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Located in the southern part of Arkansas, Lake Ouachita State Park is not very far from the cities of Malvern, Arkadelphia, and Benton. Known for the largest man-made lake in all of Arkansas, Lake Ouachita State Park is also home to the stunningly picturesque Ouachita National Forest. The lake, covering over 40,000 acres of the bluest waters, is the biggest attraction for RV camping at Lake Ouachita State Park visitors that are visiting the state park.
Offering a variety of day-use areas and overnight camping sites, Lake Ouachita State Park is popular with hikers, swimmers, anglers and campers from far and wide. Historically, the park was created on paper in 1955, but it was only in the 1970’s that most of the park structures were built, making it accessible to the public. The wide-open waters of the lake and its many quiet coves are perfect for water-skiers, boating enthusiasts, scuba divers, kayakers and canoeing buffs, and if you plan on doing all this, and more, it’s a good idea to search for an RV in Garland County.
While the main attraction of the park is the massive lake, get ready to immerse yourself in lots of water-based activities. Its clear and pristine waters make it a big hit with scuba divers from the world over. With about 30 unique diving spots to choose from, Lake Ouachita offers an exceptional diving experience. The geological formations are what set Lake Ouachita apart, and so popular with divers. The 16-mile ‘Geo-Float Trail’ is the first water-based trail created to explore the geological formations underwater that go back millions of years, and definitely worth checking out on your scuba dives when you go camping at Lake Ouachita State Park. If you enjoy angling, you couldn’t ask for better waters to fish in. Filled with largemouth bass, spotted bass, crappie, catfish, walleye and striped bass, the lake is a mecca for fishing. Don’t forget to get your Arkansas fishing license for fishing here. Another highlight here is spear-fishing. If you forget to pack your fishing gear in your RV rental, don’t worry, as there are plenty of rental options around here.
Hiking at Lake Ouachita State Park is great fun. There are two options for trails; the Dogwood Trail is an easy and leisurely hike where you can focus on the scenery, while the Caddo Bend Trail is strenuous. For more hiking options nearby, try the Hot Springs National Park and the Ouachita National Forest that have lots of trails to explore, accompanied by stunning mountain views.
If you’re planning on doing some RV camping at Lake Ouachita State Park, you have plenty of campsites to choose from. The park has over 90 campsites a few of which are right on the lake. Many of the sites are equipped with full electric hookups (30 and 50 AMP), big rig access, have tent camping, sewers, water, restrooms and showers, a camp store for essentials, sanitary dump station, picnic tables, and drinking water. There is limited cell phone connectivity in the area. The sites are disabled-friendly. There are plenty of recreational trails around for your kids to run around in, and the park is pet-friendly too.
If all the spots for a rental motorhome at Lake Ouachita State Park are booked, try Catherine’s Landing in the neighboring Hot Springs area. There are over 200 campsites, with facilities like pull-through sites, full hookups, big rig access, tent camping, sewers, water, cell phone connectivity, restrooms, showers, laundry, a camp store, and LP Gas. There are designated pet areas so you can bring your pets along, and lots of recreational activities for the kids, including a playground, pool access, and easy trails to hike.
While Lake Ouachita State Park has a diverse range of outdoor activities, its neighboring areas are as interesting to explore. When you’ve finished exploring the state park, consider making a trip to Hot Springs, a little over 15 miles away. The historic town of Hot Springs is a spa town, located around the thermal springs in the area. Squeeze in a visit to one of the many traditional or modern styled spas, pools and bathhouses during your Lake Ouachita State Park camping trip. The historic district of Hot Springs also has plenty of art galleries, cafés, restaurants, and shops to check out while you’re there.
Garvan Woodland Gardens is a fascinating stop on your journey, with beautiful architectural structures and botanical landscapes to explore. Covering over 200 acres of gardens filled with flowers and plants, there’s an interactive rock garden that’s pretty cool for kids to check out.
On the outskirts of the state park is the Quartz Mines located in Mount Ida, and if you’re into mining, this is something you should definitely include on your trip. Famous for quartz crystal mines, make your way to the Twin Creek Crystal Mine or the Board Camp Crystal Mine for some quartz exploration.
Once you’re done exploring the areas around the Lake Ouachita State Park, hop back into your rental RV and remember the memories you just created with the family!