Lake Catherine State Park RV & Campground Guide

Arkansas

The beautiful, peaceful Lake Catherine State Park is aptly named, as it sits on the shores of Lake Catherine, one of five lakes in the Ouachita Mountain region. The rushing waterfalls and sparkling lake make this a wonderful place for bird and wildlife watching, as well as for hiking and a number of other outdoor activities. The weather here is mild, barely dipping below freezing in the winter months, and usually getting into the low 90’s during the hottest summer period. 

The park has fishing, including wheelchair accessible areas, hiking, and kayaking...there’s even a full-moon kayak tour of the lake. Boat rentals are available year-round, and there is a launch ramp, pavilion, picnic sites, playgrounds, and a trail to a waterfall.

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Weather
Spring 66 F - 81 F
Summer 88 F - 91 F
Fall 62 F - 85 F
Winter 53 F - 57 F
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Nearby Cities
Hot Springs, AR
Little Rock, AR
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Lake Catherine State Park

The RV campgrounds at Lake Catherine State Park get great reviews from people who have stayed there, and who loved the nature and wildlife that comes close to campers. Visitors saw quite a bit of wildlife, including deer, raccoons, and a variety of ducks who love floating on the lake. If you do choose to RV camp, you can rent one from RVshare.com, and you can find the perfect outfit for you and the people you’re traveling with, at a price that suits your budget. All rentals come with nationwide insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a world-class team dedicated to helping you with your RV trip. You can rent an RV at your home and drive it to the park, or if you’d prefer, you can fly nearer to your destination and rent an RV there to head to the park. Along with camping right inside the park, you can try one of these nearby campgrounds.

Catherine’s Landing

This campground and resort sits right on Lake Catherine as well, near Hot Springs, Arkansas. They offer a concierge to help you with your trip, a gift shop and convenience store, coffee, beer and wine for sale, and boat rentals to explore. Also at Catherine’s Landing, make some time for Adventureworks - a zipline park that gives you a bird’s eye view of nature. 

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wifi: yes
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: pool, camp store, playground, disc golf, zipline, fitness center, boat rentals

Hot Springs National Park KOA

This campground is twenty minutes from the park, near Hot Springs National Park. The campground is also near the historic downtown area of Hot Springs, where you can relax in the thermal waters of Bathhouse Row. You can also visit Magic Springs & Crystal Falls, or pop in to the Oaklawn racetrack to watch the ponies run. There’s also off-roading, hiking, crystal hunting, boating, and more.

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wifi: yes
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: shuttle to downtown Hot Springs, free rides to Magic Springs & Oakland, breakfast, pool, mini golf, snack bar, fishing

RV Rentals Near Lake Catherine State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Lake Catherine State Park

Inside Lake Catherine State Park

As you might expect in a park along the lake, there is plenty of boating for visitors. You can rent fishing boats with motors, kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, row boats, or water bikes. There is fishing available as well - anglers might catch largemouth bass, spotted or striped bass, crappie, bream, and catfish. The lake is also good for water-skiing and swimming. 

Some other cool experiences and activities at the park include:

Guided hikes: During the spring, summer, and fall, park interpreters offer hikes, lake cruises, and nature talks. Look for Wildflower Walks, Fall Foliage Tours, and Eagle Awareness Activities. 

Nature center: A nature cabin has exhibits that relate to the cultural history of the park, and that teach visitors about the natural environment around the lake.  

Swimming: There is a swim beach located near the nature center. Spend the day reading by the lake and taking an occasional dip to cool off!

Outside Lake Catherine State Park

The nearby town of Hot Springs has plenty to do, from soaking in the mineral baths from which the town gets its name, to delicious restaurants, to souvenirs and shopping. 

Restaurants

While in Arkansas, be sure to stop in for some mouth-watering barbeque, or delicious pub food after a busy day of exploring. 

Smokin’ in Style BBQ

This family owned joint has everything from sandwiches to a super sampler platter that is not for the faint of heart! Try their ribs, with their own Memphis-style dry rub, or pulled pork, beef brisket, chicken, or stuffed barbeque potatoes. And don’t leave until you’ve had their homemade banana pudding for dessert.

Type: Barbeque

Location: Hot Springs, AR

Ohio Club

Arkansas’ oldest bar was a stop off for the likes of Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Segel, and others of their ilk. It was also frequented by Major League ball players since they practiced nearby, and Babe Ruth has visited as well.

Type: Pub

Location: Hot Springs, AR

Shopping

Bathhouse Row Antiques

Over 3,000 square feet of space is dedicated to a variety of personally selected antiques including period furniture from the 18th-20th centuries, original oil and watercolor paintings, primitive crockery and baskets, writing accessories, art glass, and so many more collectible items.

Location: Hot Springs, AR

Sightseeing

Hot Springs National Park

Right in the middle of the town of Hot Springs is Hot Springs National Park. Tour the historic bathhouse, see (or taste and feel if you’re up for it) the hot springs, learn about the Valley of Vapors, stroll along the Grand Promenade, and take a traditional bath at the Buckstaff Bathhouse. Prices: there is no entrance fee for the park

Location: Hot Springs, AR

Garvan Woodland Gardens

The botanical garden of the University of Arkansas, the gardens are about 6 miles from Hot Springs, and are a beautiful example of the natural plants that thrive in the area. From its architecture to the botanical landscapes, the Garvan Woodland Gardens are a peaceful retreat (and a great place to take pictures!) Prices are $5 for kids and $15 for adults.

Location: Hot Springs, AR

Hot Springs Mountain Tower

The tower elevator brings guests 216 feet up to the observation decks where they can see panoramic views of the Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs Mountain, and the Diamond Lakes area. Prices are $4.50 for kids and $8 for adults.

Location: Hot Springs, AR

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How to Get to
Lake Catherine State Park

From Hot Springs, take Highway 270 east and turn right on Carpenter Dam Rd. Turn left on Highway 290, then left on 171 and follow 171 into the park. 

From 1-30 (Exit 97), go north 12 miles on Highway 171 and into the park.

Entering Lake Catherine State Park

There is no fee to enter Lake Catherine State Park.

Visiting Lake Catherine State Park is a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends. There are so many outdoor activities to participate in, and there’s shopping, eating, and relaxing in hot springs to do as well.  While you’re on your trip, don’t forget to tag us in your social media posts or send us a photo and some details at [email protected]. We may just feature your story on our blog or social media channels. Happy camping!