Lake Hamilton fuses natural beauty and urban excitement. Restaurants, luxury resorts, and palatial vacation homes line the shores only minutes from downtown Hot Springs. Hop off your boat and pick up a pizza, or grab a table to dine on the wharf. Shop for anything you need for the day or fuel your boat at the dockside stores. The lake offers more guided boat expeditions than any other. Take a pontoon boat tour or a duck boat tour. Or, if you'd prefer to be at the helm, check out one of many boat rental options at a handful of marinas in town.
Moving downstream, the waters from Lake Ouachita flow through Blakely Dam and into Lake Hamilton. The main body of water is located right in town, on the south and west ends of Hot Springs. It is smaller, about one-sixth the size of Lake Ouachita, and is residentially and commercially developed, with grand houses, condos, restaurants and docks all along its shoreline. Consequently, it is a much busier lake with pleasure boaters out all summer long.
Entergy Arkansas performs an annual drawdown typically in early November. The size of the drawdown varies each winter, in part, to curb growth of nuisance vegetation. A vegetation management plan developed in conjunction with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission usually calls for alternating 3-foot and 5-foot drawdowns. The annual lowering of the lakes also is valuable to owners of shoreline facility, allowing them an opportunity to inspect and repair their structures and fortify the shoreline.
Entergy has used drawdowns on Lake Hamilton since 1996 to help control the spread of certain underwater plants that interfere with recreation.