Cooling off in the Ouachita River

Cooling off in the Ouachita River

The Community Bicyclist

We were invited to our friend’s birthday party, which included a relaxing float on the Ouachita River from Remmel Dam to Rockport Ledge. Most of the guests chose to use innertubes, but Lisa and I opted to use a paddleboard and a kayak, respectively.

The Ouachita River is a popular spot for floating in Arkansas, and the stretch from Remmel Dam to Rockport Ledge is a great option for beginners and experienced paddlers alike. The float is about 5.3 miles long and takes about 1.5-2 hours to complete, depending on the water level. The time will also be about doubled when tubing (drifting).

Drifting in a tube down the river.
Drifting in a tube down the river.

The river is mostly calm and easy to paddle, with a few small riffles and a Class II rapid at Rockport Ledge. The scenery is beautiful, with wooded banks and occasional bluffs. There are also several places to stop and swim or picnic along the way.

The best time to float the river is during the summer when Entergy releases water from Remmel Dam to create a fun play wave at Rockport Ledge. The water level is typically high enough for floating from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but it’s always a good idea to check the conditions before you go. Releases usually happen between 10 am and 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays but there are sometimes other releases during the week. The best way to keep up with all releases is by subscribing to the Entergy Hydro News Emails. You can also get the latest news on their Facebook Page.

Paddleboarding the river.
Paddleboarding the river.

To get to the put-in, take Highway 270 east from Malvern and turn left onto Remmel Dam Road. The put-in is at the end of the road. The take-out is near the I-30 bridge. You can take out on river left just below the Rockport Ledge upstream of the I-30 bridge. There is a boat ramp, bathrooms, changing rooms, picnic tables, and sidewalks that allow viewing of the river at the takeout.

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There are several companies that offer shuttle services for this float. You can also rent kayaks, canoes, and tubes from several places in Malvern.

Jackalope

Floating the Ouachita River from Remmel Dam to Rockport Ledge is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the Arkansas countryside and cool off on a hot summer day. It’s a fun and easy float that’s perfect for people of all ages and skill levels.

Taking a break on a gravel bar along the river.
Taking a break on a gravel bar along the river.

Here are some tips for floating the Ouachita River from Remmel Dam to Rockport Ledge:

  • Check the water level before you go. The river is typically high enough for floating from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but it’s always a good idea to check the conditions before you go.
  • Wear sunscreen and a hat. The sun can be strong on the river, so it’s important to protect yourself.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks. You’ll be working up a sweat, so it’s important to stay hydrated.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. The river can be crowded, so be careful not to hit other paddlers or drift into rocks.
  • Always bring a mesh bag for picking up any trash that may have gotten away from others.
  • Have fun! Floating the river is a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors.


I hope you enjoy your float!

Angry Dave's

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