The Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

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Jet skiing on Lake Ouachita.

On average, the warmest month of the year for Arkansas is July.  Luckily, the state is home to around 600,000 acres of lakes to help combat the heat.

Some popular options include the five Diamond Lakes which are Lake Ouachita and Lake Hamilton at Hot Springs, Lake Catherine near Malvern, Lake Greeson between Glenwood and Murfreesboro, and DeGray Lake at Arkadelphia. Here are some quick details about each:

Lake Ouachita, the largest lake (40,100 acres) in the state, is surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest. It has around 970 miles of shoreline and is a favorite of outdoor lovers.  Sailors enjoy its vast stretches of open water, scuba divers enjoy the clear waters, and water sports like water skiing and kayaking are popular. The lake is well known for fishing and consistently ranks as one of the top 10 spots in the nation for largemouth bass fishing. The lake has more than 100 uninhabited islands for camping and on the eastern shore is Lake Ouachita State Park.

Lake Catherine.

Kayaking on Lake Catherine.

Lake Catherine- Situated on the lakeshore is Lake Catherine State Park. Though 11 miles long, the lake covers a mere 1,940 acres, nestled in narrow valleys of the Ouachita Mountains. A rainbow trout fishery, stocked by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, exists in the lake’s tailwaters below Remmel Dam.

Lake Hamilton-One of the state’s most popular  recreational and residential lakes. The Belle of Hot Springs riverboat cruises the lake and Garvan Woodland Gardens is a lakeshore botanical garden that can be accessed via boat or land. State Scenic 7 Byway crosses the lake.  I learned to water-ski on this lake and  boating and fishing are very popular here too.

Lake Greeson-The 12-mile-long lake features clear waters and steep, rocky ridges that form islands and long peninsulas extending into the lake. Anglers flock here for the abundant channel catfish and rainbowtrout fishing. Around the lake shore is Daisy State Park.

DeGray Lake- This 13,400 acre lake is home to the state’s only resort state park: DeGray Lake Resort State Park. So if you are feeling the heat these days, don’t let it get you down. Head to a lake!

 

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Posted in Arkansas Ouachitas, Travel Arkansas

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