General Lakes Information:
Descriptions of Arkansas's major lakes
and the lodging, attractions, dining and other opportunities located around their shorelines are just a click away.Water level information for most major Arkansas lakes can be found here:www.ark.usgs.gov/
If you're planning on visiting any of Arkansas's beautiful lakes and rivers, you need to be aware of a new watercraft law. The legislative act, known as Rachel's Law raises the minimum age for individuals to legally operate a personal watercraft. The previous minimum age had been 14; it now is 16. The law covers personal watercraft such as jet skis, Sea Doos and Waverunners. Additional boating rules and regulations can be found on the Arkansas Game & Fish website.
Also, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Little Rock District has a permanent ban on kite tubing on all waters under its jurisdiction in Arkansas and Missouri. Little Rock District lakes in Arkansas and Missouri where the ban is in effect include Beaver, Table Rock, Bull Shoals, Norfork, Clearwater, Greers Ferry, Nimrod, Blue Mountain, Millwood, Dierks, DeQueen and Gillham, as well as the Arkansas River in Arkansas. A ban is also in place at DeGray, Greeson and Ouachita lakes in south Arkansas, which are operated by the Corps' Vicksburg District.
Pleasure boats, party barges, ski rigs, canoes, kayaks, johnboats, bass rigs, houseboats, sail boats. Every type of pleasure boating is available on Arkansas's lakes and rivers.
The state's rich bounty of lakes offers an even greater smorgasbord of activities for residents and visitors. And, with over 600,000 surface acres of lakes, there's plenty of space for everyone's favorite water event.
Arkansas's 11 largest lakes cover about 300,000 acres, approximately half of what the state has to offer. Hundreds of small lakes, created by nature or by various federal, state and private agencies, account for the other half. Until the early part of this century, all of the state's larger lakes were natural "old river" or "oxbow" impoundments along the Mississippi, Arkansas, White and other rivers. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers introduced large man-made lakes to Arkansas in 1942, when Nimrod Lake was completed in Yell and Perry counties.
Beaver, Bull Shoals, Norfork and Greers Ferry Lake in northern Arkansas are popular recreation lakes for boating in Arkansas. All types of boat rentals can be found at Arkansas boat docks, resorts and marinas if you don't have your own. In west central Arkansas the watery playgrounds are Lakes Ouachita, Hamilton, Catherine and DeGray with the same type of rentals that are available on the northern Arkansas impoundments.
The Arkansas River Valley area is home to Lake Dardanelle, plus Blue Mountain, Cove, Shores, and Ozark lakes, all popular recreation areas. Smaller bodies of water in the region include Lake Ludwig, Horsehead Lake and Lake Sylvia. These three are perfect spots for those who bring their own boats and such with them since marinas are scarce.
The southwest corner of the state boasts the Tri-Lakes of DeQueen, Gillham and Dierks, while Millwood, though better known for its fishing, is also popular for water play. Nearby Lake Greeson is a hot spot for boating as well.
Smaller lakes such as White Oak, Lake Columbia, Lake Monticello, Lake Erling, and Lake Jack Lee dot the expanse that is south central and south east Arkansas. Boat rentals in Arkansas may not be as numerous on these lakes but the fun availability is still here. The behemoth in the area is Lake Chicot, a 20-mile-long, former main channel of the Mississippi River that is the biggest oxbow lake in North America and Arkansas's largest natural lake. Further north are Storm Creek and Bear Creek Lakes in the St. Francis National Forest.
Lakes Austell, Dunn, Charles, Walcott, and Frierson in northeast Arkansas can all be found in Arkansas State Parks. Austell and Dunn call Village Creek State Park home, while Walcott centers Crowley's Ridge State Park. Frierson and Charles both give their state parks their name.
If there is any area of water recreation that has exploded in the past several years, it's been water toys, also known as jet skis, wave runners, kneeboards, tubes, personal watercraft, lake bikes. . .the names vary but the end result is the same: they provide hours of fun on the water.
Below are some boat rentals in Arkansas which offer water toy rentals, listed by lake. This is, by no means, an all-inclusive list.
Lost Bridge Marina
Ugly John's Custom Boats & Rocky Branch Marina
Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock
Lakeview Cove Marina
Lead Hill Boat Dock, Inc.
Hwy. 125 Marina
Iron Mountain Lodge & Marina
DeGray Lake Resort State Park Marina
Hill's Lake Escape
Greers Ferry Lake:
Lacey's Narrows Marina
Eden Isle Marina
Self Creek Resort & Marina
Kirby Landing Marina
Swaha Lodge & Marina
Kahuna Bay Boat & Jet Ski Rentals
Kahuna Bay II At Sunbay Resort
Lake Hamilton Watersports, Inc.
DreamChaser Houseboat Rentals
Big Tiny's Water Toys
Brady Mountain Resort & Marina
Hill's Lake Escape
Lake Ouachita State Park Marina
Mountain Harbor Marina
Wake Zone Rentals & Excursions
Millwood Lake State Park Marina
101 Boat Dock
Fout Boat Dock
Cranfield Boat Dock, Inc.
Panther Bay Marina
Tracy Ferry Marina
Table Rock Lake:
Cricket Creek Marina
Fishing is a year-round opportunity in Arkansas with never-ending challenges for the sport fisherman and always-waiting chances for the recreational fisherman, woman or child.
Check the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism's fishing site for additional information. Start reading then plan your trip.
Take a sailing vacation on Arkansas' larger lakes, where sailing can be a spectator's sport or a great way to explore the state's beautiful lakes. Although most marinas do not offer sailboat charters or rentals, an exception is Jolly Roger's Marina on Lake Maumelle. The sailing port is located off Ark. 10, on Maumelle Harbor Road, 13 miles west of Little Rock and I-430. Jolly Roger's offers charter services and sailing lessons.
Find a yacht and/or sailing club on Lake Maumelle, Greers Ferry Lake, Beaver Lake, and DeGray Lake. They schedule regattas for centerboards, catamarans and keelboats; stage annual social events and awards banquets for members, publish newsletters, maintain websites, and conduct meetings. Persons wanting to view the beauty and grandeur of a sailing regatta may view each club's calendar of events, via their websites, and plan a lakeshore outing.
Grande Maumelle Sailing Club
Greers Ferry Lake Yacht Club
Iron Mountain Yacht Club (DeGray Lake)
Beaver Lake Sailing Club (Molder Hollow)
Castaway Sailing (Beaver Lake)
Houseboat Rentals Provide a Memorable Vacation in Arkansas
All the comforts of home -- and then some. Luxury travel with a capital "L." That's what you'll find on a houseboat, available for rent on several Arkansas lakes.
It's easy to understand why houseboating has become so popular among Arkansas vacationers. They provide solitude seekers a chance to truly get away from it all in some of the state's most scenic settings. A waterfront view is guaranteed, as is the opportunity for a variety of activities. From fishing, swimming, and deck-top grilling to wildlife watching, stargazing and simply spending quality time with friends and family, visitors can do about as much -- or little -- as desired. For the same reasons, houseboats are also becoming popular for family reunions, retreats and meetings.
These floating "homes away from homes" include everything a person needs for a memorable experience. Most have fully equipped kitchens, full bathrooms, washers and dryers, and televisions. Varying amenities include upper-deck hot tubs, compact disc players, satellite televisions, VCRs, central heat and air, wet bars and waterslides off the top deck. As the niceties vary, so do the prices, which are based on number of people and length of stay. Rentals run from one-day and three-day trips, to weeklong trips. Prices can be found on the individual property's Web site.
Since Lake Ouachita is the largest lake in Arkansas (48,000 surface acres), it's no wonder that it's the only lake to have more than one houseboat outfitter. Along its shore, visitors can pick from Crystal Springs Resort, Dreamchaser Houseboat Odysseys and Hill's Lake Escape.
Wave Zone Boats located at Crystal Springs Resort in Royal, boasts the 72-foot Villa Royale which has six bedrooms plus a sleeper sofa and two full baths. The fully furnished kitchen includes a microwave, toaster, blender, coffee maker and clothes dryer. A 10-speaker sound system is wired throughout the boat, which also has a television with DVD/VCR combo. Outside features include a gas grill, a hot tub, a water slide, and patio furniture.
Wave Zone also offers a 66-by-16-foot Stardust Cruiser has all the amenities listed for the Villa Royale, plus Corian countertops in the kitchen and two full baths, a bar area, four bedrooms, one with king bed, two with queen beds, and one with a full bed. All bedrooms have televisions with DVD players. On the upper deck with the hot tub, there is a wet bar, a television with surround sound, water slide, ceiling fan, and outdoor furniture.
At Dreamchaser Houseboats, located at Mountain Harbor Resort near Mount Ida, boats range in size from 53 to 70 feet in length. The Islander, the smallest, has four bedrooms, one full bath and sleeps up to 10 people. Next in line is the 58-foot Sun Downer, which has four queen beds which sleeps up to 10 people, two full baths, a hot tub, and water slide. The Executive, at 68 feet by 20 feet, has six queen bedrooms, two full baths and a hot tub. It sleeps 12 people. At 70 feet, the Admiral's Choice sleeps 14 people in six queen bedrooms. It also has two full baths and a hot tub. The flagship of the feel is the 84-foot Ouachita Lady with six queen bedrooms (sleeps 14), two full baths and a hot tub.
All of Dreamchaser's boats have fully equipped galley kitchens with refrigerators, ranges, microwaves, dishwashers and utensils. Other amenities include televisions with VCRs and stereo systems. Outdoors, all have gas grills, ice chests, patio furniture, hot tubs and slides.
Boats at Hill's Lake Escape run the gamut from 45 feet in length to a whopping 83-footer. Located next to Brady Mountain Resort at Royal, the operator offers nine boats for rent.
Leading off is a 45-foot, two-bedroom vessel that can sleep six (one queen bed, one queen sofa sleeper, one full bed) and has one full bath. Next in line is a 48-footer, great for honeymoons or anniversary celebrations. It has the same amenities as the 45-foot-boat and includes a hot tub and water slide. Also available are two 53-foot boats, one that sleeps six, the other sleeps 10. The first features a large kitchen, two queen beds, a queen sleeper sofa, one bath, a hot tub, and slide. The other has four bedrooms with one queen and three full beds, along with a queen sofa, and one and a half baths. It also has a hot tub and slide.
A 54-foot vessel sleeps up to 10 in four bedrooms with queen beds, a queen sleeper sofa, plus a full-size refrigerator, hot tub, slide and one and a half baths. The 66-foot boat has six bedrooms, sleeps 14, and boasts a hot tub, slide, and two baths. Last but certainly not least, is the 83 by 16-foot houseboat. The long list of comforts include a wet bar on the sundeck, a large living room, a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, an ice maker, a hot tub and a slide. The behemoth features two full baths and six bedrooms. It sleeps 14. Satellite television is available for all boats at an extra charge.
Also on the lake is Almost Home Houseboat Rentals, based at North Shores Resort and Marina. Almost home features 75-foot cruisers that sleep 14. Amenities include queen beds in the six bedrooms, queen sleeper sofa, two full baths, a fully furnished galley kitchen with refrigerator, stove, microwave, icemaker, dishwasher, trash compactor, Holland barbecue gas grill, color television, four-to-six person hot tub, waterslide, washer and dryer and large living area. Optional satellite and linens packages are available.
Anchor's Away Houseboats is based at Iron Mountain Lodge & Marina on DeGray Lake near Arkadelphia. The 16-by-73-foot boats sleep up to 14 people and have six bedrooms, plus a sleeper sofa in the large living area and two full baths. Other amenities include color television, AM, FM, and CD player, a DVD/VHS player, a washer/dryer, fully equipped kitchen, along with a variety of packages available. Outdoors there is a gas grill, swim platform, water slide, and a four-to-eight person hot tub.
Bull Shoals and Norfork
Located in Arkansas's Ozarks, the twin lakes provide beautiful backgrounds for houseboating. On Norfork, 101 Boat Dock has four models to choose from, and they range in size from a 44-footer to a 60-foot craft. The 44-foot boat sleeps 10 and has a private stateroom, a penthouse sleeper and a dinette which seats 12 and converts to a double bed. Provisions on the 47-foot boat, which sleeps 10, include dishes and kitchen utensils. The 56-footer sleeps 10 with four queen bedrooms, a microwave, one-and-a-half baths, television, VCR and DVD player, and a gas grill. Largest of the fleet is 60-feet and has four queen sleeping berths and a queen sleeper sofa, full-size kitchen appliances, flat screen television with DVD/VCR player, and a water slide.
Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock on Bull Shoals has four houseboats to choose from -- two 50-foot and two deluxe 60-foot boats. The Bunk Bed Boat is a 50-footer that sleeps up to 14 people with five double beds and four single beds. The other, the Wet Bar Boat, has five double beds with a sleeping capacity of up to 10 people. Both have microwave ovens, televisions, VCRs, stereos, refrigerators, stoves and gas grills. Dishes and all cooking utensils are provided but linens are not. The 60-footers are custom designed and sleep 10 to 14 people. Each has two full bathrooms, a water slide, a gas grill, fully equipped kitchens, and televisions with DVD and VCR players.
Greers Ferry Lake
Greers Ferry Lake, with its scenic bluff-lined shores, is a reservoir popular among boaters. Lacey's Narrows Marina offers two sizes of houseboats -- a 65-footer and a 75-footer. The bigger of the two has six bedrooms and two full baths. Other niceties provided are linens and towels, a grill, a clothes dryer, and a full galley kitchen. A microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, stovetop and oven furnish the kitchen, while a television, VCR, and stereo provide entertainment opportunities. Outdoors are a large hot tub, slide and wet bar that contains a refrigerator and sink. The 65-foot boat has four bedrooms and two full baths, and its amenities are identical to the 75-foot boat, except there is no hot tub.
All of the houseboat operators mentioned above provide onboard safety equipment required by the U.S. Coast Guard. Those interested in renting a houseboat should call early; as most of the boats are booked many months in advance. Each business offers different packages and specials, and each provides varying amenities. For example: some include linens, while some don't; some are air-conditioned, some aren't; and some provide dishes and cooking utensils, some don't. Be sure to research all boats thoroughly before visiting.
The business owners also concur that even inexperienced individuals can operate a houseboat. Each operator provides detailed, hands-on instructions.