Lake Catherine State Park
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This captivating park is nestled on the shore of 1,940-acre Lake
Catherine, one of the five popular Diamond Lakes in the Hot Springs area.
The park features rustic-style facilities constructed by the Civilian
Nestled along the lakeshore are 17 fully-equipped cabins with kitchens. Seventy campsites include Premium, Preferred, Class A and two "Rent-A-Camp" sites.
Nearby, you'll find a marina offering bait and fuel (open in the summer only, but rental boats area available throughout the year), a launch ramp, standard pavilion, picnic sites, playgrounds, laundry and trails. Gifts, groceries, snacks and ice are available daily at the visitor center that overlooks the swimming area and nature center (open in the summer).
Interpreters offer guided hikes, boat tours and programs during summer or by advance request in other seasons. Guided horseback trail rides are available in the summer.
The first fully accessible cabin with barrier free pier and boat dock in the Arkansas state park system is open for use at Lake Catherine State Park. The 1,160 square foot cabin includes a hydraulic lift to help guest get into and out of bed, a whirlpool tub and roll-in shower.
Nestled in the natural beauty of the Ouachita Mountains on 1,940-acre Lake Catherine, one of the five popular Diamond Lakes in the Hot Springs area, Lake Catherine State Park features CCC/Rustic Style facilities constructed of native stone and wood by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
Situated along the lakeshore are the park's 18 cabins that feature fully-equipped kitchens. Most have wood-burning fireplaces.
The park's fully-accessible cabin, the Polly Crews Cabin, was designed in detail to serve the needs of visitors with disabilities. The cabin also includes its own private and fully-accessible fishing pier and boat dock. The 1,160-square-foot cabin is a design inspired by the rustic architectural designs of five other cabins in the park. An accessible parking space and path provide barrier-free access to the cabin. The two-bedroom cabin includes a bathroom offering both a spa tub and a roll-in shower. Just outside the cabin's screened porch overlooking the lake is a large flagstone patio with a picnic table and pedestal grill.
Sixty-eight campsites and two Rent-A-Camp sites offer lake views and woodland views. Two of the park's campgrounds just reopened following a total renovation. It encompassed 32 campsites in Camping Area “C,” an area that stretches along the shore of Lake Catherine and includes many lakeside sites. In Camping Area “A,” located on a hillside nearby, a total of 12 campsites were renovated. Campground improvements include new roads, utility distribution systems and the parking pads and utilities at each campsite. Most of the parking pads are now 60 feet long or longer. Now classified as Class AAA sites, each one is a pull-in or back-in campsite featuring water and sewer hookups plus combined electrical for 20 amp, 30 amp, and 50 amp connections. Each site includes a picnic table, grill, lantern hanger and tent pad. Additional vehicle parking is scattered throughout the camping areas. Campground improvements include two barrier-free campsites that are located adjacent to the two existing bathhouses. Both bathhouses now offer barrier-free access for visitors with disabilities.
The park's marina, open in summer only, sells bait and fuel. Rental boats are available throughout the year. The park features a launch ramp, standard pavilion, picnic sites, playgrounds, laundry and trails. Gifts, groceries, snacks and ice are available for sale daily at the visitor center that overlooks the swimming area and nature center (open during the summer only).
Park interpreters offer guided hikes, boat tours and programs during summer, or by advance request in other seasons. Guided horseback trail rides are available during the summer months.
Just up Catherine Park Road (Ark. 171) from Lake Catherine State Park, Diamondhead, a private resort community also located on Lake Catherine, offers a golf course, snack bar, restaurant and Olympic-size swimming pool that park visitors are welcome to enjoy, too. Diamondhead's golf course is an 18-hole, par 72 championship course with a pro shop, snack bar, cart rentals and a driving range.
Five of the 18 cabins in this park, plus the nature center, are beautiful examples of log and stone CCC construction from the 1930s. Lake Catherine was one of Arkansas's first state parks, established in 1935.
Did you know Remmel Dam, a hydroelectric dam built in 1924 on the Ouachita River, forms Lake Catherine and was the first dam built in Arkansas?
Drive slowly along the winding scenic highway to this captivating state park and catch a fleeting glimpse of graceful white-tailed deer. Situated just 15 miles from Hot Springs, the resort spa city surrounding Hot Springs National Park and its world-famous "bathhouse row," Lake Catherine State Park is peaceful getaway. The park’s namesake was the first of the three popular Diamond Lakes created around Hot Springs. Remmel Dam, built in 1924 on the Ouachita River for hydroelectricity, was the first major dam project in Arkansas.
Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Ouachita Mountains, Lake Catherine State Park offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including fishing, water sports, hiking, horseback riding and nature study.
Nestled among the tall pines and hardwoods along the lakeshore are 18 fully equipped cabins. Each is heated and air-conditioned for year-round comfort.
The park offers campsites along the lakeshore, and sites in secluded wooded settings. A Rent-A-Camp is available for those who don't own their own camping equipment. It includes a 9” x 12” tent with wooden floor, a two burner stove, lantern and other camping equipment. An electrical hookup is also provided.
During the summer season (Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day), a party barge, fishing boats and motors, fuel, bait and tackle can be found at the park marina. Canoes and pedal boats are also available for rent.
The Civilian Conservation Corps developed this park in the 1930s as one of the six original state parks in Arkansas.
Dam Mountain Trail (National Recreation Trail)
Length: 4 miles
Falls Branch Trail (National Recreation Trail)
Length: 2 miles
Horseshoe Mountain Trail (National Recreation Trail)
Length: 3 1/2 miles
Take Exit #97 off I-30 near Malvern
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