A short drive from the hustle and bustle of Bath House Row, Lake Catherine State Park is home to a plethora of natural beauty. The crown jewel of the park is Falls Creek Falls. Standing 12 feet tall and twice as wide, it is one of the most photographed spots in the Ouachitas. And one of the most beloved swimming holes.
A two-mile loop hike accompanies the falls. Head to the right for two miles for a big payoff, or go left to hit the falls in short order. This was the same swimming hole that cooled off Civilian Conservation Corps workers back in the 1930s when the state park was constructed.
As with most waterfalls, Falls Creek is more dramatic during high rains. The swimming hole is best suiting for wading, due to rocky terain. Limited rain fall lessens depth. Jumping from cliffs is strictly prohibited. The park stays very busy, especially in the summer months. It is under a mile hike to the falls, even without the two-mile loop.
Know Before You Go
The community of Magnet Cove is on the other side of the river, miles away from the falls, in the small neighboring town of Malvern, Arkansas.
Hot Springs is located within the Ouachita Mountains.