How to buy a recreation pass

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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Historic Arkabutla Lake Photos

Arkabutla Lake News

Arkabutla Lake Physically Challenged Hunt

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District announces the 32nd annual Arkabutla Lake Physically Challenged Deer Hunt.

Permanently disabled or physically challenged veterans are encouraged to apply. Traditionally, applicants have been limited to persons who are quadriplegic, paraplegic, or ambulatory with the use of leg braces or crutches.

There will be two hunts, each lasting three days, Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11.  Applications are available at the Arkabutla Lake Field Office or online at

The deadline for receiving applications is Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. Applicants will be notified the second week of November if they have been selected.

For more information or to get an application, contact Natural Resources Specialist Rob Hoff at 662-301-4565 or

Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid and Grenada lakes, the Vicksburg District’s Mississippi flood control reservoirs, were authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1936, which provided a plan designed to address flooding that originated in the Yazoo Basin. The four reservoirs are used to hold runoff, or excess rainwater, as a flood-prevention measure. With approximately 3.2 million visitors each year, the north Mississippi lakes also contribute approximately $82 million into the local economy.

The USACE Vicksburg District is engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges. The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that holds nine major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The Vicksburg District is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.

Arkabutla Lake Archery Hunt

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District announces the dates for its fall archery draw hunts at Arkabutla Lake. This year there will be two separate hunts held in October with each hunt lasting three days. The dates for the hunts will be October 21-23 and October 28-30, 2022. 

Each hunt will take place in the natural area below Arkabutla Dam. Applicants must have a valid Mississippi hunting license.  Applications are available at the Arkabutla Lake Field Office and the deadline for receiving applications is Thursday, September 1, 2022 at 3:00 PM.  The drawing will take place Friday, September 2, 2022 and applicants will be notified via email or phone call. Those drawn for the hunt will be able to scout the hunting area from September 2 to October 5, 2022. 

If you have any questions about the hunt or need an application, please contact Park Ranger Sawyer Hunt at (662) 301-4562.

Applications may be mailed/emailed out or completed at the Arkabutla Lake Field Office at 3905 Arkabutla Dam Rd.  Coldwater, MS  38618. 


Arkabutla Lake 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 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




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






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:    $24/night/year round/not to exceed 14 days


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:   Free     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