South Fork River in Arkansas

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

This is a fun trip when the heat is overwhelming. My husband drove me to the South Golf Course in Cherokee Village (CV) where there is the bridge and a worn out ramp where people have been letting crafts out to the river for years. I took the current down south with a couple of white water ripples and a swift current where it meandered the golf course and lead you to tranquil pools. I passed two ladies in rented inner tubes chairs with paddles. The banks were the backside of peoples homes until you reached the 1st bridge.

I saw turtles sunbathing on down trees, a couple (male & female) cardinals with the male having his fiery red hue. The clack they make when protecting their territory gave his location up. The water was low this year though the ride is always pleasant. Beaches with children and parents are along the way. In one of the beaches by Bayside Camp there is a rope for people to swing into the river and when I was able to maneuver my kayak through the populous, a kid swung himself from the tree cannonballing close to me and spraying me with welcoming fresh water.

I rounded up the bend into another nice white ripple that shot me to a serene river canal with clear waters that you could see the rock formations underneath. A group of people with an infant no older than 6 months had rigged some inflatable chairs into a floating crib where everyone was tied up to someone in another flotation contraptions. Coolers, food, water toys and around 10 people were swiftly riding the river. The sights of nature and people are awesome.

The Spring River is another navigable river in the area and the Village has 7 lakes to explore.


Any and all from camping to hotels home and apt rentals day/wk/mo.


No if you launch your boat from the golf course. At the Basehard entrance there are fees.


From I-40 going east before Little Rock take the Conway exits to Bebee to Bald Knob to Batesvile into Ash Flat. Follow road through Highland until you see the Cherokee Village sign. CV information office in Shopping Center at village entrance and at city center.


Arkansas State Parks has very good literature and mostly free unless you buy a specific book.

Trip Details

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location