, like low bridges, to contend with. Drive slowly though and keep a lookout for any wildlife crossing the roads. You could be lucky enough to spot white-tailed deer, turkeys or even a black bear.
The Sunlight Bay Public Use Campground at Nimrod Lake is accessed via county road 317. The campground has twenty-nine hook-ups sites with water and electricity and all well spaced out under towering pine trees. With two boat ramps and a fish cleaning station, it's a great campsite to choose if you're heading to the lake for a spot of boat fishing.
The individual spots don't have picnic facilities but there is a communal picnic shelter for daytime use. There are also modern restrooms, showers and dump station plus a children's play area. Pre-booking is a requirement for stays at the Sunlight Bay Campground falling within the peak season from March to October. Walk-ups are permitted from the end of October through to the end of December.
Carter Cove Campground can be reached by driving along either the Carter Cove Road or county road 228. There are thirty-four paved hook-ups sites on the campground each with their own roofed picnic area. All spots at Carter Cove are provided with water and electricity. There are up to date communal facilities including flush toilets, showers and a fish cleaning station. Carter Cove is a great RV site for anyone travelling with children. There is access to the lake for swimming, a playground and some wide tracks where the youngsters can ride their cycles.
Pitches are given on a first-come-first-served basis from the end of October to the end of December only. From March to October reserving your spot before you go is a must.
Park your RV at the Quarry Cove Campground at Nimrod Lake and you'll have stunning views through the trees right down to the water. You can get to Quarry Cove Campground by taking the US 60 and following the relevant signs. There you'll find thirty-one hook-ups with electricity and water. All the spots have a private picnic shelter and there is also a spacious communal dining area, restrooms and shower facilities.
If heading out to Nimrod Lake in your RV was a last minute decision, don't worry. This campground welcomes visitors on a walk-up basis from the end of October right the way through to the start of the peak season in the middle of March. Although you might not want to take a dip there in the middle of winter, there is swimming access to the lake as well as a boat ramp.
There are twenty-one hook-up spots at the River Road Campground at Nimrod Lake. Distributed around two different locations, the River Road Loop and the Project Point Loop, which can be reached via an access road leading off the Nimrod Dam Road.
The hook-ups are well spaced out and secluded by trees so if you like to enjoy some privacy when you're out in your RV, this is the campground for you. While River Road Campground does have a boat ramp, play area and all the facilities you could expect on a modern campground, there is no direct swimming access to the lake from there.
Reservations are required during both the peak and off-peak season with walk-ups accepted from the end of October through to the end of December.
Whether you cast your line from the shore or while floating in your boat on Nimrod Lake, one of your main quarries will probably be black or white crappie. It's one of the more common catches from the lake but not by any means the only fish you can expect to hook. The lake is brimming with many different species and you could find yourself landing a good sized catfish, bream or bass. If you're fishing for dinner, don't forget to check out the daily catch restrictions for each fish so you don't grill more on the barbecue than is permitted by the local by-laws.
Although it's restricted to certain areas, hunting is one of the top activities at Nimrod Lake. There is abundant game, both large and small, which can be hunted during the relevant seasons. You could find yourself stalking rabbit, deer, turkey or quail as well as black bears. There are four special areas for mobility-impaired hunters at Nimrod Lake all with wheelchair accessible hides too. A hunting permit is required and you'll need to be carrying it with you when you go.
While it's possible to launch your craft on Nimrod Lake all year round, you will need to get a day-use permit to do it during the peak season from March to October. The lake is perfect for a leisurely, scenic cruise and you can hunt or fish from your boat too. If you forget to stow your buoyancy aids on-board, you can borrow some from the life jacket loaner stations situated at each of the park's main entrances.
There are some superb hiking routes around the Nimrod Lake area. It doesn't matter what season of the year you hit the trails, you'll find nature displayed in all its splendid glory alongside cascading streams and gushing waterfalls. You'll discover the best hikes are in the Mount Nebo and Petit Jean State Parks which border the lake. A definite don't must-do is the four and a half mile long Hunts Loop through the Ouachita National Forest.
Are you someone who likes to stay active and do something different even when taking a vacation? Then why not think about volunteering to become a winter park attendant at Nimrod Lake. The volunteer park attendant scheme is operated from November to the end of February and participants are given a hook-up site with electricity on one of the campgrounds free of charge. That's not a bad deal in exchange for a few hours cleaning or collecting fees from other visitors.
You don't need to own your own craft to go canoe or kayak fishing on Nimrod Lake. Head over to the Sunlight Bay Campground and there the Arkansas Game and Fishery workers will not only sort you out with a boat, but fishing tackle and bait too. They're more than happy to give you a few basic instructions on boat skills before letting you in on the secret of where to paddle to for a chance of hooking some fish.