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9 Arkansas state parks with swimming lakes to check out this summer

by Nyssa Kruse | May 20, 2021 at 9:46 a.m.
Arkansas Democrat-GazetteKAREN E. SEGRAVE62210Stephen Grigsby tosses his five-year-old daughter Anna, both from Hot Springs, up in the air and into Lake Catherine while spending the day at the swimming facility at Lake Catherine State Park on Tuesday afternoon. The two, along with Adian Grigsby (not pictured) spent the day at Lake Catherine.

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The Natural State may be landlocked, but that doesn’t mean Arkansans can’t enjoy a beach day.

Here are nine state parks with swim beaches for those looking to take a dip or enjoy some sand between their toes. All state parks are free to enter.

DeGray Lake Resort State Park

2027 State Park Entrance Road, Bismarck.

In addition to a beach area reserved for swimmers, DeGray Lake also offers boat rentals including party barges, kayaks, and pedal boats.

Lake Catherine State Park

1200 Catherine Park Road, Hot Springs.

Take a swim in one of the five lakes in the Ouachita Mountain region at this park. There are also boat rentals year-round, plus hiking trails.

Lake Charles State Park

3705 Arkansas 25, Powhatan.

Known especially for its fishing opportunities, this Northeast Arkansas lake also has a swim beach.

Lake Dardanelle State Park

2428 Marina Road, Russellville.

Visitors can take a dip in the lake at this state park and also check out aquariums in the visitors center.

Lake Ouachita State Park

5451 Mountain Pine Road, Mountain Pine.

Swimmers can enjoy Arkansas’ largest lake at this park. Kayaks and boats are also available for rent.

Village Creek State Park

201 Cross County 754, Wynne.

This park boasts two lakes and two beaches. However, only the beach at Lake Austell is available to all. The beach at Lake Dunn is for campers only.

Woolly Hollow State Park

82 Woolly Hollow Road, Greenbrier.

Woolly Hollow’s swimming area has a lifeguard but is only open Memorial Day to Labor Day. The park also offers canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, and fishing boats for rent.

Crowley's Ridge State Park

2092 Arkansas 168 North, Paragould.

About 3.5 acres are open for swimming at Crowley’s Ridge State Park. Fishing boats, kayaks, and pedal boats are available for rental.

Jacksonport State Park

111 Avenue St., Newport.

Enjoy a swim in the water of the White River at this park, which also offers a historic museum about the river port’s role in history.

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