Discovering the Hidden Gem of Mississippi: Arkabutla Lake

Nestled in the northwest corner of Mississippi, Arkabutla Lake is a serene and picturesque destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, recreational activities, and wildlife. Whether you're an avid angler, a passionate bird watcher, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, Arkabutla Lake has something for everyone. Let’s dive into what makes this lake such a hidden gem.

Arkabutla Lake, located near the town of Hernando, is a reservoir formed by the damming of the Coldwater River. Managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lake covers an impressive 33,000 acres and boasts 37,700 acres of surrounding public land. It’s one of the four flood control reservoirs in northern Mississippi, playing a crucial role in preventing floods in the Yazoo Basin.

A Haven for Outdoor Enthusiasts

  1. Fishing and Boating

    Arkabutla Lake is renowned for its excellent fishing opportunities. Anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish species, including crappie, largemouth bass, catfish, and bream. The lake is particularly famous for its trophy-sized crappie, making it a hotspot for both amateur and professional fishermen.

    The lake’s extensive shoreline provides ample space for boating. Whether you’re into sailing, kayaking, or power boating, Arkabutla offers plenty of open water to enjoy your favorite water activities. Several boat ramps are conveniently located around the lake, making it easy to launch and retrieve boats.

  2. Camping and Picnicking

    With several campgrounds and picnic areas, Arkabutla Lake is an ideal spot for a family outing or a weekend getaway. The campgrounds, such as South Abutment and Dub Patton, offer a range of amenities including RV hookups, tent sites, restrooms, and showers. The lush, wooded areas around the lake provide a scenic backdrop for a relaxing camping experience.

  3. Hiking and Wildlife Viewing

    Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the diverse flora and fauna around Arkabutla Lake. The lake’s environment supports a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and numerous bird species. For bird watchers, the lake is a paradise with opportunities to spot bald eagles, herons, and migratory waterfowl.

    Several trails around the lake offer excellent hiking and biking options. The Coldwater Nature Trail and the Bayou Point Trail provide scenic routes through forests and along the lake’s edge, perfect for immersing yourself in nature.

  4. Hunting and Shooting Range

    The surrounding public lands are open for hunting during designated seasons, with game species including deer, turkey, and small game. For those interested in shooting sports, Arkabutla Lake also features a well-maintained shooting range where visitors can practice their marksmanship in a safe environment.

Arkabutla Lake is a year-round destination, but each season offers its unique charm. Spring and fall are ideal for fishing and hiking, with mild temperatures and vibrant foliage. Summer is perfect for water-based activities, while winter brings a quieter, more serene atmosphere, ideal for bird watching and enjoying the tranquil beauty of the lake.


The local community around Arkabutla Lake is warm and welcoming, often hosting events and festivals that celebrate the region’s culture and natural beauty. Fishing tournaments, bird watching festivals, and community picnics are common, providing visitors with a chance to connect with locals and fellow outdoor enthusiasts.

Tips for Visitors

  • Plan Ahead: Check the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website for information on water levels, boat ramp conditions, and campground availability.
  • Pack Accordingly: Bring suitable gear for your planned activities, whether it’s fishing equipment, hiking boots, or picnic supplies.
  • Respect Nature: Follow Leave No Trace principles to keep the lake and its surroundings pristine for future visitors.

Arkabutla Lake is more than just a reservoir; it’s a haven for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with nature. From its abundant fishing opportunities to its serene hiking trails, Arkabutla Lake offers a little slice of paradise in the heart of Mississippi. Plan your visit today and discover the magic of this hidden gem for yourself!

Plan your visit today

(901) 212-8257