Lake Hamilton was created in 1932 when the Arkansas Power and Light Co. completed Carpenter Dam on the Ouachita River to generate electricity. Today, the 7,460-acre impoundment is one of Arkansas's most popular recreational and residential lakes. Much of it is ringed with condominiums, resorts, motels, restaurants and private homes. State Scenic 7 Byway crosses the lake. Hill Wheatley Park, located on the shore, has a popular swim area with a man-made sandy beach, picnic facilities and restrooms.
Water-skiing, pleasure boating and fishing are popular Hot Springs attractions on Lake Hamilton and rentals of watercraft and sport accessories are readily available. The Belle of Hot Springs is a 400-passenger riverboat that offers sightseeing, lunch, dinner and dance cruises on the lake. Garvan Woodland Gardens is a 210-acre, lakeshore botanical garden accessible by both land and boat.
Fishing: Arkansas’s striped bass record fell twice in March 1997. First, a 53-lb., 9-oz. striper was caught. Four days later, a striper weighing 53 pounds, 13 ounces was caught. Both record fish came from Lake Hamilton.
Lake Hamilton is located on the southern edge of Hot Springs, Arkansas's most popular tourist destination. The city is home to Hot Springs National Park, live and simulcast thoroughbred racing at Oaklawn Park, Magic Springs/Crystal Falls theme and water parks and many other Hot springs Hot Springs attractions.