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Contact Arkabutla Lake

Arkabutla Lake Field Office
3905 Arkabutla Dam Road
Coldwater MS 38618-9737

Phone: 662-562-6261
FAX: 662-562-8916

Arkabutla Lake Map

Arkabutla Lake Location

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Welcome to Arkabutla Lake

Sunrise over Arkabutla LakeLocated in both Tate and DeSoto counties in north Mississippi, Arkabutla Lake’s remote location is an ideal setting for a serene retreat.  However, if you are looking for a vacation full of fun and excitement, don’t worry…Arkabutla is still the right destination for you!  Located just 30 minutes from Memphis, TN and Tunica, MS, there is no limit to the fun awaiting you and your family.

There are trails for hiking or biking and many of our amenities are ADA accessible, such as, a fishing pier, swimming beach and playgrounds in addition to accessible sites in our beautiful campgrounds.  Recreation on the lake provides for some of the best fishing in the southeast and some of the best sailing east of the Mississippi River.  And, with more than 30,000 acres of land open for public hunting and numerous activities for public involvement, we are certain there is something for everyone!

Whether it’s hunting, fishing, boating, or just enjoying the outdoors, Arkabutla Lake provides a variety of opportunities for all outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.  Please take the time to browse our website.  Even better, come discover Arkabutla Lake for yourself.

Arkabutla Lake has a Visitor Information Center that offers an array of informational materials, such as, brochures, project regulations, camping information and area maps.  You will also find several interesting exhibits and displays that explain the missions of the Corps at Arkabutla Lake.  The Visitor Information Center is open weekdays from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. 

You can now visit Arkabutla Lake from the comfort of your own computer! Click the link below to check out the Arkabutla Lake Virtual Tour. You can view a campsite, see pavilions, or just do some sightseeing. Click on a recreation area on the map to see 360 degree photos in that area!





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Arkabutla Lake News & Events

Upcoming Events

Sep. 13- Public Draw for Archery Hunt

Sep. 13- Public Draw for Participants in Deer Hunt for Persons with Disabilities

Oct. 6-9 Special Draw Archery Hunt

Oct. 7-8 Coldwater Trade Days

Oct. 20-23 Special Draw Archery Hunt

Oct. 25-26 Outdoor Education Day

For more information about special events, or if you are interested in sponsoring/scheduling an event, contact the Arkabutla Lake Field Office at 662-562-6261.

Arkabutla Lake has a new kayak launch!

If you've ever spent time in a kayak you know that they can be unsteady when you board them to launch. Also, kayakers often get their feet wet and muddy when launching and then transfer the water and mud to the inside of the kayak. Our new kayak launch, located on the boat dock at Dub Patton Recreation Area provides kayakers a steadier, drier launch site. It also allows kayakers to keep their feet dry and free from mud. Because it is made from plastic, it also helps to protect the bottom of the kayak that can be damaged by launching from concrete boat ramps or rocky shorelines.  Click on the link below to see a demonstration of how the kayak launch works.

EZ Kayak Launch

Arkabutla Lake Archery Hunt

Arkabutla Lake is hosting a special draw archery hunt.  There are four 2-day hunts occurring: October 6-7, October 8-9, October 20-21, and October 22-23.  Hunters that have been drawn for the hunt will have until September 30th to scout the area.

Hunters may use longbows, compound bows, and cross bows.

*SPECIAL NOTICE- During these hunts the Lost Indian Spring Disc Golf Course, Coldwater River Nature Trail System and Swinging Bridge Nature Trail will be closed.

Hernando Point Mountain BikeTrail                                                                                               Hernando Point Moutain Bike Trail

        The partnership between North Mississippi Trail Alliance and the US Army Corps of Engineers at Arkabutla Lake has proven to be mutually beneficial and a great asset to the bike enthusiast. After the completion of the Bayou Point Single Track Mountain Bike Trail, the NMTA began mapping and designing a large trail system to be located between Hernando Point Recreation Area on the west and Highway 51 on the east. The trail was designed and will be implemented in three stages; a 2.2 mile novice loop, an 8 mile intermediate loop, and a 16 mile advanced loop. The 2.2 mile novice loop, named The Backwater Loop, has been completed and is open for use. The intermediate loop, known as the Possum Kingdom trail, is currently under construction. It begins at the northeast corner of the Backwater trail and goes east towards Tulane road. Phase 3 of the project will extend the trail even further east near Highway 51 Landing Recreation Area. The terrain and elevation of this section of the trail will be suitable for advanced biking. There is a map attachment of the entire proposed trail below, as well as pictures of the trail construction. Once completed, the trail system will span approximately 26 miles in length! The Hernando Point trail system is located on USACE land bordered by private property. In certain locations the trail system is located on or in close proximity to the USACE boundary. The USACE boundary is marked by yellow paint on trees and fence posts. Please remain on the trail at all times and respect adjacent landowner’s privacy

    For more information on the current bike trails, to join or volunteer with NMTA, and to get the latest updates, visit their website at Also, to report misuse of trails or additional information on Arkabutla Lake and other recreational opportunities available, please call the Arkabutla Lake Field Office at (662) 562-6261.

Hernando Point Single-Track Mountain Bike Course Map



 Fall and Winter Weather at Arkabutla Lake

  In the South, fall is always a welcome change from the blistering heat of summer. Along with the changing seasons, recreational opportunities available to the public are also changing at Arkabutla Lake. The cold and snow in the northern United States will be pushing migratory “snow birds” through our region, so now and all winter long is a great time for birders to view a wide array of bird species on and around Arkabutla Lake. The cooler weather reduces the mosquitoes and other bothersome insects, which allows for a more enjoyable camping experience. Also, non-recreation season camping fee prices go into effect at all of the primitive campgrounds at Arkabutla Lake from October 1- April 30.

  Fall and warmer winter days are a wonderful time for families to picnic under our pavilions, cook out on the grills provided, and enjoy nearby playgrounds. There are two disc golf courses located below the dam, an 18 hole course as well as a 9 hole course, which is an entertaining way to enjoy the outdoors. There is a single track mountain bike trail located at Bayou Point Recreation Area that stretches over 6 miles! There are also numerous hiking and walking nature trails located around the outlet channel area below the dam and at Hernando Point Recreation Area.  An equestrian trail, which offers a scenic ride through a beautiful stretch of woods, is located in the Sunfish Bay area of Bayou Point.  

  The lake level is being lowered to conservation pool levels in expectation of the many winter and spring rains. There are also numerous hunting seasons open on the public lands belonging to the US Army Corps of Engineers around the lake (for exact dates and bag limits see Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks). There are certain areas around the lake where ATVs are not allowed, and a helmet must be worn while operating the ATV where it is permissible. Also during the fall and winter months, Arkabutla Lake ranger staff will be hosting several special events. The Physically Challenged Deer Hunt will be held on December 7-10. During this time, the nature trails north of the outlet channel will be closed down for safety purposes. Arkabutla Lake Eagle Watch, where visitors are encouraged to come out and view/record eagles around the lake, will take place during mid January. The annual Youth Waterfowl Hunt, a draw hunt open to youth between the ages of 10-15, will be held January 27 and February 3. The annual Youth Raccoon Hunt, also a draw hunt, will be held during three weekends in February. For more information on these special events, please contact the Arkabutla Lake Field Office at (662) 562-6261.

            As you come to Arkabutla Lake, keep in mind that it is public land, and that you may be sharing it in close proximity with others. With so many options and opportunities to recreate outdoors, it is important to be patient with others who may be enjoying different activities than your own. If you are recreating in the woods or even just off of the roadway, it is a good idea to wear blaze orange or bright colored clothing in the event that there is someone hunting nearby. Be courteous, please do not litter or vandalize property so that others may enjoy the same beauty that Arkabutla Lake has to offer




All persons placing structure(s) in Sardis, Arkabutla, Grenada, and Enid lakes must abide by the terms outlined in the following regulations according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) Title 36.

The placement of untreated, wooden structures in the lake basin for the purpose of fish habitat is authorized. Artificial wooden "grabbling structures" are also authorized. Natural structures may not be altered and used to "hand fish" from. Other structures made of plastic, PVC, metal, and other non-biodegradable materials are NOT allowed. Any person(s) installing a structure not in compliance with this regulation may be subject to a citation under Title 36.

The placement of trees are allowed along with an appropriately sized anchoring device which may be made of concrete, brick, or stone. Any anchor(s) other than these approved materials will be in violation and subject to fines and penalties.

Structures may not be placed within 300 feet of any designated swimming area or beach. These structures should not be placed in any areas  where they may become boating hazards such as directly below or adjacent to any boat ramp.



Cultural Resource Protection – Visitors are reminded that the removal of historical and archaeological features (material from old house sites, arrowheads, human remains, etc.) is prohibited. 

 If caught, looters face arrest, fines of up to $20,000 and imprisonment for disturbing these safeguarded areas.




Day Use Fees

Beach Fees:    $2/walk-in, $5/vehicle, $20/bus and no fees for children under 16 y/o

Boat Ramps:   $5/vehicle

Special Use/Facility Fees

Pavilions:        $75/reservation

Special Events:           $75/event


Class A – Dub Patton, Hernando Pt. &

South Abutment Campgrounds:                        $20/night/year round/not to exceed 14 days

                                                                               but extensions are available

Class C – Outlet Channel:                                   $10/night (1 May-30 Sep)   Free (1 Oct-30 Mar)  

                                                                               14 days only – no extensions, year round

Class D – Kelly’s Crossing & Pleasant Hill

Campgrounds:                                                     $8/night (1 May – 30 Sep   Free (1 Oct-30 Mar)

                                                                                14 days only – no extensions, year round

*Interagency Annual/Senior/Access/Volunteer/Military Passes and Golden Age/Access Passports are valid for covering standard amenity recreation fees for all USACE areas and recreational area of other Federal agencies participating in the America the Beautiful National Parks and the Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program. Interagency Senior/Access and Golden Age/Access Passports are also valid for a 50 percent reduction in single/family unit camping fees but are not valid for Pavilion Rentals and Special Event Permits.

 Passes:       USACE Annual Pass:                             $40                  yearly

                      Interagency Annual Pass:                     $80                  yearly

                      Interagency Lifetime Senior Pass:       $80                  lifetime

                      Interagency Annual Senior Pass:         $20                  yearly

                       Interagency Access Pass:                     Free                lifetime

                      Interagency Military Pass:                     Free                 yearly

                      Interagency Volunteer Pass:                 Free                 yearly

                      Interagency Every Kid in the Park Pass     Free       1 Sep-31 Aug, year of issue


*Purchase of the Annual Senior Pass can be applied towards the cost of the Lifetime Senior Pass


Life Jackets are Mandatory at MS Lake

The following life jacket rules are being enforced at all four of the Vicksburg District-North Mississippi lakes at Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid and Grenada.

All persons must wear a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times:

  • while swimming outside of designated swimming areas.
  • while skiing or being pulled by a vessel, regardless of vessel length.
  • on powered vessels 16 to 26 feet in length whenever under power by the main propulsion unit.
  • on powered vessels less than 16 feet in length or on non-powered vessels regardless of length.

For more information, contact the Arkabutla Lake Field Office at 662.562.6261 or the MS Project Management Office at 662.578.3873 or 662.712.1201.


Arkabutla Lake – Emergency Contacts After Hours

With over 40,000 acres of land and water to manage at Arkabutla Lake and a limited number of Ranger personnel available to offer visitor assistance, sometimes it may be difficult to locate a Ranger, especially after our regular office hours (Mon-Fri, 7:00am-3:30pm) when our telephones are unmanned.

If you are having an emergency after office hours or on the weekend and you need assistance, sometimes the best approach is to contact the local Sheriff’s Department. Arkabutla Lake occupies two Mississippi counties in northwest corner of the state, Tate and Dsto. These local law enforcement agencies have a 24-hour dispatcher that can communicate with field personnel at Arkabutla Lake as well as Search and Rescue Units, Aviation Units, Emergency Medical Response and much more. Their contact numbers are:
Desoto County – 662-429-1470
Tate County – 662-562-4434
Your Safety - Our Concern

Arkabutla Lake – Policy