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Lake Ouachita: What Shutdown? State Parks Still Open!

Arkansans still have lots of options for camping and fishing.
Lake Ouachita. Photo used with permission from Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism.
Lake Ouachita. Photo used with permission from Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism.
Lake Ouachita. Photo used with permission from Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism.
Lake Ouachita. Photo used with permission from Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism.
Marina at Lake Ouachita. Photo used with permission from Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism.
Marina at Lake Ouachita. Photo used with permission from Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism.
Sundown at Lake Ouachita. Photo used with permission from Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism.
Sundown at Lake Ouachita. Photo used with permission from Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism.
Kayakers on Lake Ouachita. Photo used with permission from Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism.
Kayakers on Lake Ouachita. Photo used with permission from Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The federal government shutdown has closed national parks and other sites, but not state parks. The Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism wants people all across the state to know they're still open.

One of the state's most beautiful destinations is Lake Ouachita, known for its scenic natural beauty and the clarity of its waters. Created when Blakely Mountain Dam impounded the waters of the Ouachita River near Hot Springs, the lake is virtually surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest.

Ouachita's pristine waters form the largest manmade lake within Arkansas's borders. Named one of the cleanest lakes in America, 40,000-acre, 40-mile-long Lake Ouachita is a favorite of sailors for its vast stretches of open water.

Scuba divers enjoy the clear waters. Recreational boating, water skiing and other water sports are also very popular on Lake Ouachita, which boasts more than 100 uninhabited islands for primitive camping.

Angling for bream, crappie, catfish, stripers, and largemouth bass can be enjoyed in open waters or quiet coves along the lake's 975 miles of shoreline.

Lake Ouachita State Park is located just a short drive from the spa city of Hot Springs on the lake's eastern shore.
 
The park features historic Three Sisters' Springs, natural spring water accessible through a springhouse featuring exhibits.

Fully-equipped cabins include seven that overlook the lake and one that offers a woods view. The newest of these cabins are two-bedroom cabins that opened in August 2010. Situated on the lakeshore, the cabins feature an airy, one-story contemporary style designed around their lakeshore view of Lake Ouachita.

Park campgrounds feature 101 campsites (40 Class AAA, 26 Class B, 23 Class D, and 12 Hike-in Tent Sites).

Other park offerings include picnic areas; trails; a swimming area; and marina with boat rentals, bait and supplies. The park visitor center includes exhibits and a store.

Hours & Rates (Click here for fees information)
Visitor Center: Jan. - Dec. Sun. - Sat. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (With the following exception:  May 24 - Sept. 2 Sun. - Sat. 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.)
Marina: Jan. - Dec. Sun. - Sat. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (With the following exception:  May 24 - Sept. 2 Sun. - Sat. 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.)

To contact the park call (501) 767-9366.

Story information from Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism.
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