(Last Updated On: January 25, 2023)

view of the water through the trees at Lake Catherine State Park

Established in 1935, Lake Catherine State Park is the perfect place to rekindle a romance with nature.

Spread across 2,240-acres of pristine wilderness, much of the park’s attraction is based around the lake in which it is named after.

Encompassing 1,940-acres, it provides fantastic opportunities for boating, paddling, fishing and swimming. All of which take place against the stunning silhouette of the Ouachita Mountains.

Away from the water, there are four main trails within this Arkansas state park which can be explored on foot or horseback riding. Leading you into the depths of its landscape, they present scenic waterfalls, vibrant flora and a diverse range of wildlife.

Located just 20 minutes from Hot Springs and 50 minutes from Little Rock, the park is a popular day trip destination for a picnic. It also offers a wide range of accommodation options, including cabins and full hookup tent and RV sites, for those who want to stay overnight.


As touched upon, the park provides guests with plenty in the way of outdoor recreational activities you can enjoy.

Below are further details about some of the things you can see and do at Lake Catherine State Park.

Boating at Lake Catherine State Park

The comely waters of the lake provide guests with plenty of opportunity for boating.

Whether you bring your own kayak, canoe or motorized boat, or rent out various watercraft from the park is up to you.

But however you take to the water, you will be able to enjoy the fabulous scenery that surrounds you.

To help you get onto the water, a full-service marina is situated on-site. From there you can even book a lake cruise that will take you on a relaxing jaunt along the waterway. If you do this, don’t forget to bring your camera with you to take in the wonderful views of the Ouachita Mountains.

Swimming at Lake Catherine State Park

Given this stunning backdrop, you should definitely bring your swimming costume to the park.

During the summer months the park provides guests with a wonderful place to swim. This takes place at its lovely beach, which is also a terrific spot to watch the sunset over the mountains.

If you do swim here you will have to exercise caution as the area is not lifeguarded. Be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen too.

waterfall at Lake Catherine State Park in autumn

Fishing at Lake Catherine State Park

Anglers from all over Arkansas come to the park for the opportunity to drop in a line.

With the Ouachita Mountains flanking them, they can choose to do this by the marina, on the shoreline or within a boat.

Wherever you fish you should be able to catch plenty of walleye, bream, crappie, catfish, bass and trout.

Trails at Lake Catherine State Park

For those who want to explore the depths of the park there are four trails that will enable you to do so.

Three of them guide you on a course through the mountains to the spectacular Falls Creek Falls and beyond.

The other takes you to Ouachita Mountain Creek where you will be able to take in a fabulous terrain of streams and hardwood forests.

These trails can be tackled on foot or via horseback. If hiking you should wear appropriate boots and a hat. Also be sure to apply lots of sunscreen and mosquito spray and take plenty of water with you.

If horseback riding, it is always a good idea to wear a helmet.

Picnicking at Lake Catherine State Park

Comprising a landscape of picturesque mountains, spectacular waterfalls, comely waterways and lush forest, the park offers plenty of scenic spots in which to enjoy a picnic.

There are several picnic areas located within the middle of the park. All of which have grills and picnic tables for you to cook up an al fresco meal.

Should you decide to have a picnic, be mindful that the consumption of alcohol is not permitted anywhere in the park.

Pets at Lake Catherine State Park

Pets are welcome to join you at Lake Catherine State Park, although certain conditions are imposed on their presence.

Most notably this involves your four legged friend being well behaved at all times and not being left unattended for more than half an hour.

They also must be restrained on a handheld lease of a maximum of six feet in length at all times.

For a full rundown of their pet policy it is worth contacting the park’s main office.

Camping at Lake Catherine State Park

There are plenty of accommodation options available for those who want to stay overnight at Lake Catherine State Park.

Overall there are 70 RV and tent sites that are spread across three different areas. This includes 47 sites that are designated as Class AAA and provide full hookups with water, sewer and 50-amp electricity. Additionally there are 23 Class B sites that come with connections for water and 30-amp electricity.

Some of these campsites are situated on the lake, while others reside in shady forested areas. All of them feature their own picnic tables and campfire rings.

Other amenities include restrooms with flush toilets and hot showers, a children’s playground, water spigots and a dump station.

Should you prefer to stay somewhere slightly more upscale, the park also offers 20 cabins that are fully equipped.

Nestled amongst the beautiful hardwoods and pines that flank the lake, they come with both air conditioning and heating as well as a range of mod cons.

For those who don’t want to bring all their camping gear with them to the park, there are even options to rent a camp or yurt.

Park Location

Lake Catherine State Park
1200 Catherine Park Rd
Hot Springs, AR 71913
Phone: 501.844.4176




Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Lake Catherine State Park: