Despite being an entirely inland state, Arkansas offers a wide range of swimming options across a diverse range of waterbodies. Long reaching rivers, sparkling streams, and fresh lakes are found all over Arkansas’ 137,000 km2 (52,000 m2). Many of these water bodies are housed throughout Arkansans’ extraordinary 52 state parks and 8 federal parks. Popular state parks include Pinnacle Mountain, Mammoth Spring, and Devils Den. Popular federal parks include Beaver Lake, Ozark St-Francis, and Buffalo River.
The Buffalo River was America’s first national river. Stretching 246 km (153 mi) total, the Buffalo River’s lower 217 km (135 mi) is located within an area protected by the National Park Service where it holds the official title of the Buffalo National River. This designation was established through congressional legislation passed in 1972. The geography of the Buffalo River varies greatly along its 246 km. The upper portion of the river is home to the most dramatic features, including white water rapids, caves, waterfalls, limestone bluffs, and striking rock formations.
Across Arkansas’ diverse landscapes and watersheds, all kinds of recreational water uses are available. From rafting and kayaking down rapids, to canoeing quiet forested lakes, to swimming in pristine rivers and stream, Arkansas is a recreational water users dream.
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