In north central Arkansas amidst the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains, Bull Shoals-White River State Park stretches along the riverside and lakeshore where the White River and Bull Shoals Lake join at the Bull Shoals dam. Together these waters form one of the nation’s finest fishing and boating combinations. The White River is renowned as mid-America’s premier trout stream, famous for its record rainbow and brown trout. Bull Shoals Dam forms Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas’s largest lake with 45,440 acres of waters stretching along Arkansas's northern border and into southern Missouri. Anglers are drawn to the lake's catches of lunker bass, catfish, crappie, and bream. Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy boating and swimming in these clear open waters.
The park is a popular camping destination that features 102 campsites along or near the river (34 Class AAA, four Class A, 44 Class B, 20 Tent Sites with no hookups), one Rent-A-Camp, and three Rent-An-RV). Interpretive programs, workshops, and nature camps are offered in the park throughout the year. Park facilities include picnic areas, standard pavilions, playgrounds, hiking trails, and a multi-use trail. The park's marina/store offers boat, motor, kayak and canoe rentals; and, in addition, supplies, equipment, and gifts for sale.
The park visitor center is situated on a high point across the dam from the rest of the park's facilities. The center affords a sweeping view of the White River, Bull Shoals Dam, and Bull Shoals Lake. This 15,744-square-foot visitor/education center is named in honor of Jim Gaston of Lakeview, owner of Arkansas’s renowned Gaston’s White River Resort. The James A. Gaston Visitor Center serves as the primary visitor contact point at Bull Shoals-White River State Park, and is the focal point for the interpretation of the White River, Bull Shoals Dam, Bull Shoals Lake. Interpretive exhibits are featured throughout the lobby, gift shop, Johnboat Theater, and 1,720-square-foot Exhibit Hall filled with images of the river, lake and dam. These state-of-the art exhibits, and the video presentation in the Johnboat Theater, share the history and tell of the fish these waters hold. The center also includes an observation tower, gift shop, two classrooms, and the park staff's offices.