The first full day of our vacation, we hit the Hot Springs National Park and then headed to Lake Ouachita State Park to cool off at the beach and go for another hike.
Lake Ouachita State Park
Lake Ouachita is the largest lake in Arkansas with 600 feet of shoreline surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest. It is one of the cleanest lakes in the entire United States and located just 13 miles outside of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Near the campground, you can see the famous Three Sister Springs and hike the Caddo Bend Trail.
Three Sisters Springs
The Three Sisters Springs has historically been known to contain numerous healing properties. Each spring displayed a list of the ailments it could cure (as told by the previous owners):
- Spring No. 1: bright’s disease, diabetes, dropsy, pus in kidneys, bladder and urethra, cystitis, enlarged prostate gland, paralysis, stones in kidneys and other urinary troubles, change of life and female irregularities, insomnia, anemia, high or low blood pressure, gout, hyperacidity, rheumatism, arthritis, etc.
- Spring No. 2: chronic constipation, chronic indigestion, catarrh of stomach, excessive acid, gastritis, ulcerated stomach, poor assimilation and elimination, poor blood pressure, gall stones, mucus colitis, etc.
- Spring No. 3: (highly astringent, quite constipating) used only for flus, diarrhea, cholera-infantum and kindred troubles, bath for diabetic sores and eczema, granulated and sore eyes, catarrh of the nose, head, sinuses, etc.
It is not advisable to drink the water, so we all placed our heads under the springs for good health. 🙂
There are two public beaches at the Lake Ouachita State Park, but plenty of shoreline and islands outside the park without houses to find other swimming spots. We could have used a nice pair of swim shoes because this beach was full of fairly sharp shale pieces. Regardless, the water was really warm and it was my favorite spot to swim. Also, Amelia found a large chunk of quartz, which was pretty awesome.
Caddo Bend Trail
The Caddo Bend Trail is a four mile trail that circles a peninsula that sticks out into Lake Ouachita. We didn’t plan on hiking the entire trail with our 5 and 3 year old kids… But curiosity kept us moving forward and we did it anyway. The kids struggled for sure. And by struggled, I mean that Amelia complained on and off and Oliver took a nap while being carried for 3 out of the 4 miles. Yeah, we got our work out on! It was so exciting though because we got to climb rugged terrain and see some very cool scenic lookouts of the lake from high up in the forest. We saw lizards too!!! (That’s super cool when you’re from Michigan.)
Car Ride Back
The kids fell asleep the moment we all loaded back into the car. They were beat. We caught a beautiful sunset on our ride back to the Sunbay Resort and passed by the Blakely Mountain Dam.