Cool Off, Arkansas: Charlton Swimming Hole

ROYAL, Ark. (KTHV) - Arkansas heats up during the summer months, with temperatures sometimes pushing 100 degrees, but you don't have to lock yourself indoors with the air conditioner to cool off.

THV11's Marielle Mohs brings us to a spot in the Ouachita National Forest that you can count on to stay cold.

It's another of the natural state's natural wonders. The Charlton swimming hole is always cold, sitting between 60 to 70 degrees, even in the scorching hot Arkansas summers.

Cody and Konley travel all the way from Louisiana with their family just to take a dip in Charlton. To them, it's tradition.

"It's my ninth year coming here. My first time coming here I wasn't even one yet."

The attraction to this water is more than just a place to swim. "I like it cause it's cold. It's really cold and natural. It's Arkansas."

To a state synonymous with the words "heat and humidity," Charlton provides a place for relief in the summer, no matter how hot it gets.

"When it's 105 degrees or whatever, it's a great place to be," said Chris Ham of the National Forest Service.

Charlton is a spring fed swimming area, but Ham explained that the location is what makes it so cold, and stay cold all summer.

"So when you get down to lake Ouachita, which this eventually empties into of course, the water warms up as you go down there. Since were at the top of the creek, it stays nice and cool right here," said Hamm.

The 10-foot dam was built in the mid-1930s in order for it to be a swimming area, but as families have been flocking there for decades, cooling off in the water has just become a part of the experience.

The Charlton swimming hole is about 8 feet at its deepest point, with some areas shallow enough for a toddler to wade in, which makes it a perfect place for the family to cool off in this summer.

The Charlton Recreational Area is located in Royal, Arkansas, just off of highway 270. That's about 20 minutes from Hot Springs and 10 minutes from Mount Ida.


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