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Blackburns Resort
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Reviews (60)
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Reviewed 30 July 2010

We are the parents and grandparents of Susan from Illinois .Spending a week each summer on Lake Norfork has been a family trip for 8 years.During our summer trip, we have had as many as 20 family members staying at one resort for the week. Lake Norfork is our families favorite group vacation. During these past 8 years we have stayed at 4 different resorts. This was the first time we had stayed at Blackburns. My husband,son , and I stayed in a cabin,our son and daughter in law with their two small children stayed in the trailer. And althought my cabin was clean, I could not have stayed in that trailer.The trailer is run down, dirty and bug infested.There was someones old cigarette butts in the dresser, and old food under the sofa. In the years we have at Lake Norfork we have never had a complaint or problem . We always have had a good relationship with the owners and leave the resort as clean or cleaner than when we arrived. My husband travels each spring with a group of 13 fisherman and the same can be said for that group. We are not the type of people who would destroy someone elses property. so the remark that we intentionally broke the boat seat is very untrue and unfair. We will continue to vacation on Lake Norfork each summer, but will not be vacationing at Blackburn Resort.













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excuse for old food, dead bugs and

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank Betty36441
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2010

first of all i want to say that the lady who runs the office was very nice. that being said, i found blackburns to be very rough.

starting with the boating facilities, the road leading back to the docks is in pretty poor condition, with large run-off craters cut through it. it beat the heck out of the car everytime we went back there.

we also rented a boat there, one of their pontoons. these are about as rustic as they come.

the steering cable on the boat we rented was all cracked, and as a result water got in it and caused rust. this rust inhibits the ease of steering and requires a fair amount of effort to steer. this has been damaged for sometime, you can tell these things if you are familiar with boats.

the boats deck was a patch work of uneven layers of wood or something that had outdoor carpet streched over it, and my friend i was with stepped on the tip of a screw sticking up from the floor.

the seats were in poor condition, but truthfully i was just happy there was a padded surface to sit on, as the pontoon next to ours had what looked like wooden park benches for seats.

the throttle controls for this boat were in dire need of work. from the neutral posistion it was 4 inches forward before it would start to move, and it had the identical funtion in reverse. this control was also very hard to move forward and back, which made it fun pulling the boat back into the dock, which i did end up running into as a result of this poor function. only to have the guy handling the boats yell at me like its my fault their boat is garbage. sorry guy, but its your junky boat not my driving. i have been driving boats and docking them for 10 years, and i have never had to drive a boat in that bad of shape. i dont know how in good concience you rent that out to people.

other frustrating things about the rental boat were, the fact that this lake is like 80 feet deep on average and they give you an anchor with 25-30 feet of rope.....yeah! the" fuel ecinomical" 50 hp motor is not fuel ecinomical, its just slow. the patchwork sun-top is infested with spiders, as soon as night fell they began dropping out of it like little parachuters. my nav lights went out while out night fishing and i had to drive back with my friend holding a lantern up so people could see us. and the fish finder is garbage.

also, they didnt leave the lights on at their boat dock at night! the only thing harder than docking that junk boat was doing it in the dark. fortunatly the only light on the dock i could get to work was a motion sensored one which lit up as brite as day after you walked off the dock to the parking area.....oh and did i mention that the motion sensored light emits a super loud alarm, good times.

i might be wrong, but im pretty sure when it comes to fishing this guy dosent know what he is talking about. his answer in all the 3 days in a row we couldnt find fish was use a jigging spoon. as i came to find out from talking to locals, the best bite is on the south end of the lake, near the dam this time of year. about 22 miles away (on water). now i might be wrong about his fishing expertise, but the people i talked to who tournament fish on that lake said they wouldnt consider fishing anywhere north of diamond cove (about 8-10 miles away on water) this time of year. though a jigging spoon works well, when it came to where to go, what to look for, or anything past the bait he didnt know much. i felt bad for our nieghbors at the resort, they had been there 7 or 8 days and hadnt caught anything at all, not because the lake has poor fishing, but because the "fishing expert" of the resort dosent know what the heck to do or where to go, he only knows jigging spoons. the question i had was, "what qualifies him to give fish reports?"

oh....and if you think 22 miles is easy because it goes so fast in a car, if your in a pontoon prepare to be surprised.
aside from that i found the cabins to be allright. kinda dirty and dusty, big crickets everywhere. not the worst i have ever seen, kinda what i have come to expect after renting cabins at resorts like this all over the country. also no phone in room and bad reception on cell, be aware.

all in all i wouldnt go back.
if you want ammenities look elsewhere.
advise i would give?
bring your own boat so you can drive it closer to where the fish are and just put in at one of the MANY boat ramps, depending on time of year.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with friends
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6  Thank thatguy123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2010

Our kids loved this place (and if I were a child I probably would have too), My husband and I did not. We paid for two nights and stayed only one. I had to make a trip to the local Wal-Mart to purchase sheets I felt comfotable sleeping in. The boat dock situation was a real pain and the launching ramp was pitiful. The 24 hour game room consisted of an old pool table and ancient computer. There were at least three cat food bowls sitting around on the tables and a sign on the door instructs you to leave the door cracked for the cats. On one occassion I saw the cat (I only ever saw one) using the sand box on the playground as a litter box. Several charges I was not made aware of up front. Charged $50 on a boat rental even though we let her know a day in advance that we would not be needing it. We will not be back. However, to be fair, if you know what you are getting into up front I can see how other people would enjoy it.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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6  Thank blahblahblah3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2010

My husband and I stayed at Blackburns Resort last year and had a great time. This year our families met and spent a week at the resort. The children just loved it! We've been home for a couple of weeks and they are still talking about it and asking when we can go back. We would like to thank Steve and Debbie for making our stay so pleasurable. With Steve's tips on fishing, the guys caught some real nice walleye and crappie. We have stayed at quite a few resorts on Lake Norfork and the whole family agrees, next year will will meet at Blackburns again. One more thing, if you go and stay for the week, their fish fry on Wed. night is great. Its like one big family.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank turtlem0m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2010

We've stayed at 3 different resorts over the last 3 years we've been going to Bull Shoals Lake (right next to Norfork). This resort I'll say was the best! The location is not on top of a great big hill above the lake, its a gentle level walk 1/2 mile to the boat dock. That was a first for us! We didn't speak much to the owners but they seemed to be very friendly and helpful people. As several mentioned they even have a pot luck on Wednesday nights at 6 (which we couldn't make it to due to a faulty stove, maybe next time).
The pool is the nicest shade of blue you've ever seen and it looks to be repainted often. There are several playsets and a huge pile of sand for the kids to play in, a basketball court and volleyball court.
We went on the hiking trail (which is straight up a hill and back fyi) which has several trees labeled and a wildlife feeding station. The boat dock was kept up well, I just wish the stalls were deeper (the end of our deck boat stuck out, but it didn't rain so that was okay) and I wish they had a swim platform.
Now on to the cabin. First of all the price was great compared to the many other resorts we researched. We stayed in cabin 14 and loved the front porch. The pictures online were a bit misleading. They look the picture of the living/kitchen area with a wide angle lens so it looks huge and really is not. We had to move the kitchen table every time we had a meal. The stove probably needs replacing as the bottom element did not heat up at all which caused us to miss the pot luck dinner.
The bathroom is a standard sink/toilet/shower config and worked fine except the water took forever to heat up, and the last day it did not heat at all. We found out that 3 cabins share a hot water heater for this. We brought this and the stove issue up with the owners and they seemed concerned.
1 more thing, there was a slight sewer smell outside our cabin. Not too noticeable but sometimes you got quite a whiff.
Other than that the beds were fine. The mattresses probably need replacing soon. We are looking to come back to this resort next year maybe with friends. If you are looking into this resort make sure you reserve early, probably Dec or Jan if you can.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank despedina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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