two waterfalls meeting in one pool

7 Of The Best Swimming Holes In Arkansas

You might not expect landlocked Arkansas to be a swimming hotspot. However, with over 600,000 acres of lakes and nearly 10,000 miles of streams and rivers, Arkansas is teeming with swimming holes. It’s actually nicknamed the Natural State. It boasts beautiful parks, mountains, caves, rivers and hot springs, which make for a wonderful setting when you want to cool off in the summer heat. Here are 7 of the best swimming holes in Arkansas.

Best Swimming Holes in Arkansas

1. Greers Ferry Lake

With water flowing in from the Little Red River, Greers Ferry Lake is one of the cleanest lakes in not only Arkansas but the whole US. Nestled in the foothills of the Ozarks, this beautiful swimming hole is surrounded by luscious mountain trees and jaw-dropping scenery. And with over 460 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty of room to claim your sunbathing space for the day. It’s particularly popular with families, with lots of rocks to jump off into the water. Pack your beach towel and bucket and spade for an idyllic summer’s day. Greers Lake is also popular with sailors, water-skiers, and boaters. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of room to swim in peace.

2. Blanchard Springs

Gushing waterfalls, fairytale-like surroundings, and collections of clear springwater pools – this swimming hole is idyllic all year round. It’s an enchanting place to visit, and when the sunlight breaks through the trees you’ll be in awe of the beauty. Visitors can also easily take a detour to the famous Blanchard Spring Cavern.

3. Lake Sylvia

This could be one of Arkansas’ best-kept secrets. Nestled between mountains blanketed in oak and pine trees, the clear water lake mirrors its surroundings. It’s a beautiful and serene place to spend the day, and thrill-seekers will love the jumping ledge. It’s located at the corner of the Ouachita National Forest, so there are plenty of fun and challenging hikes to reach the lake. There’s also a campground by the lake, where you can fall asleep beneath the stars and wake up with a quick dip.

4. Lake Ouachita

Lake Ouachita is the largest lake in Arkansas, boasting some of the cleanest lake water in the whole of the US. In fact, it’s so clean that you’ll find rare freshwater jellyfish (and no, they actually don’t sting!), freshwater shrimp, and lots of fish. Spanning across 40,000 acres of clear water, this spot isn’t just popular for its swimming. You’ll also find scuba diving, boating, kayaking, and fishing. And with over 970 miles of coastline (not bad for a landlocked state), there’s plenty of room for you to lay down your beach towel. All the while you’re surrounded by the unbelievable beauty of the Ouachita National Forest.

5. Little Missouri Falls

This oasis in the Ouachita National Forest is the perfect place to take a dip. Water cascades down a series of rocks and flows into a green-blue fairy pool with tall forest trees surrounding the natural water playground. It’s a picturesque summer haven if we’ve ever seen one. While there are many hikes that lead you to the falls, you can reach it from a gravel road if you don’t fancy walking in the heat.

6. Twin Falls

The Ozark National Forest is one of Arkansas’ most famous and loved spots, so it’d be remiss to not include one of its many swimming holes on this list. As the name suggests, two waterfalls meet to create a beautiful place to swim. It is a bit of a hike to get here, but you won’t mind when you’re walking through the idyllic Ozark Forest. The easiest route starts from Richard Creek Campground and once you get to the falls, you’ll be met by a sparkling oasis surrounded by tall trees. There are many swimming holes around, explore the wild beauty of the forest and find your favourite one.

7. Buffalo Point

The surrounding rugged natural beauty gives this swimming hole that wild feeling, best suited to hot summer days. Buffalo Point lies on the incredible Buffalo National River. The river flows for 135 miles without obstruction, so do take caution with the current is high. Large slabs provide ample opportunity for sunbathing, or for jumping off into the water. The bottom of the waterbed is quite rocky, so you might want to wear water shoes for comfort.

Aleyna Yilmaz

Aleyna loves learning about a culture through its food, whether that's closer to home or being out there in the world. She’s always happiest when experiencing somewhere new, but her base in Manchester is a close second. A blend of her love of writing, food, travel, and culture has naturally led her to travel writing full time.

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