Falls Branch Trail at Lake Catherine State Park

Lake Catherine State Park

Lake Catherine State Park is located in Hot Springs, Arkansas in the Ouachita Mountain region of the state. The state park offers a full-service marina where boat rentals are available year round.

We rented a cabin right on the lake for our weekend visit. Besides cabins, the park also has 70 campsites, six primitive tent sites, one Rent-A-Camp, and one Rent-A-Yurt according to the park’s website.

Hiking at lake catherine state park

There are four hiking trails at Lake Catherine State Park. Here is a map of the park’s trails. We decided to hike on the Falls Branch Trail which is two miles in length. This trail is ranked as a top ten hike in Arkansas by AllTrails and is rated as moderate.

Lake Catherine Arkansas State Park. Falls Branch Trail

Falls Branch Trail

Our girls woke up before the sun, so we started our hike early in the morning before the fog had lifted. Our early start time added a quiet, magical feel to our hike through the forest, and also helped us avoid weekend crowds.

This trail is family-friendly, however the rocks are slippery in places.

Lake Catherine Arkansas State Park. Falls Branch Trail
Hardwood Forest
Lake Catherine Arkansas State Park. Falls Branch Trail
Lake Catherine Arkansas State Park. Falls Branch Trail
Lake Catherine Arkansas State Park. Falls Branch Trail
Little Canyon Creek
Lake Catherine Arkansas State Park. Falls Branch Trail
Falls Creek Falls
Lake Catherine Arkansas State Park. Falls Branch Trail
Lake Catherine

I love to hike in Arkansas in the autumn because we don’t have to worry as much about pesky bugs, snakes, or heat. However, the water levels in the lake, creek and falls were lower. For a different perspective, check out this blog post from arkokhiker from a visit they took in June.

Bald Eagles in arkansas

At the end of the hike, there is a bench that overlooks the lake. We spotted several ducks swimming in the mist. I also spotted a bald eagle, or at least I believe I did – it was difficult to see in the distance. Lake Catherine State Park is hosting Eagle Bonanza Tours in January. Call (501) 844-4176 to sign-up for a free boat tour.

Arkansas State TreE

We were mesmerized by the towering trees at Lake Catherine State Park. Did you know that the Arkansas State Tree is the Loblolly Pine?

Lake Catherine Arkansas State Park. Arkansas

One of the things we appreciated about spending a weekend at Lake Catherine State Park was how relaxing and peaceful the park felt while also being close to restaurants and attractions like Hot Springs National Park. I’ll write more about these attractions in my next post.

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