ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Ride the Ducks in Hot Springs, Arkansas
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Ride the Ducks in Hot Springs, Arkansas
Bathhouse Row from a Duck
Riders on the Ducks catch a
passing view of many Hot
Springs landmarks.
Lake Hamilton from a Duck
A highlight of the ride for many
visitors is the splash into
Lake Hamilton followed by a
ride around St. John's Island.
Riding the Ducks - Hot Springs, Arkansas
A Duck on Lake Hamilton
The unique amphibious truck/boats carry visitors to
Hot Springs on a fun exploration of the historic city
and nearby Lake Hamilton.
Riding the Ducks in Hot Springs
For many people, a visit to Hot Springs is not
completely without a ride on "the Ducks."

Admittedly they are among the most "touristy"
of attractions, but the unique amphibious
vehicles known as "Ducks" are fun and a
flashback to a part of history that too few of us
know about.

These half-boat, half-truck people carrying
vehicles can be seen driving down the
streets of a number of Southern cities,
including Hot Springs, Branson and

Few people realize, however, that the
technology behind the Ducks actually dates
back to World War II. The vehicles were first
manufactured by General Motors in 1942 and
represented a remarkable accomplishment
in military ingenuity and engineering. They
were first used in the Pacific in 1943 and
American commanders were quick to
recognize the value of a vehicle that be used
on either land or water.

Over 1,000 Ducks took part in the landing at
Sicily and they were used again at Normandy
where the versatile little vehicles brought
ashore 40% of the supplies used by Allied
forces in the D-Day invasion.

The name Duck is a military acronym for "D
(year of production, 1942), U (utility truck,
amphibious), K (front-wheel drive), W
(tandem axle)."

While the Ducks in most cities are of more
modern design, the ones in Hot Springs are
said by the drivers to date from World War II.
They depart several times daily (every 30
minutes or less when tourist traffic is heavy)
from a location directly across Central
Avenue from Bathhouse Row. The tours last
about 75 minutes and take riders through the
streets of Hot Springs and onto Lake
Hamilton, where they sail around St. John's
Island before returning back to downtown.
Passengers on a Duck
The drivers of the Ducks
share colorful stories with
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
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