HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. — Heber Springs, Arkansas is known to many for swimming, boating and camping at beautiful Greers Ferry Lake. But in this Discover Arkansas segment, we explore so much more.
Our first stop is the Greers Ferry Dam.
Construction of the Dam began in 1959 and was completed in 1962. The primary function of the dam is flood control, but it is also a hydroelectric power plant.
The construction of the dam created the 40,000-acre Greers Ferry Lake, and on the other side of the dam is the Little Red River, known for its trout fishing.
On October 3, 1963, Greers Ferry Lake and Dam was dedicated by John F. Kennedy. It was the president's last major public event before his assassination.
This also marked the only time a sitting president has visited Cleburne County for a public appearance.
A short distance from the dam is scenic Collins Creek Trail and Cascades. This is a 1.2 mile trail and is appropriate for all skill levels. The trail runs alongside Collins Creek.
As soon as you begin the hike, you will see the gorgeous cascades. The cool water is hard to resist, so be prepared to get wet! You will want to dip your toes in the creek as you enjoy the scenery.
Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery is just down the road from Collins Creek Trail. This hatchery, established in 1965, provides mitigating fish like rainbow and brook trout, to waterways in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website, “Greers Ferry NFH was established to mitigate for fishery resources, which were lost due to the construction of federal water development projects in the Southeast.”
Waterways, like the Little Red River, saw a decrease in the type of fish that were able to survive in the changing water temperatures after the dam was built.
The fish hatchery provides the species of fish that can sustain life in these waterways, in return, generating an activity that benefits the local economy.
Most hatchery lands and outdoor spaces are open and free to the public, including Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.