The Blackburn staff have all visited these attractions. All of us can help you pick which ones you'd most likely enjoy, or even how to see them all in one day. We'll give you pointers and helpful tips on each. There are more...just ask and we'll be happy to help you plan a day trip.
Cave Tours & Wild Caves
Choose between touring a cave the easy way like walking on well lit underground sidewalks, or crawl on your belly in the mud to reach the deeper chambers of Blanchard Springs Caverns. The caves are owned and managed by the U.S. Forest Service which conducts interpretive cave walks and the wild cave tours. Blanchard is an awesome, inspiring look at one of America's most fascinating underground experiences. This is Ozark Karst at its finest!
Wolf Settlement - Built in 1809 - Has 4 Original Structures
The Wolf settlement was established in 1809-1810 by Major Jacob Wolf, who was appointed by President Thomas Jefferson as Indian Agent to the Arkansas Cherokee Nation. One of the oldest structures still standing this side of the Mississippi River, the Wolfe House was built at the confluence of the White and North Fork Rivers. This little settlement is a historical hot bed. Steamboats landed here. Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, and Wild Bill Hickock all visited here with Major Wolf. Today the settlement includes the fully and accurately restored Wolf home, which in it's day was considered a mansion in these parts. The Wolf Blacksmith shop, the original Rev. John Wolf house (above), and a trading post complete the four buildings.
Norfork National Fish Hatchery
At the base of Norfork Dam is Dry Run Creek and the hatchery. There is a unique relationship between the two. Each year the hatchery raises some 2 million trout. Starting in a small tank of eggs the trout are raised to about 12 inches before they are released in the rivers. It is fascinating, especially for children, to see trout in all sizes from a one-quarter inch fry, to a two inch minnow, a 4 inch, a 6 inch, and other sizes all the way up to 14 pound monsters. Dry Run Creek is right next to the hatchery and is reserved fishing for children 16 years old or younger. Only artificial baits are allowed. Dry Run has a very healthy population of fat, large trout! If you want to give the young anglers in your family a special treat, take them to the hatchery, then let them fish Dry Run.
Quarry Park at Norfork Dam
Right across the road from the Hatchery is Quarry Campgrounds and Park. There is an excellent place to bank fish for trout in the North Fork River. Not very far downstream from here was where the former World Record All Tackle brown trout was caught, as well as the second largest brown trout ever caught. Quarry Park continues at the top of the dam. You can walk out on the dam for a great view of the river gorge and the lake. When the generators are running you can feel the vibration in the handrails. The park has covered pavilions, children's playstations, and public rest rooms. The dam site park makes a wonderful place for a picnic. Just a few hundred yards from the dam is a cave which was used by Native Americans for thousands of years. It is not open to the public.