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Camping

Located within the Mississippi Counties of DeSoto and Tate, Arkabutla Lake is just 30 minutes from both Memphis, TN and the gaming mecca of Tunica, MS. When people want to find a perfect outdoor retreat, they should look no further than Arkabutla Lake!  Take a break from your lawn and household chores and come camping with us. There are three Class A camping facilities that have drinking water, 50/30 amp electrical hookups, water hookups, shower houses, flushable toilets, picnic tables, grills, fire rings, lantern posts, and sanitation disposal stations.  Our Class A camping facilities are perfect for tent camping or for accommodating today’s modern RVs.  But if you truly want to “rough it” we also have plenty of primitive camping sites available too. 

Click on links below to download PDF documents with information about campground fees, Arkabutla Lake's length of stay policy for camping, campground guidelines, and recreation passes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is authorized to issue, sell, and accept.

Arkabutla Lake Campground Length of Stay Policy 2014.pdf  (This document has a fee schedule included.)

Arkabutla Lake CAMPING GUIDELINES.pdf

Recreation Fee Program & Age and Disability Discount Passes for Recreation Fees

Class A Camping Facilities

Class A Campgrounds and Amenities:

The Dub Patton Campground has 66 campsites in a predominately pine forested area.  Nothing is too far away when you are camping at the Dub Patton Campground.  There are a variety of boat ramps to launch from, day-use areas to enjoy, playgrounds, picnic shelters, picnic sites, nature trails, and a swimming beach.  The Outlet Channel is also nearby.  There you can fish from our ADA accessible pier or fish all day or all night without the need for a boat.

The Hernando Point Campground has 83 campsites to choose from located in a beautiful upland hardwood area with campsites that offer a beautiful shoreline view of the lake.  The campground is also located beside the Hernando Point Day-Use area where access to a playground, picnic sites, picnic shelter, swimming beach, and boat launching ramp is just around the bend!    

The South Abutment Campground has 80 campsites many of which hug the shoreline in an attractive wooded ridge land area.  The campground is located close to day-use areas that have boat ramps, playgrounds, nature trails, picnic sites, picnic shelters, and a swimming beach.  Enjoy fishing from the bank within the campground around some of the lake’s vivid coves and points, or you can fish at the nearby Outlet Channel.

 * Class A campsites can be reserved by contacting the National Recreation Reservation Service toll free at 1-877-444-6777, or log on to their website at:  www.Recreation.gov

Arkabutla Lake Brochure Map

Arkabutla Lake Dam Area Campgrounds

Day Use

Arkabutla Lake’s day-use areas offer a serene retreat for an enjoyable day spent outdoors. Within our day use areas, you can enjoy picnicking with shoreline views for watching beautiful sailboats float by or you can enjoy a nice relaxing walk in a tranquil forested setting. 

There is a total of 10 day-use recreation areas located around the lake.  These areas offer a variety of outdoor activities and amenities for the entire family, including picnic tables with grills, playgrounds, nature trails, ADA accessible picnic areas, restrooms, swimming beaches, drinking water, and boat launching ramps. 

Some of these areas have picnic shelters that can accommodate larger numbers of visitors for family reunions, church gatherings or company picnics.  These picnic shelters can be reserved or are available on a “first come – first serve” basis.  Please contact the Arkabutla Lake Field Office for further information. 

Come enjoy a special day at Arkabutla Lake in a peaceful, natural, and family friendly “alcohol free” environment.

Arkabutla Lake Brochure Map 

 Picnic Areas

Arkabutla Lake has 10 day-use recreation areas around the lake.  Picnicking is free of charge. 

Picnic sites include a table and grill.

Dub Patton Day-Use Area    
112 picnic sites
South Abutment Day-Use Area 
66 picnic sites
Hernando Point Day-Use Area 
85 picnic sites
Bayou Point   
106 picnic sites
Outlet Channel
84 picnic sites
Kelley’s Crossing 
24 picnic sites
Pleasant Hill 
10 picnic sites
Coldwater Point
2 picnic sites
Highway 51 Landing 
3 picnic sites
Plantation Point 
2 picnic sites
   
Some of these areas have picnic shelters that can be reserved for your special event.
Dub Patton Day-Use Area  2 reservable picnic shelters
South Abutment Day-Use Area  1 reservable picnic shelter
Hernando Point Day-Use Area 1 reservable picnic shelter
Bayou Point 2 reservable picnic shelters
Outlet Channel 1 reservable picnic shelter

* The cost of reserving a picnic shelter is $50 per day.

Click the links to view maps of campgrounds and day-use areas:  Hernando Point Campground and Day-Use Area  and  Arkabutla Lake Dam Area Campgrounds and Day-Use Recreation Areas

Playgrounds

Five of Arkabutla Lake’s day-use recreation areas have ADA playgrounds. 

These areas include:

Dub Patton Day-Use Area

South Abutment Day-Use Area

Hernando Point Day-Use Area

Bayou Point

Outlet Channel

Beaches

Three of Arkabutla Lake’s day-use recreation areas have swimming beaches.

These areas include:

 South Abutment Day-Use Area

Hernando Point Day-Use Area

Pleasant Hill

* Swimming is allowed within the designated swimming beaches inside of the buoy line area.  The cost of using the designated swimming beaches is $1 per person but no more than $4 per vehicle, and children under the age of 12 can swim free of charge.

* Swim at own risk, there is no life guard on duty at any of the swimming beaches.

* Depth markers indicate the depth of the water throughout the designated swimming areas.

* Rescue devices (Reach Poles and Throw Bags) have been placed at our swimming beaches and should only be used in case of an emergency.

* Please follow the posted rules and regulations of the swimming beach: 

  • Alcohol is prohibited at Arkabutla Lake
  • Pets are not allowed on the beach or in the swimming area
  • Fires are prohibited
  • Motor vehicles are not allowed on the beach
  • No cans or bottles are allowed on the beach
  • No diving in the swimming area as posted  

Trails

Trails

Arkabutla Lake has a variety of great trails for hiking/nature walking, horseback riding, mountain biking, just enjoying the outdoors.  The two nature/hiking trails are located near the Outlet Channel. 

Coldwater River Nature TrailColdwater River Nature Trail System

The North Outlet Channel Recreation Area provides access to the Coldwater River Nature Trail System. This network of trails encompasses two hiking trails (one trail is 3 miles in length and the other is 5 miles in length) and the Big Oak Nature Trail which is a self-guided interpretive trail.  The area includes pristine bottomland hardwood and pine forests where an abundance of wildlife and native plant species can be found throughout.  A self-guided interpretive booklet is available at the trailhead located on the north side of the Outlet Channel, or the booklet is available for download by selecting the link below.Coldwater River Nature Trail System Guidebook


Swinging Bridge Nature TrailSwinging Bridge Nature Trail

The South Outlet Channel Recreation Area offers a unique trail experience.  The Swinging Bridge Nature Trail is a self-guided trail that includes an old section of the Coldwater River prior to the construction of the dam.  The Coldwater River was once flowing through this very trail area!  Please enjoy a walk through this historic trail and learn about the history of the Arkabutla community or how the Corps of Engineers redirected the Coldwater River. Maybe you would like to learn how to identify native plants and wildlife, or just enjoy the tranquility of the trail’s azalea garden.  Information panels are placed throughout the trail to help guide you along your walk. 


Trail Rides at Arkabutla LakeSunfish Bay Equestrian Trail

Located in the Sunfish Bay Area, the Sunfish Bay Trail is a 4.5 mile trail designed for horseback riding.  The trail, located down the first gravel road to the right as one enters Bayou Point Recreation Area, has multiple large, open unloading areas with ample room to park several horse trailers.  It also has loops at the end of each gravel road for convenient trailer turn-around.  Two bulletin boards are located at staging areas displaying the course layout.  This trail covers many types of forest, from hilly pine forests to old growth oaks to bottomland hardwoods.

Horse Trail Map


Mountain Bikers on Bike TrailBayou Point Single-Track Mountain Bike Trail

This fast-paced, tight, and curvy trail is designed exclusively for mountain bikes (hiking, horseback riding, etc. is prohibited).  The trailhead is located past the playground on the left leg of the Bayou Point Recreation Area with a bulletin board displaying the trail layout.  A series of obstacles, including jumps, "black diamond" drops, rock piles, logs, tight squeezes between trees, and narrow bridges, make this trail a fun and scenic adventure!  The main trail is 4.6 miles in length; however, several extensions branch off of the main trail.

Mountain Bike Course Map


Disc Golf PlayersDisc Golf Course

An 18 hole disc golf course is located below the dam at Arkabutla Lake.  The Lost Indian Springs Course, named after the natural spring that winds throughout the center of the course, is designed to accommodate every skill level, from beginners and family outings to professional and tournament-level play.  A bulletin board located at the beginning of the course displays the layout of the course on a large aerial map, and score cards are provided with a smaller course map printed on the back.

Disk Golf Course Map

Boating

Boats shouldn’t only be associated with fishermen, because the typical summer weekend includes a diversity of other recreation seekers on the lake.  Visitors from all around take pleasure in hours of fun on the open waters of the lake with their pontoon boats, canoes, kayaks, and ski-boats.  However, nothing is more identifiable with the lake than sailing.  Arkabutla Lake’s winds are so consistently favorable that the Delta Sailing Association proclaims Arkabutla is the best sailing lake east of the Mississippi River.

While you are enjoying your time on the lake please take notice of the wind warning lights, which are visible from most of the areas on the lake.  These devices are provided for your safety.  They are located on the top of the Dam, Hernando Point Boat Ramp, Pleasant Hill, and Kelley’s Crossing.  The purpose of the wind warning lights is to warn boaters of the existence of potentially hazardous lake conditions.  The lights begin flashing on the Wind Warning Device when wind speeds reach 18 knots.  Wind speeds of 18 knots and greater are when white capping occurs and boating conditions become extremely hazardous.

 There are eight boat launching ramps around Arkabutla Lake. 

Dub Patton Day-Use Area   
Able to launch when lake level is above:   211.0
Hernando Point Day-Use Area  
Able to launch when lake level is above:   215.0
Bayou Point  
Able to launch when lake level is above:   209.0
Kelley’s Crossing 
Able to launch when lake level is above:   211.0
Pleasant Hill  
Able to launch when lake level is above:   215.0
Coldwater Point
Able to launch when lake level is above:   220.0
Highway 51 Landing  
Able to launch when lake level is above:   218.0
Outlet Channel 
Downstream access to Coldwater River

Click link to view Arkabutla Lake Rule Curve and Ramp Launching Information:  Ramp Elevations  * The cost of launching at any of these ramps is $3 with the exception of Coldwater Point, which is a no charge boat launching ramp.

* Annual Passes for launching boats are available at any Corps of Engineers Lake Field Office.  The cost of an Annual Pass is $30. They are good for one year from date of  purchase and are accepted at any U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Project nationwide. 

Click link to view passes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can issue, sell, and accept. Recreation Fee Program & Age and Disability Discount Passes for Recreation Fees 

* Located at the Bayou Point Boat Ramp, Hernando Point Boat Ramp, and Dub Patton Boat Ramp are life jackets that are available for public use through the Life Jacket Loaner Program.  There is no charge for using the life jackets.  However, we request visitors to please return life jackets when you are through having a safe and fun day on the lake.  Your honesty and  consideration will ensure these life jackets are available for others.  Sizes range from adult to infant.

* Throughout the year the staff at Arkabutla Lake diligently promotes water and boating safety at local schools, churches, and at our swimming beaches.  Learning the rules of water and boating safety is highly important to having a fun and safe day at Arkabutla Lake. 

 

Spirit of America: National Youth Boating Education Program

Arkabutla Lake is also involved with the “Spirit of America: National Youth Boating Education Program.”  For the past 13 years, this national program has grown and is used in cities throughout the United States. Since 2007, Arkabutla Lake is proud to be the first U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to offer this unique educational opportunity for area youth.

During the Spirit of America program, participants receive specialized instruction  including boating and water safety curriculum of at least 6 hours of hands-on training involving kayaks, canoes, sailboats, jon boats, and personal watercraft.  They were also educated about personal water safety techniques, including how to use proper safety equipment, basic rules of water safety, etc.  The program has also been designed to help strengthen participants’ self esteem, allow participation in teamwork efforts, and encourage participants to become better stewards of our Nation’s water resources while promoting boating and water safety. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Arkabutla Lake is taking preventative action in helping eliminate boating and water related accidents.  With this program, more youth can be educated and receive crucial hands-on experience about boating and water safety that will prepare them to become a generation of safe boaters. 

Buoys and Navigational Aids

There are buoys placed throughout the lake that are placed in specific location to notify boaters of regulations within the vicinity of the buoys. We use these buoys to advise boaters about areas where boats are prohibited and where creating wakes with your vessel is prohibited. Wakes are simply waves created by a vessel. The illustrations below are the buoys you will see on our lake.

 

“NO BOAT”  BUOYS

* Marked by the “diamond” symbol

 * These buoys are located at the Intake Structure, swimming beaches, and Overflow Spillway

“NO WAKE” BUOYS

 

* Marked by the “circle” symbol

* These buoys are located near the boat ramps at Hernando Point, Bayou  Point, Kelley’s Crossing, Pleasant Hill, Dub Patton, and at all swimming beaches

At Arkabutla Lake we want our visitors to be safe, have fun, and continue to come back to our lake!  For your safety our rangers vigilantly ensure our visiting boaters are in compliance of federal and state boating rules and regulations.  Similar to the seat belt law in vehicles, life jacket regulations in vessels are strictly enforced.

Fishing and Hunting

Fishing

Every year thousands of visitors come to Arkabutla Lake to go fishing.  The lake is home to several species of native fish to Mississippi waters, such as Largemouth Bass, Bream, Catfish, and Crappie.  Over the years perhaps nothing has become more renowned at Arkabutla Lake than it’s consistency for producing huge Crappie!  Several national sporting and fishing magazines declare Arkabutla Lake as one of the finest Crappie fishing lakes in the Southeast.  Caught in 1991, a Black Crappie weighing 4 lbs 4 oz was caught at Arkabutla and still remains the current Mississippi State record.

Access to fishing Arkabutla couldn’t be made any easier.  With 8 boat launching ramps to choose from, ample bank fishing locations, and an ADA accessible fishing pier located at the Outlet Channel, you can experience some of the best fishing and Catfishing you could ever imagine. 

So if fishing is your passion, then maybe we are your lake! 

Hunting

With Arkabutla Lake being located in one of the fastest growing regions in the state of Mississippi as well as being the closest Corps lake to the Memphis metropolitan area, it should be comforting for outdoor enthusiasts to know Arkabutla Lake has over 30,000 acres of land open for public hunting.  More than 20 access areas are available to hunters making Arkabutla Lake accessible from almost anywhere.  Just a reminder… when hunting on Arkabutla Lake lands, all federal and state hunting regulations apply.  In addition to federal and state hunting laws, the Corps of Engineers at Arkabutla Lake has also established specific rules and regulations that apply to certain areas surrounding the lake.  These rules and regulations are listed in the lake’s brochure map.

Click on the link to download a PDF of a map of Arkabutla Lake: Arkabutla Lake Map 

* Please review ATV policy listed on the Arkabutla Lake brochure map.

* Please refer to the map's legend to identify areas available for hunting or areas with applicable restrictions. For more information, please contact the Arkabutla Lake Field Office at (662) 562-6261. Hunting is strictly prohibited in all established recreation areas.

* The Askew Wildlife Management Area offers some of the best hunting available to sportsmen in the north Mississippi region. However, the Askew Wildlife Management Area does have special hunting requirements.  For a list of rules and regulations specific to Askew, select the links below.

Askew Wildlife Management Area Hunting Rules and Regs with Maps.pdf

Askew WMA - Deer and Feral Hog Retrieval Policy.pdf