Mountain Harbor is one of the top Arkansas lake resorts when it comes to outdoor fun. You’ll find an array of outdoor adventure activities at your fingertips from our unique spot touching both the wild, vast Ouachita National Forest and the beautiful, sparkling Lake Ouachita. We have a sport, hobby, trail, activity, or event for the wonder seeker in everyone!
Lake Ouachita is rated by the EPA as one of the cleanest lakes in the nation. With 49,000 surface acres, more than 1000 miles of wilderness shoreline and more than 200 islands, Arkansas' largest lake hosts an array of water activities.
- Boating and Waterskiing -- Explore Lake Ouachita with one of our rental deck boats, pontoons, or fishing boats. For details contact Mountain Harbor Resort Marina at 870-867-1212.
- Jet Skiing and Tubing -- DreamChaser Houseboat Rentals and Water Toys has everything you need for great fun and great exercise! To reserve equipment call 870-867-1296.
- Diving and Dive Certification -- Join us for a Scuba Dive Vacation -- Our PADI certified dive shop, Ocean Extreme offers scuba diving lessons and certification, and has all the gear you will need, or bring your own for the perfect Scuba vacation! Contact Ocean Extreme at 870-867-1223 or the main location in Little Rock at 501-951-8600.
- Underwater Spear Fishing – Ouachita is one of the few lakes where spear fishing is allowed. Generally spear fishing is allowed June 15-March 15. Check fishing regulations on the Arkansas Game and Fish website; www.agfc.com
- Fishing -- Walleye, Crappie, Catfish, Bass and Striper make their home in Lake Ouachita. Let one of Harbor's featured Ouachita Fishing Guides assist you with the best "hidey holes." We'll even cook up your catch!! For Ouachita’s best guides, call any three of our recommended guides: Jerry Bean at 501-282-6104, Chris Darby at 870-867-7822, or Mike Wurm at 501-622-7717. Our marina does sell fishing licenses!
- Island Adventures -- Looking for a little adventure travel in your vacation? Pack a picnic lunch and claim your own island -- you have over 200 to choose from! Most of the islands have gentle sloping shell shorelines -- and plenty of area to hike and explore. It's perfect for a day outing or overnight camping, and offers something you won’t find at other Arkansas lake resorts.
- Swimming -- Enjoy swimming in our clean lake (pick an island beach as your outpost or one of the designated campground swimming areas) or swim in one of our three property swimming pools at the resort. You’ll also find recreational areas with good old fashioned "swimming holes," fed by cool clear underground springs, just a few minutes away.
- SUP's, Kayaking and Canoeing -- Paddle peacefully in the cove behind Turtle Cove Spa or other beautiful areas close to our marina. We offer kayak, canoe and SUP rentals for exploring around our resort at our Harbor Marina. Or, bring your own and take to the nearby Ouachita or Little Missouri Rivers for more exhilarating fun!
- Eagle Tours (winter season only) -- Enjoy an interpretive barge tour to watch the majestic bald eagle in his winter home. Marvel at the geologic formations that created the Ouachita Mountains and learn about the flora and fauna of the area. Call Mountain Harbor Resort at 870-867-2191 for details.
- Star Gazing -- In our wilderness setting the celestial sky is spectacular! Take a moonlight boat ride to view the stars as you have never seen them before.
- Houseboats --For the ultimate in lake adventuring, DreamChaser Houseboats offer several different sizes of luxury houseboats all with fully equipped galleys, sunroofs and water slides - some even have hot tubs! While you're there, check out the great water toys, wave runners and tubies! Call 870-867-3480 or visit www.bigboats.net.
Hikes, Walks and Mountain Biking
The Ouachita National Forest covers 1.8 million acres of land in central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma and features over 700 miles of trails. Mountain Harbor Resort & Spa is centrally located in the Ouachita National Forest region with easy access to some of the finest Arkansas hiking trails and mountain bike trails just a short drive away. In addition, old logging roads abound around the resort area and along the lake shoreline for easy to challenging hikes and mountain bike rides. (Mountain Harbor does not offer mountain bike rentals but you are welcome to bring your own.) Few Arkansas lake resorts offer this amount of hiking and biking action.
- * An Area FAVORITE: Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT) – Mountain Harbor has the privilege of being situated right in the middle of this collection of trail segments that stretch along 40+ miles of southern Ouachita shoreline, making it one of the most enjoyable networks of Arkansas hiking trails. This trail series has been completed almost entirely by efforts of a local volunteer group in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. All trailheads are within 10 minutes of Mountain Harbor. Eight trail segments for hiking and biking levels of all ages and difficulty ranges can be found on the back of our Harbor property maps at the Lodge or at the LOViT website
- Joplin Campground Loop (4 miles) -- Starting at Mountain Harbor Resort this loop is an easy walk, jog, or bike ride on paved road. Gentle rolling hills take you to the campground peninsula where you are surrounded on three sides by Lake Ouachita. A midway stop at Micah's Point provides a rest stop and a panoramic view of the lake. Bathrooms and water stops available during spring, summer and fall seasons. Allow 1 to 1.5 hours. Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate
- Charlton Trail (4.3 miles one way) -- This trail begins and ends at Charlton Area and Crystal Springs Recreation area. This hike trails up and down mountain slopes through a mixed hardwood and pine forest. Beautiful displays of wildflowers abound during spring and summer. Allow 2 to 2.5 hours. Trailhead is a 10 minute drive from the resort and spa. Difficulty Level: First half mile is most difficult; the rest of the trail is easy to more difficult.
- Prayer of the Woods Trail (3/4 mile) -- This interpretive trail has over 55 species of plants native to the area with interpretive signs located at key interest points. Allow 1 hour. Trailhead is a 10 minute drive from the resort and spa at the Charlton Recreation Area. Difficulty Level: Easy
- Little Missouri Trail - (15.4 miles one way) This trail winds along a portion of the Little Missouri River, a designated wild and scenic river. Cascading waterfalls, stately hardwoods, old-growth pine stands, wildlife and seasonal color changes are just a few of the natural delights awaiting you. The trail is fairly level with a few steep inclines. Allow 10-12 hours one way. Trailhead is a 45 minute drive from the resort at the Albert Pike Campground near Langley. Difficulty Level: moderately difficult.
- Big Brushy Trail Complex -- (3 to 12 miles) Brushy Mountain, Mountain Top, Rockhouse and Brushy Creek Trails allow many opportunities for loop trail hiking and biking. Along the trails are streams, waterfalls, geologic formations and quiet woodlands. Trailhead is a 30 minute drive from the resort near Pencil Bluff. Difficulty Level: Moderately difficult.
- Womble Trail (37 miles) -- The Womble Trail stretches from Northfork Lake to the Ouachita National Recreation Trail. It is considered one of the single best mountain bike trails in the area. Short segments of the trail meander along the bluffs of the Ouachita River providing breathtaking views. Travel time is 2 to 4 days, but shorter trail spurs are accessible. Trailhead is a 45 minute drive from the resort near Story. Difficulty Level: Moderately difficult.
Other Outdoor Activities
Everyone can find their outdoor niche here at Mountain Harbor Resort and Lake Ouachita. In addition to the popular watersports and hiking and biking activities, Mountain Harbor and its surroundings offer unique outdoor experiences you won’t find at other Arkansas lake resorts.
- Horseback Riding -- Mountain Harbor Riding Stables offers a 45 minute guided trail ride through the Ouachita National Forest with beautiful lake vistas. Rides are available for groups or individuals. Hours vary by season. Call 870-867-3022 to schedule riding times.
- Crystal Digging -- The Ouachita Mountains were considered a mystical location by the Native American Tribes and today geologists say that Arkansas and Brazil have the best quality quartz in the world. Many "dig-your-own" crystal mines are close by in the Hot Springs and Mount Ida area.
- Diamond Hunting -- It's finder's keepers at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, just an hour drive from the resort. The only public diamond mine in the world, Crater of Diamonds offers you a one-of-a-kind diamond hunting adventure and the opportunity to hunt for real diamonds. You'll search a 37-acre plowed field, which is actually the eroded surface of an ancient, gem-bearing volcanic pipe. Since diamonds were first discovered on the site in 1906, over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed. Happy hunting!
- Tennis -- The resort has 3 tennis courts for use year round. Equipment is available from guest reception at Mountain Harbor Resort.
- Horseshoes, Volleyball, Half-Court Basketball -- For information or to reserve time for these activities please contact reception at Mountain Harbor Resort.
- Golf – An 18-hole, public golf course is only an hour away at the Glenwood Country Club. There are also two others in nearby Hot Springs. Contact Mountain Harbor Lodge staff for questions about how to arrange a tee time at any of these spots.
- Hot Springs National Park -- The Park's rare natural features were first protected when Congress declared the area a "reservation" in 1832, some 40 years before Yellowstone became the world's first national park. From prehistoric natives forward, people have been using the hot springs for therapeutic baths and spiritual restoration. While preserving an array of 47 hot springs and their watershed, the Park, which is located in the business district of historic Hot Springs, also provides scenic drives, camping, picnic areas and some of the best hiking trails in Arkansas.