On the Water

Boating | Water Toys | Fishing | Sailing | Litter Law

General Lakes Information:

Descriptions of Arkansas's major lakes and the lodging, attractions, dining and other opportunities located around their shorelines are just a click away.Water level information for most major Arkansas lakes can be found here:www.ark.usgs.gov/

If you're planning on visiting any of Arkansas's beautiful lakes and rivers, you need to be aware of Rachel's Law, legislation that raises the minimum age for individuals to legally operate a personal watercraft in the state of Arkansas. The previous minimum age had been 14; it now is 16. The law covers personal watercraft such as jet skis, Sea Doos and Waverunners. Additional boating rules and regulations can be found on the Arkansas Game & Fish website.

Also, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Little Rock District has a permanent ban on kite tubing on all waters under its jurisdiction in Arkansas and Missouri. Little Rock District lakes in Arkansas and Missouri where the ban is in effect include Beaver, Table Rock, Bull Shoals, Norfork, Clearwater, Greers Ferry, Nimrod, Blue Mountain, Millwood, Dierks, DeQueen and Gillham, as well as the Arkansas River in Arkansas. A ban is also in place at DeGray, Greeson and Ouachita lakes in south Arkansas, which are operated by the Corps' Vicksburg District.

Boating in Arkansas:

boat rentals in Arkansas - Arkansas boat docks

Enjoy fun in the sun on pleasure boats, party barges, ski rigs, canoes, kayaks, johnboats, bass rigs, houseboats and sail boats. Every type of pleasure boating is available on Arkansas's lakes and rivers.

The state's rich bounty of lakes offers an even greater smorgasbord of activities for residents and visitors. And, with over 600,000 surface acres of lakes, there's plenty of space for everyone's favorite water event.

Arkansas's 11 largest lakes cover about 300,000 acres, approximately half of what the state has to offer. Hundreds of small lakes, created by nature or by various federal, state and private agencies, account for the other half. Until the early part of this century, all of the state's larger lakes were natural "old river" or "oxbow" impoundments along the Mississippi, Arkansas, White and other rivers. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers introduced large man-made lakes to Arkansas in 1942, when Nimrod Lake was completed in Yell and Perry counties.

Beaver, Bull Shoals, Norfork and Greers Ferry Lake in northern Arkansas are popular recreation lakes for boating in Arkansas. All types of rentals boats can be found at Arkansas boat docks, resorts and marinas if you don't have your own boat. In west central Arkansas the watery playgrounds are Lakes Ouachita, Hamilton, Catherine and DeGray with the same type of rentals that are available on the northern Arkansas impoundments.

The Arkansas River Valley area is home to Lake Dardanelle, plus Blue Mountain, Cove, Shores, and Ozark lakes, all popular recreation areas. Smaller bodies of water in the region include Lake Ludwig, Horsehead Lake and Lake Sylvia. These three are perfect spots for those who bring their own boats and such with them since marinas are scarce.

The southwest corner of the state boasts the Tri-Lakes of De Queen, Gillham and Dierks, while Millwood, though better known for its fishing, is also popular for water play. Nearby Lake Greeson is a hot spot for boating as well.

Smaller lakes such as White Oak, Lake Columbia, Lake Monticello, Lake Erling, and Lake Jack Lee dot the expanse that is south central and south east Arkansas. Boat rentals in Arkansas may not be as numerous on these lakes but the fun availability is still here. The behemoth in the area is Lake Chicot, a 20-mile-long, former main channel of the Mississippi River that is the biggest oxbow lake in North America and Arkansas's largest natural lake. Further north are Storm Creek and Bear Creek Lakes at Mississippi River State Park.

Lakes Austell, Dunn, Charles, Walcott, and Frierson in northeast Arkansas can all be found in Arkansas State Parks. Austell and Dunn call Village Creek State Park home, while Walcott centers Crowley's Ridge State Park. Frierson and Charles both give their state parks their name.

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Water Toys:

If there is any area of water recreation that has exploded in the past several years, it's been water toys, also known as jet skis, wave runners, kneeboards, tubes, personal watercraft, lake bikes. . .the names vary but the end result is the same: they provide hours of fun on the water.

Below are some boat rentals in Arkansas which offer water toy rentals, listed by lake. This is, by no means, an all-inclusive list.

Beaver Lake:

Lost Bridge Marina
Ugly John's Custom Boats & Rocky Branch Marina
SUP Outfitters

Bull Shoals:

Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock
Lakeview Cove Marina
Sugarloaf Marina
Hwy. 125 Marina

DeGray Lake:

Iron Mountain Lodge & Marina
DeGray Lake Resort State Park Marina

Greers Ferry Lake:

Lacey's Narrows Marina
Shiloh Marina
Eden Isle Marina
Peters Sugar Loaf Marina

Lake Greeson:

Self Creek Resort & Marina
Kirby Landing Marina
Swaha Lodge & Marina

Lake Hamilton:

Salty Dog
Kahuna Bay Boat & Jet Ski Rentals
Kahuna Bay II At Sunbay Resort
Lake Hamilton Watersports, Inc.
Hot Springs Marina

Lake Ouachita:

DreamChaser Houseboat Rentals
Brady Mountain Resort & Marina
Hill's Lake Escape
Lake Ouachita State Park Marina
Mountain Harbor Marina
Echo Canyon Resort & Marina
Wake Zone Rentals & Excursions

Millwood Lake:

Millwood Lake State Park Marina

Norfork Lake:

101 Boat Dock
Fout Boat Dock
Jordan Marina
Cranfield Marina
Panther Bay Marina
Quarry Marina
Tracy Ferry Marina

Table Rock Lake:

Cricket Creek Marina


Fishing is a year-round opportunity in Arkansas with never-ending challenges for the sport fisherman and always-waiting chances for the recreational fisherman, woman or child.

Check the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism's fishing site for additional information. Start reading then plan your trip.

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Arkansas boat docks - boating Arkansas

Take a sailing vacation on Arkansas' larger lakes, where sailing can be a spectator's sport or a great way to explore the state's beautiful lakes. Although most marinas do not offer sailboat charters or rentals, an exception is Jolly Roger's Marina on Lake Maumelle. The sailing port is located off Ark. 10, on Maumelle Harbor Road, 13 miles west of Little Rock and I-430. Jolly Roger's offers charter services and sailing lessons.

Find a yacht and/or sailing club on Lake Maumelle, Greers Ferry Lake, Beaver Lake, and DeGray Lake. They schedule regattas for centerboards, catamarans and keelboats; stage annual social events and awards banquets for members, publish newsletters, maintain websites, and conduct meetings. Persons wanting to view the beauty and grandeur of a sailing regatta may view each club's calendar of events, via their websites, and plan a lakeshore outing.

Grande Maumelle Sailing Club
Greers Ferry Lake Yacht Club
Iron Mountain Yacht Club (DeGray Lake)
Beaver Lake Sailing Club (Molder Hollow)
Castaway Sailing (Beaver Lake)

Houseboat Rentals Provide a Memorable Vacation in Arkansas

All the comforts of home -- and then some. Luxury travel with a capital "L." That's what you'll find on a houseboat, available for rent on several Arkansas lakes.

It's easy to understand why houseboating has become so popular among Arkansas vacationers. They provide solitude seekers a chance to truly get away from it all in some of the state's most scenic settings. A waterfront view is guaranteed, as is the opportunity for a variety of activities. From fishing, swimming, and deck-top grilling to wildlife watching, stargazing and simply spending quality time with friends and family, visitors can do about as much -- or little -- as desired. For the same reasons, houseboats are also becoming popular for family reunions, retreats and meetings.

These floating "homes away from homes" include everything a person needs for a memorable experience. Most have fully equipped kitchens, full bathrooms, washers and dryers, and televisions. Varying amenities include upper-deck hot tubs, compact disc players, satellite televisions, VCRs, central heat and air, wet bars and waterslides off the top deck. As the niceties vary, so do the prices, which are based on number of people and length of stay. Rentals run from one-day and three-day trips, to weeklong trips. Prices can be found on the individual property's Web site.

Lake Ouachita

Wave Zone Boats, Crystal Springs Resort

Dreamchaser Houseboats, Mountain Harbor Resort

Hill's Lake Escape, Brady Mountain Resort

Almost Home Houseboat Rentals, North Shores Resort and Marina

DeGray Lake

Anchor's Away Houseboats,  Iron Mountain Lodge & Marina

Bull Shoals

Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock

Norfork Lake

101 Boat Dock

Greers Ferry Lake

Lacey's Narrows Marina