What to know
Not sure if you want to push your limits or just set a chill pace and have fun? This is the tour for you. This moderate ride allows you to stop and camp at four great Arkansas State Parks, or stay at hotels, motels or B&Bs along the way. At its max, the loop is more than 200 miles and takes you by Lake Ouachita, Lake Greeson, DeGray Lake and Lake Hamilton, but you can make the loop as short or as long as you want. Start in Hot Springs National Park. Take in restored Bathhouse Row or the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail to learn how modern spring training for pro ball players started right here. Throw in great art, dining and nightlife, and you may not want to leave. From HOT SPRINGS, head north out of town and onto Hwy. 227 toward Lake Ouachita State Park. Lake Ouachita is a water sports mecca for swimming, skiing, scuba diving, boating and fishing, and the park doesn’t disappoint with almost 100 campsites, four one-room camper cabins and four full cabins. The longest (and maybe prettiest) leg of the journey takes you from Lake Ouachita State Park west along the north side of the lake with campgrounds. Get refreshments at STORY and head south through MOUNT IDA for groceries, diners and lodging on your way to Daisy State Park. Daisy State Park offers 7,000 acres of clear Lake Greeson water and beautiful mountain scenery. Nearby, the Little Missouri and four other float streams offer spring and early summer trout fishing and even more spectacular scenery. The next section is a gem – literally. The ride to Crater of Diamonds State Park is mellow, but you may get caught up in Diamond Fever once you get to the park. Crater of Diamonds is the only mine in the world where you can dig for diamonds and keep what you find. The most valuable diamond ever found in the U.S. was the Esperanza, discovered in the summer of 2015. From the Crater, you’ll head toward DELIGHT, Glen Campbell’s hometown, and then on toward DeGray Lake Resort State Park, a full resort with golf, marina, swim beach, full restaurant and bar, and lots more. In season, DeGray offers interpreter-led floats to watch majestic bald eagles. The home stretch takes you across the last of the four lakes, Lake Hamilton, and back into Hot Springs. If you parked downtown, you’ll pass Oaklawn Racing and Gaming, where you can win big, wet your whistle and enjoy a delicious meal.