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Swimming beaches at Arkansas' Diamond Lakes to check out this summer

by Nyssa Kruse | July 22, 2021 at 9:47 a.m.
From left, David Boch, 6, Thomas Boch, 8, and Charlotte Boch, 10, all of Little Rock, build a sandcastle at DeGray Lake’s Highway 7 recreation area on Thursday. - Photo by Richard Rasmussen of The Sentinel-Record

This story is a part of The Article, your guide to Arkansas news and culture, presented by the Democrat-Gazette. Sign up for The Article's twice-weekly newsletter here or to see stories that have appeared in past newsletters, go here.

Five lakes in Arkansas together are called the Diamond Lakes.

Two of them, Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine are not publicly owned, though swimming beaches are available on each: at Hill Wheatley Park and at Lake Catherine State Park.

DeGray Lake and Lake Ouachita are home to state parks with swimming beaches as well, but they, and the fifth Diamond Lake, Lake Greeson, are largely managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Each of those lakes has multiple public swimming beaches overseen by the Corps. Here’s what you need to know before you go.

Lake Greeson

There are six swimming beaches on Lake Greeson operated by the Army Corps of Engineers.

They are open year-round, but from May to September, it costs $1 per person to use the areas up to a maximum of $4 per vehicle.

Beaches are at:

Parker Creek Public Use Area

Narrows Dam Area Public Use Area

Cowhide Cove Public Use Area

Kirby Landing Public Use Area

Self Creek Public Use Area

Arrowhead Point Public Use Area

DeGray Lake

Swimming at DeGray Lake costs $5 per vehicle.

Beaches are at:

Highway 7 Recreation Area (two swimming beaches)

Arlie Moore Landing Use Area

Caddo Drive Recreation Area

Shouse Ford Use Area

Lake Ouachita

Lake Ouachita has swimming areas where children under 16 swim for free, but entry cost is a minimum of $5 per vehicle. For vehicles with more than 2 adult occupants, the entry cost is $2 per person.

Beachers are at:

Spillway Public Use Area

Brady Mountain Recreation Area

Crystal Springs Recreation Area

Twin Creek Use Area

Highway 27 Recreation Area

Buckville Use Area

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