Let me start by saying I’m biased. I truly believe that DeGray is one of Arkansas’s best lakes! My first camping memory involves tent camping in one of DeGray Lake’s many campgrounds. I grew up in Arkansas (USA), and we camped all around “The Natural State”. The one place we came back to time after time again was DeGray Lake. Created by the Corp of Engineers in 1972 by an earthen dam, DeGray Lake has won numerous national awards for its scenic beauty.
About thirty minutes from Hot Springs and an hour from Little Rock, the 13,800-acre, DeGray Lake can be reached easily from Interstate 30. Whether you enjoy water and land sports, camping under tall, majestic pine trees, or being surrounded by beautiful, natural landscapes, DeGray is a perfect choice.
Why DeGray Lake is One of Arkansas’s Best Lakes
1. Enjoy water and land sports!
Almost every campground on DeGray Lake has at least one swimming beach. At DeGray Lake State Park you can play tennis, golf on the championship golf course, or take a guided horseback ride. At Iron Mountain Campground, you will find the Iron Mountain Trail System which attracts mountain bike riders of all levels (read Iron Mountain Bike Trails).
There is a variety of boat rentals available at several marinas located around the lake. On our most recent camping trip to DeGray Lake we spent one afternoon kayaking around the gorgeous calm water.
Even though DeGray Lake is known for its recreational water sports (water skiing and riding jet skis), every time I’ve camped at DeGray Lake, I’ve seen plenty of fishing. Whether it’s casting a line from the bank or boating to a secluded cover, fishermen from beginners to pros will love the variety of fish found in the lake. Several varieties of bass, catfish, brim, or my favorite crappie are just some of the popular fish varieties in DeGray Lake.
2. Camp under under tall, majestic pine trees!
My first taste of camping was at DeGray Lake. I don’t remember which of the many campgrounds we were at. I just remember having plenty of woods to explore with my big brother. DeGray Lake Resort State Park is one of the most popular campgrounds. The state park has a nice visitor’s center, a beautiful lodge, and 113 campsites. You can even rent a YURT! YURT is an acronym for Year-around Universal Recreational Tent.
We are big fans of the six Corp of Engineers campgrounds that surround the huge lake. On our last stay we camped at Edgewood Campground. The campground has 49 reservable campsites with electric hookups. Other amenities include flush toilets, heated showers, drinking water, swimming beach, playground and a dump station. Like most Corp of Engineers, the campground was clean and well-maintained. We’ve also camped at the Caddo Drive and Arlie Moore Campgrounds.
3. Be surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes!
DeGray Lake is nestled among the gorgeous Ouachita Mountains. Some of the many awards given to DeGray Lake include: Arlie Moore Interpretive Trail as one of America’s Top 25 Hiking Trails, the Highway 7 Recreation Area as one of America’s Top 25 Picnic Areas, and The Caddo Drive Recreation Area was selected as one of America’s Top 25 Scenic Views! The sunsets are some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen on a freshwater lake. The water on this lake is crystal clear and great for swimming or even scuba diving! However, for even clearer water, travel a little further north for Lake Ouachita (read Why You Should Go Camping at Lake Ouachita State Park).
What do you think of DeGray Lake in the great state of Arkansas? Please share by commenting below!
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