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Blakely Mountain Dam - Lake Ouachita - Mountain Pine AR


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After going past the spillway, you will actually get to the top of the dam turning right. On the left side is the actual lake. The gate where the water goes into the spillway itself is in the corner. If you continue driving over the dam, you will reach a small parking area and a dead end. On the left side of the parking area, there are concrete stairs, very steep, but very nice and a rest area about middle way down, to catch your breath, again very steep. Once you are at the bottom of the staircase, there is plenty of shoreline, where you can swim or dive anywhere....VERY clean, VERY nice. I am not a scuba diver, but a freediver, so this is the perfect place for that. There is a small beach near the staircase, but let me caution you, for swimming, this area goes from about 5 feet to about 20 ft REALLY fast. When there is not much boat traffic, water clarity is unbelievable. Again at the bottom of the stair case, if you go left along the rock wall of the dam, water depth is about 15 to 35 ft and here is where you will find your underwater "treasurers" About a third of the way down along the dam wall, if you look closely, you will see a maroon colored rock with the number "24" on it. If you line up with that rock and go down about 15 to 20 ft (depending on water level) you will come across the "Adam Brown Underwater Memorial". This is a truly an incredible underwater spot. After seeing that, there are underwater cables, and by following those cables, there are submerged boats, a 4 wheeler frame with a commode on the back of it, a Golf Cart, just to name a few. This by far has been my favorite place to go to dive in Arkansas. The biggest thing as I have said before, if you are not a scuba diver, a free diver can enjoy this spot safely, spending about a minute to a minute and a half downtime before having to surface. The area is just a short swim from the small beach but you could walk along the rocks to also get to that same spot, but to get used to the water, just snorkel over. You’ll enjoy the swim because of the water clarity to see many fish. Dive schools usually hold classes there each weekend as well (there were two there when I was there on October 13th, 2017). Yes, the crazy Arkansas weather the water temperature was still about 76 degrees (air temperature was 90), and I didn’t have a 3 mil or 5 mil suit, but a regular swimsuit wasn’t unbearable. I did not pass the thermocline going to the memorial so water was still warm enough. The other underwater treasures are further out and much deeper so I didn’t try that part of the dive yet...But I will when the water warms back up in May. My friends of diving, if you never have been to this spot, any of the locals will tell you this is by far the best place to go. As a free diver, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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