arkansas swimming

10 UNIQUE Places to Swim in Arkansas

There are many great places to swim in Arkansas but several of our rivers and lakes make truly unique places to cool off.

When the hot summer arrives in Arkansas, all I can think about is how to cool off. I don’t like spending my days in my air-conditioned house but the heat outside can be suffocating. So, what’s a person supposed to do?

Many of us head to the nearest lake or river that has great swimming!

10 GREAT Places to Swim in Arkansas

These 10 places to swim are excellent because you can cool off while experiencing the best rivers and lakes that Arkansas has to offer.

1. River Bluff Float Camp on the Ouachita River

This is an excellent swimming area to cool off during the hot Arkansas summer because it is right on the banks of the beautiful Ouachita River! If you’re the camping type, bring your tent because the River Bluff Float Camp has six camping sites and beautiful picnicking areas too.

This amazing float camp is located off AR Hwy 27 just north of Mt. Ida.

2. Sylamore Creek

The Sylamore Creek near Mountain View, Arkansas is one of the most beautiful places to swim in Arkansas!

Be sure to bring your canoe or kayak too! AND…if you’ve got your ATV with you, you’ll love the AMAZING ATV Trails in Mountain View, Arkansas that are all around the Gunner Pool Recreation Area.

You will also find Gunner Pool here: BEAUTIFUL Tent Camping in Arkansas with Hiking and Waterfalls.

You’ll find Gunner Pool Recreation Area here:
Latitude: 35.9943667
Longitude: -92.2118167

3. Lee Creek

Not only does Lee Creek offer fantastic swimming in Northwest Arkansas, there is also free camping along the the creek! In fact, Lee Creek was named as having some of the BEST free camping and swimming near water in Arkansas!

This is a free campsite that is open 365 days a year. There are about 10 campsites at this location with fire rings built by other campers.

35.702463,- 94.328064
Chester, Arkansas
GPS: 35.702461, -94.328064
Elevation: 765′

You can find more camp areas like Lee Creek here: Free and Cheap Camping in Northwest Arkansas

4. Big Piney Creek

Big Piney Creek near Dover is a beautiful place. I enjoyed swimming there during my years at Arkansas Tech University.

Most people head on over to Long Pool Recreation Area to enjoy Big Piney Creek.

Long Pool Recreation Area lies along beautiful Big Piney Creek and offers visitors a variety of recreational opportunities: camping, picnicking, swimming, canoeing, fishing and hiking.

“A large natural pool, steep rock bluffs, and captivating forests are just a few examples of the natural beauty surrounding this recreation area.” –source

12000 SR27
Dover, AR 72837

There are excellent trails near the Long Pool Recreation Area that are excellent hiking trails with kids!

5. Mulberry River

The Mulberry River in Arkansas has 50 miles of cool water and beautiful swimming.

“As summer approaches, the river takes on a completely different personality. It becomes the perfect place for swimming, wading, skipping rocks, or just relaxing on the beach while soaking up the sun.” -source

Mulberry River swimming at Redding Campground
Mulberry River swimming at Redding Campground. Photo by Jack Gray/Creative Commons

Along the Mulberry River, there are excellent places to swim including the Redding National Forest Recreation Area and Big Eddy.

6. Tanyard Creek

Tanyard Creek is a beautiful place to swim in Northwest Arkansas that has a fantastic waterfall!

The short, 2-mile Tanyard Creek Trail takes you right by Tanyard Creek Falls. While there, you can swim in the pool at the base of the falls!

This beautiful waterfall is actually created by the run-off from Windsor Lake.

You’ll find Tanyard Creek waterfall in Bella Vista, AR.

Also in Bella Vista is one of three BEAUTIFUL Glass Chapels in Arkansas.

7. Erbie Campground on the Buffalo National River

The Buffalo National River is loved by people who like to swim or canoe. Each year, Arkansans plan their float trips with friends and make memories on the Buffalo River.

Whether you’re the floating type or not, swimming in the Buffalo River is a fun experience!

The scenery is unlike any other, and as an added bonus, you can wave at the folks in canoes as they float by. If you’re lucky, one of them might fall out and you can watch them try to get back in their canoe as they’re floating downstream!

“The 135-mile national river is lined with bluffs as high as 440 feet. Riverside stands of willow, sycamore, river birch and cottonwood blend into the predominately oak-hickory upland forest. The Buffalo offers small-mouth bass, goggle-eye and other game fish along with swimming and canoe trips on this free-flowing river. Swimming is permitted in the Buffalo River but requires special caution.” -source

8. Bridal Veil Falls in Heber Springs

Bridal Veil Falls in Heber Springs is a hidden gem and a great little place to swim!

The hike to the overlook is extremely short but if you make the turn before the overlook, you can head down to the base of the falls and play in the pool.

Bridal Veil Falls
Hike down to the base of the falls and enjoy some cool swimming!

You’ll find Bridal Veil Falls here:
49 Bridal Veil Falls Road
Heber Springs, AR 72543
GPS 35.4695236, -93.0384821

9. Arrowhead Cabin and Canoe on the Caddo River

The Caddo River is a fun and beautiful place to swim in Arkansas, and there is great camping!

Tent sites are first come first serve, but you still have to reserve a spot ahead of time. Cabins and RV sites are available as well.

They offer kayak, canoe, and tube floating trips or you may choose to do “stay-n-play” kayak rental where you don’t float the river, but just kayak around the swimming hole area or up river.

There are great bathrooms with hot showers and the owners are very friendly and accommodating!

You’ll find Arrowhead Cabin and Canoe here:
69 Arrowhead Drive
Caddo Gap, AR 71935

10. Big Spring Park at Cotter Bridge

“If you are looking for the perfect, clean and clear swimming hole, you have found it! There is a rope swing over the spring that has been around for a long long time! Bring some tubes to float down the stream just be sure to hop off before you get out to the River.” -source

You will find this great swimming hole on Big Spring Parkway in Cotter.

Do you still want more? There are also many EPIC Arkansas swimming holes that you will love!

Want to smell the salty air of the ocean? You love these beaches that are close to Arkansas.

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