Best Swimming Holes in Arkansas Ozarks

We have many options for swimming in our area! Many of our properties are on the White River and Little Red River, both of which are tailwaters from lakes so the current is fast and COLD. Perfect for trout fishing, but you must be careful before swimming. The river levels vary often due to the generation schedule of the dams – it might be low with nice sandbanks one minute and the next minute it might rise 3-4 feet!

Some of us love to rent John boats on these rivers which can take you to creek confluences where you can get out and swim – a real treat and one of our fave late summer activities. The creeks are all spring fed, cool + clean. A real feeling of freedom with this. Call or text us and we’ll help you set this up.

Many of our guests in the Red River Territory also love to visit Greer’s Ferry Lake or Lake Norfork and rent pontoons or speed boats for a day. There are also miles of rocky beaches, sandy beaches, and amenities. Water is warmer there – endless amounts of fun to be had. Because the creeks and rivers are totally dependent on rain and dam generation, the lakes are a very trusty place to spend a day swimming. 

Let’s find you a swimming hole!

Scroll to the bottom of this page for a driving itinerary with directions and additional information.

1. Rosa Hole – North Sylamore Creek


Easy access from Mountain View, Calico Rock and Blanchard Springs Caverns. Be careful turning off of Hwy 14 onto this road because it’s at the top of a hill with a curve! Follow the dirt road for about a minute and you’ll arrive at a large parking area and wonderful little pasture. This is a popular trailhead for the Sylamore Creek Trail. Our property, Blanchard Cabin in the Woods is just around the corner.

2. Gunner Pool Recreation Area – North Sylamore Creek


Gunner Pool is a long-standing local favorite. Half of your group can go for a wonderful shaded hike along the North Sylamore Creek Trail while you stay and jump in the glorious dammed section. Danielle, our head of Finance, even loves to paddle board here! It’s such a beautiful blue color. Of course, the creek itself is incredible for a swim – cliffs to jump off, shallow sections for the kids, you can walk up or down and have the water to yourself…paradise. Information here.

There are 3 miles of dirt road to access, but is routinely graded and always in great shape.

3. The Tipi on Sylamore Creek


When you rent the Tipi on Sylamore Creek with us, you also gain access to a highly coveted and private section of the creek! Keep in mind that this property is not easy to assess and requires 4×4 – perfect for the adventurous! When you book with us, we’ll help guide you there… and we might even ferry you across the creek in a canoe if water levels are too high! Once you visit this quiet place you’ll know what paradise is and you might never leave. It still makes our hearts race to be able to offer this experience to our guests.

4. Angler’s Holiday Mountain Campground – Sylamore Creek


A great section of the South Sylamore Creek right before it joins with the North Sylamore. Right above you will be the famous wire cable 200ft Swinging Bridge! It was first constructed around 1914 and is one of only two suspension bridges open to car traffic in Arkansas.

You must pay and register at the campground front desk or Angler’s Restaurant front desk. With $5, you get access to the creek, bathhouse, and pool! Ideal for family beach swimming in Mountain View or even if you’re coming from the Calico Rock area.

5. Greer’s Ferry Damsite: Cliff Jumping + Sandy Beach


Located about 12 minutes from Heber Springs, this is a wonderful spot to spend the afternoon. There is a large parking lot, picnic tables, and bathrooms. Not for the faint of heart but a thrill for the brave! This area is a little peninsula near the dam, on one side there are cliffs ranging from 4ft to 40ft (dependent on lake levels too), and on the other side is a little sandy beach – so everyone is sure to be happy. I love to picnic + sunbathe while watching others jump 😉 Be ever so careful here.

This area is close to our properties in the Red River Territory: Wildflower Homeplace on the River, Little Dunham Cabin, Dripping Springs Retreat, and Reel Comfort Cabin.

6. Barkshed Recreation Area – North Sylamore Creek


This section of the Sylamore Creek is very dear to us – it’s just a little longer drive than the Gunner Pool area but so worth it! There is a beautiful old bridge that was built by the CCC in the 1930s, it’s pedestrian-only so be careful!

In late August the creek is usually a little low, but there’s always enough water against the bluffs for a great cool dip. There are primitive bathrooms here.

To get here, there are 3.5 miles of dirt road if you’re coming from Cartwright Road, and 5 miles of dirt road if you turn off at Fifty-Six and pass through Gunner Pool.

7. Blanchard Springs Recreation Area – North Sylamore Creek


This area is great to spend the day with the entire family. There are cavern tours, paved trails + the Sylamore Creek Trail, clear waters for swimming, plus someone can even fish for rainbow trout in Mirror Lake! If you walk towards the lake and a bit above it, you will find the actual spring coming out out from the caves. A little busier than the others due to the cavern traffic but magical nonetheless.

To get here, it is paved all the way down from Hwy 14 – a very nice treat for those who might not want to dirty up their car.

8. Woo-Hoo Acres – Piney Creek


A wonderful quirky family-owned area on Piney Creek with a swim hole and kayaks for rent. The day-use fee is $2 and must be in cash.

There ya have it! All our favorite swimming holes in the area! We’ll update this page often so feel free to bookmark.

Driving Instructions