Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism

Nestled in the Ouachita Mountains, 1,940-acre Lake Catherine is just one of the beautiful Diamond Lakes in the Hot Springs area. Kayaking, water skiing, swimming and fishing are popular pastimes on this lake.

Thermal springs aren’t the only famous water in this resort town. The city is also regarded as a recreational hot spot thanks to three lakes on Hot Springs’ southern and western edges.

Lake Ouachita, Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine were created by dams on the Ouachita River primarily for hydroelectric purposes. Today, the lakes attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year for boating, fishing, camping, hiking and nature watching.

Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
At 7,460 acres, Lake Hamilton is one of Arkansas' most popular recreational and residential lakes.

Lake Hamilton is the busiest of the three, with shores that are dotted with lake homes, lodging rentals, marinas and restaurants. Water sports abound on this lake, and in the summer, visitors flock to its waters for the annual Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekend fireworks shows (Pro tip: for the best view, grab a boat and cruise toward the  Highway 7 bridge.)

Lake Catherine includes Lake Catherine State Park, which features boat rentals, boat tours, guided horseback trail rides and guided hikes, as well as a pavilion, camping area and visitor center.

Completed in the 1950s, Lake Ouachita is the newest lake, and at 40,000 acres, it’s also the largest man-made lake in Arkansas. Known for its clarity, Lake Ouachita is a great spot for scuba diving. Divers can explore water that now covers valleys and ridges of the Ouachita Mountains. Fishing enthusiasts are fond of Lake Ouachita too; its waters are filled with bream, crappie, catfish, striped bass and largemouth bass.

Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism

Lake Ouachita is one of Arkansas' most pristine shorelines at some 970 miles. Camping, scuba diving and fishing are very popular on this lake.

The lake is connected to Lake Ouachita State Park, which offers camping, cabin and boat rentals, and wilderness trails. Several privately owned resorts dot the shoreline, including a visitor favorite, Mountain Harbor Resort & Spa.


PUBLIC BOAT RAMPS

Visit Hot Springs
Lake Ouachita is the newest lake to the Hot Springs area. It was completed in the 1950s and spans across 40,000 acres.

Great water doesn’t end with Bathhouse Row. Here’s a selection of free boat ramps for spending the day on one of Spa City’s three beautiful lakes.

Lake Catherine

  • Ramp accessible off Arkansas Highway 171 on the lake’s west side near the marina

Lake Hamilton

  • Sunnybrook Landing, 560 Lakepark Dr.
  • Hulsey Fish Hatchery Ramp, 350 Fish Hatchery Road
  • Hill Wheatley Park, 688 Majestic Lodge Road

Lake Ouachita

  • Two boat ramps accessible via Lake Ouachita State Park on Arkansas Highway 227


WE RECOMMEND

PLACES TO EAT

  • Back Porch Grill
  • Bone's Chophouse
  • JavaPrimo Coffee House, Cafe & More
  • The Lodge Restaurant at Mountain Harbor Resort & Spa
  • Scoops Homemade Ice Cream

PLACES TO STAY

  • Iron Mountain Lodge & Marina
  • Lookout Point Lakeside Inn
  • Mountain Harbor Resort & Spa
  • Red Oak Ridge

PLACES TO PLAY

  • Garvan Woodland Gardens
  • Hot Springs Marina
  • Iron Mountain Fishing Guide John Duncan
  • Iron Mountain Lodge & Marina
  • Iron Mountain Lodge & Marina - Mountain Bike Trail System
  • Mountain Harbor Premier Lake Ouachita Fishing Guides
  • Mountain Harbor Resort & Spa
  • Mountain Harbor Riding Stable
  • Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf

PLACES TO SHOP

  • Garvan Woodland Gardens
  • JavaPrimo Coffee House, Cafe & More
  • Munro Women's Shoes
  • Factory Outlet

PLACE TO RELAX

  • Turtle Cove Spa

PLACE FOR NIGHTLIFE

  • Martini's on the Bay