Lake Hamilton, Arkansas, USA
Located on the southern edge of Hot Springs, Lake Hamilton is a premier vacation destination. This beautiful lake was formed in 1932 with the construction of the Carpenter Dam on the Ouachita River. The Dam is named after Flave Carpenter, the pioneer peace officer who discovered the site while tracking down outlaws along the Ouachite River. Ouachita is a Native American word that means “good hunting grounds…
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Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Hamilton! Article topics include:
- All About Lake Hamilton
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Things to Do
- Known Fish Species
- Lake Hamilton Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Lake Hamilton Gifts
Looking for Lake Hamilton cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.
All About Lake Hamilton, AR
Located on the southern edge of Hot Springs, Lake Hamilton is a premier vacation destination. This beautiful lake was formed in 1932 with the construction of the Carpenter Dam on the Ouachita River. The Dam is named after Flave Carpenter, the pioneer peace officer who discovered the site while tracking down outlaws along the Ouachite River. Ouachita is a Native American word that means “good hunting grounds and sparkling silver water.” The only hunting that happens at Lake Hamilton today is for treasures in one of the many area shops, but the “sparkling silver water” still draws visitors from all over.
Lake Hamilton has nearly 200 miles of shoreline characterized by small coves and inlets, and is almost entirely surrounded by residential homes, guest resorts and restaurants. The lake covers 7200 acres and stretches out over 18 miles in length. Arkansas Scenic 7 Byway crosses over the lake. In addition to relaxing at one of the many resorts, visitors can enjoy all types of watersports. You’ll often find speed boats sharing the waters of Lake Hamilton with sailboats, canoes and kayaks.
Fishing is also a popular pastime, and the mix of water temperatures in Lake Hamilton supports habitats for a large variety of sportfish. The Arkansas Fish and Game Commission operates the Lake Hamilton Andrew Hulsey State Fish Hatchery, and each year releases fingerlings into the lake. Angling opportunities include striped, spotted, white and smallmouth bass; black and white crappie; flathead, blue, channel, and bullhead catfish; walleye and chain pickerel. The Commission also stocks the lake with rainbow trout. Lake Hamilton has hosted several fishing tournaments, and with the fishing resources being managed by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, it is sure to host many more.
Seven public recreation areas provide ample opportunities for nature lovers. Three islands dot Lake Hamilton: Rabbit Island, Little Goat Island, and Big Goat Island. Also known as Electric Island, the 118 acre Big Goat Island may be enjoyed for hiking, picnicking, and wild life viewing. Bald eagles spend winter months on the island. Garvan Woodland Gardens is a 210 acre botanical garden accessible both by car and boat. Home to flowers, bonsai, and a spectacular spring daffodil display, visitors of the Gardens can also cruise the lake on a riverboat offering sightseeing, lunch, dinner and dance cruises.
Lake Hamilton is a reservoir created for hydropower generation and municipal water supply. Power generation and water levels are controlled by Entergy Arkansas Inc. (previously Arkansas Power & Light). The power company lowers water levels three to nine feet in the winter for shoreline maintenance and control of nuisance aquatic vegetation. Arkansas Power & Light constructed Carpenter Dam to provide power for the resort community of Hot Springs. Hot Springs Reservation, now Hot Springs National Park, was created over 100 years before the Dam to protect the natural springs that flow from Hot Springs Mountain. Hot Springs National Park is the oldest and smallest area in the national park system. Visitors to the Springs can touch the 147 degree thermal water, tour the historic Fordyce bath house, or hike one of the many trails.
With all the amenities of a premier resort community and sparkling silver waters, Lake Hamilton is sure to delight all the senses.
Things to Do at Lake Hamilton
These are some activities in the Lake Hamilton, AR area visitors can enjoy:
- Vacation Rentals
- Fishing Tournaments
- National Park
What Kind of Fish Are in Lake Hamilton?
Lake Hamilton has been known to have the following fish species:
- Black Bass
- Bullhead Catfish
- Chain Pickerel
- Rainbow Trout
- Smallmouth Bass
- White Crappie
Find Places to Stay at Lake Hamilton
If you’re considering a Lake Hamilton lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
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More Sites to Book a Lake Hamilton Vacation
Our interactive Lake Hamilton lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with Booking.com, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:
Lake Hamilton Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: Entergy Arkansas Inc.
Surface Area: 7,200 acres
Shoreline Length: 198 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 400 feet
Average Depth: 25 feet
Maximum Depth: 60 feet
Water Volume: 183,160 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1932
Drainage Area: 1,441 sq. miles
Trophic State: Mesotrophic
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