Welcome to Lake Catherine State Park!Located just an hour south of Little Rock between Malvern and Hot Springs, you'll find Lake CatherineState Park. One of the 5 Diamond Lakes, this 1,940-acre lake was created by Remmel Dam, the state’sfirst major hydroelectric project, in 1924. In August 1935, Harvey Couch, founder of the Arkansas Power and Light Company, donated to the state 2,048 acres of his land along the shore of the lake named for his daughter, Catherine. It was officially designated a state park on August 22, 1935, making it the first among a number of state parks that would be located beside major man-made lakes built for hydropower and flood-control purposes. The Civilian Conservation Corps began park construction in 1937, but CCC activities in the area endedin 1942 as funding was diverted to the war effort after the United States entered World War II. In 1943, the United States began housing prisoners of war and the German prisoners housed at the Hot Springs branch camp were tasked with completing the previous CCC projects that had been left unfinished due to the war effort. The retaining wall and outdoor oven remain as the last structures at Lake Catherine State Park known to have been worked on by these prisoners of war and you can find an etching of “P.W.” near the stone steps. This recreation park offers guests 70 hook up campsites, six primitive tent sites, a Rent-A-Camp with a platform tent, a yurt and 20 fully equipped cabins, including the park's fully-accessible cabin, the Polly Crews Cabin, designed in detail to serve the needs of visitors with disabilities. Several of the lakeside campsites even have their own docks! Boat, kayak, canoe and pedalboat rentals are available at the marina or you can bring your own and usethe boat ramp to get out on the water. Enjoy the tree-shaded playground or take a trip down to the sand-bottomed swim beach. There are multiple picnic spots, a group pavilion and a large bathhouse nearby. During the summer months, you can check out the interpretive programs and exhibits in the historic, CCC built Nature Cabin. The visitor's center also houses a park gift shop and store for all the necessities like ice, firewood and snacks. Now, let's talk about trails!Located just past the amphitheater, you'll find the trailhead for the 3 and a half mile Horseshoe Mountain Trail and the 4 and a half mile Dam Mountain Trail. The Falls Branch trail is one of our favorites. It's a two mile loop that takes you by the lake to a beautiful waterfall. Unfortunately, the suspension bridge was destroyed during a storm, but they do have plans to rebuild. The waterfall was just a trickle last time we were there, but still had a nice pool for swimming. After a good rain, it looks a little more like this...Near the front of the park, you'll find the 5/8's of a mile Slunger Creek Nature Trail. This paved trail is ADA accessible and is famous for being home to the Ouachita streambed salamander, which is a rare and protected creature discovered as a new species in 2011 that can only be found at the park!Guided horseback rides are also offered seasonally and if you want to expand your trip, check out the 18-hole championship golf course just down the road at Diamondhead, go rainbow trout fishing at the base of Remmel Dam or head over to Catherine's Landing and take a ride on the zipline!!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look into Lake Catherine State Park and we encourage you to get out and experience The Natural State! For more information on the park, visit ArkansasStateParks.comAnd make sure you follow Arkie Travels on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for more Arkansas adventures!