Swimming Holes in Arkansas
njoy the refreshing waters of your favorite swimming hole, take a cannonball splash off the side of a party barge in the middle of the lake or soak up some rays relaxing on a sandy swimming beach in Arkansas
. Summertime is the time to enjoy the cool waters of the Arkansas lakes
and rivers. That’s the reason to head to your favorite swimming spots or seek out new ones.
From gravel bars on the Cossatot River to popular central Arkansas swimming holes
to a sandy beach in Arkansas's DeGray Lake Resort State Park, the perfect Arkansas swimming area is just a short drive away.
Come take a dip in the refreshing waters of the State Parks of Arkansas
Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area
When the water level is normal, the rapids in the Cossatot River are usually considered Class II-III whitewater. You can swim, fish and float through riffles and small rapids, from pool to pool, as you relax and enjoy the river. Here, you can relax in the clear water lapping at the edge of a gravel bar. With five distinct swimming locations from which to choose, it's easy to find a favorite swimming hole. Brushy Creek is a horseshoe-shaped bend of the river just above Ark. 246 approximately 10 miles east of U.S. 71 that has been known as one of the most popular swimming holes in Arkansas for over 100 years. The site gets its name from the tributary Brushy Creek that enters the river on the east side of the horseshoe. Ed Banks Access is a low water bridge crossing and offers swimming and snorkeling opportunities in this straight stretch of river populated with dozens of cascading ripples and pools. Another two miles downstream is the Sandbar Access, which, like Brushy, has been considered one of the best swimming holes in Arkansas for years. The Sandbar hole itself is just upstream from the low water bridge crossing and is accessed from the west side of the river via a short hike from the parking lot. Cossatot Falls is a magnet for summer fun as the river's flow tumbles and twists through six rocky drops along this one-third-mile of outstanding scenic beauty. Sunbathing, swimming or snorkeling at Cossatot Falls is a must to experience. The park-natural area's final swimming designation is the Ark. 278 access just below the park visitor center. This area offers shallow water ideal for young children at both ends of this long deep pool. Sporting some of the highest water quality in the state, the upper Cossatot is a rich tapestry of rocks and water, ripples and pools perfect for swimming and snorkeling adventures. Visitors should always keep in mind that this National Wild and Scenic River is a watershed basin with flow levels dependent on rainfall. Thunderstorm events can change a rather placid Cossatot River into a raging torrent, so always use caution in these situations. There is no charge to swim in the river. Swim at your own risk. No lifeguards are available. For river stage information (in feet) from the Highway 246 access, call 870-387-3141 or visit the U.S. Geological Survey Web site for Cossatot River real-time data at: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv/?site_no=07340300.
For details about Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area, call 870-385-2201 or visit: www.ArkansasStateParks.com/CossatotRiver.
Crowley's Ridge State Park
Crowley's Ridge State Park features what has been a favorite northeast Arkansas fishing hole over the decades. The Lake Ponder swimming area features a diving board, two water slides, and a shallow section that is roped off for younger children. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Red Cross certified lifeguards are stationed at the lake's swimming beach. Fees are charged to all swimmers age two and above. A portion of the lake has been roped off for use of pedal boats and water bikes, which are available for rent. Looking for a beach in Arkansas? Visitors enjoy swimming in the cool, spring-fed water, relaxing on the beach, renting pedal boats and water bikes, and playing at the adjacent playground and volleyball court. For details about Crowley's Ridge State Park, call 870-573-6751 or visit: www.ArkansasStateParks.com/CrowleysRidge.
Daisy State Park
There is nothing like a nice relaxing dip in a clear mountain lake. The crystal waters of 7,000-acre Lake Greeson are perfect for swimming early in the summer. Because it is a small lake, it warms up quickly. Daisy State Park does not have a swim beach, but there is one not far from the park. In the park, you are welcome to swim from the shoreline. Many of the park's campers enjoy swimming right in front of their waterfront campsite. For details about Daisy State Park, call 870-398-4487 or visit: www.ArkansasStateParks.com/Daisy.
DeGray Lake Resort State Park
DeGray Lake, one of Arkansas's five renowned Diamond Lakes, is known for its clear waters which are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and great Arkansas scuba diving. You won't find a better beach in Arkansas, either. The park's sandy swimming beaches located at the Caddo Bend Area and at the DeRoche Ridge Area are two favorite destinations in the summer months. Swimming is free to the public and at your own risk since there are no lifeguards present. For details about DeGray Lake Resort State Park, call 501-865-5810 or visit: www.DeGray.com
Jacksonport State Park
This historic state park lies near the confluence of the White and Black rivers. The park offers a swimming beach on the bank of the White River. Swimming is free to the public and at your own risk since there are no lifeguards present. For details about Jacksonport State Park, call 870-523-2143 or visit: www.ArkansasStateParks.com/Jacksonport
Lake Catherine State Park
There is one area designated as a swimming area on 1,940-acre Lake Catherine, one of the renowned Diamond Lakes around Hot Springs. The swimming beach at Lake Catherine State Park is on the lower end of the lake. Swimming is free to the public and at your own risk since there are no lifeguards present here at the park's swimming beach. The park features some of the finest lake cabins in Arkansas. The Nature Cabin staffed by the park interpreters during summer months overlooks the swimming beach. For details about Lake Catherine State Park, call 501-844-4176 or visit: www.ArkansasStateParks.com/LakeCatherine.
Lake Charles State Park
The swimming beach at Lake Charles State Park is a popular northeast Arkansas swimming hole during summer months. Swimming is free to the public and at your own risk since there are no lifeguards present here at the park's swimming beach. Lake Charles covers 645 acres of spring-fed waters in the northeastern foothills of the Ozark Mountains. Restrooms, picnic areas, a playground, and a small nature center (open seasonally) are near the beach. For details about Lake Charles State Park, call 501-844-4176 or visit: www.ArkansasStateParks.com/LakeCharles.
On the shore of Lake Dardanelle, a sprawling 34,300-acre reservoir on the Arkansas River, Lake Dardanelle State Park is your gateway to lake and the water sports that can be enjoyed on it and the Arkansas River. For swimmers, the park offers a swimming beach by the picnic area. Swimming is free to the public and at your own risk as there are no lifeguards present at this beach. For details about Lake Dardanelle State Park, call 479-967-5516 or visit: www.ArkansasStateParks.com/LakeDardanelle.
Lake Ouachita State Park
Spend the day soaking up the sun at the swimming beach at Lake Ouachita State Park. The beach is conveniently located near the visitor center, marina and campgrounds. Swimming is free to the public and at your own risk since there are no lifeguards present here at the park's swimming beach. The day-use picnic area overlooks the beach, which is free and open to the public. Beach-goers can also enjoy a friendly game of volleyball on the sand or enjoy Arkansas boating by renting a paddle boat from the park marina. Lake Ouachita is well known for its scenic beauty and crystal clear waters, so these waters area a natural for refreshing swim. For details about Lake Ouachita State Park, call 501-767-9366 or visit: www.ArkansasStateParks.com/LakeOuachita.
Village Creek State Park
Village Creek State Park in northeast Arkansas on Crowley's Ridge offers a swimming beach on Lake Austell, one of the park's two lakes. Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Swimming is free to the public. Swimming is not allowed from the boats in the lake. For details about Village Creek State Park, call 870-238-9406 or visit: www.ArkansasStateParks.com/VillageCreek.
Woolly Hollow State Park
Woolly Hollow State Park offers a popular central Arkansas swimming hole. Lifeguards are on duty at the swimming beach from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. Fees are charged to all swimmers age two and above. Swimming is not allowed from the boats in the lake. For details about Woolly Hollow State Park, call 501-679-2098 or visit: www.ArkansasStateParks.com/WoollyHollow.