Arkansas’ Largest Lake Land of 200 Islands + Bird Island
Summer is here and if you are looking for an amazing lake that is surrounded by the majestic Ouachita National Forests and Mountains look no further than Lake Ouachita near Hot Springs.
This just so happens to be Arkansas' largest lake surrounded by 900+ miles of undeveloped shoreline that boasts 200 islands and coves that you can only get to by boat, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
One of the most popular islands is Bird Island where an estimated 10,000 to 40,000 Purple Martins roost on the north end of the island during the fall migration period over the last 20 years. The only way to see these birds is by boat only mainly between July and August but visitors are encouraged to stay off the island and observe off-shore only. The massive influx of birds flying in and out can be detected by Nexrad Radar, which almost sounds like a scene in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds.
The island is located in the middle of Lake Ouachita and is approximately 1,260 feet long, and about 100 feet wide. Bald Cypress mainly covers Bird Island with shrubs and a small sandbar. Brady Mountain is the nearest boat launch from the island.
Underneath the Lake
Besides over 1,100 campsites, swimming, and fishing on Lake Ouachita, scuba diving in the pristine clear waters is a must, many divers come to see the sunken town of Buckville underneath the third cleanest lake in the United States.
This small community was swallowed up by the waters of Lake Ouachita in the 1950s, The Buckville Cemetary is the only thing that remains just offshore of the original town.
As the lake was filled in with water in the 1950s railroad crossties and spikes can be seen underneath portions of the lake as well as a sunken school bus, a sunken sailboat, and a houseboat. But perhaps the most bizarre rumor is that an alien spacecraft crashed and landed in Lake Ouachita. They say you can see the crash trail leading from the shallow water in front of a GPS location known as Point #49 sign to the craft
And, let's not forget about the Fearless Rock Underwater Memorial.
Camping on the many islands at Lake Ouachita is allowed, with no time restrictions imposed. However, Leave with No Trace Camping should be practiced.
I personally rented a houseboat and explored some of the islands it was a blast. I have to admit I felt a little like Captain Jack Sparrow steering the wheel of the huge houseboat however, I didn't find any treasure on my quest.
Summertime, Fall, or anytime is the right time to stay or visit beautiful Lake Ouachita in Arkansas. Let me put it to you this way when I am on Lake Ouachita I feel like I am on some tropical island in Hawaii or the Caribbean thousands of miles away. Wake me up, this can't be Arkansas!