This is a pretty, lakeside state park ideally located about twenty minutes from downtown Hot Springs.
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Overall Rating: 4.3/5
Price per night / Discounts: $35 / None
Campground website: Lake Catherine State Park
Our Site #: 48
Privacy Rating (how spacious and private do the sites feel):
4.5/5: The lakeside sites are nicely offset from one another so each site has a decent view of the lake, and there is good site separation. The sites that are not lakeside should also have a decent view since they are higher up than the lakeside sites. Some sites had more trees and vegetation between them than others, but generally, we felt like they all offered a good amount of space and privacy.
Location Rating (accessibility to points of interest or to major highways):
4.5/5: This campground is about 20 minutes from downtown Hot Springs and several other local points of interest, so it's really an ideal location. We also enjoyed the park itself, which offered a lot of nice hiking trails and views of the lake. Unfortunately, those views were marred by the ugly power plant across the lake, but such is life.
Site Quality and Big Rig Accessibility Rating (utilities and accessibility of campground hook ups):
3.75/5: A lot of the sites here are very un-level. Ours was sloped, but we were able to get far enough back, that we could work with it. Other folks in other sites would have had a much harder time. The hook-ups were fine, and though the campground roads were a bit tight in certain places, we were able to make it through alright.
Technology and Customer Service Rating (online resources, reservations, and staff):
4.5/5: I was able to reserve our specific site on Reserve America, which made me very happy. Check in was perfunctory, but got the job done.
Internet Availability Rating (Verizon coverage or campground wifi):
4/5: Verizon worked fine. No wifi, but that is to be expected at a state park.
For some reason, this park left us a little disappointed, however, I've been unable to come up with any particular reason why that's the case. The sites were generally large and we backed right up to the lake, our site was un-level, but we were able to work with it, the hiking trails were well maintained and provided a nice challenge, and the location was great - just 20 minutes from downtown Hot Springs. So I really have no reason to not be excited about this park, but I just wasn't. Perhaps it's because we had just been at the amazing Atlanta State Park and everything after it seems like a bit of a letdown. Perhaps it was because the beautiful lake views were marred by an enormous, ugly power plant, or perhaps it was because we noticed that so many of the campsites were incredibly un-level. Maybe it was just the dreary weather we had while we were there. Or maybe there really was something "off" about it. Whatever the case may be, if you're looking for a campground in the Hot Springs area, we'd certainly recommend it. I just wish I was more excited to do so.