How to buy an online recreation pass

Recreation Regulation Reminders:

RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING PUBLIC USE OF CORPS OF ENGINEERS WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS Title 36 Section 327.14a states that “ destruction, defacement, removal, or any alteration of public property [which includes archeological features] is prohibited.” Find additional recreation regulations here:

The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) of 1979, amended 1988, prohibits individuals from removing, selling, purchasing, exchanging, transporting or receiving Native American artifacts from federal lands without a permit. Individuals who violate this law could face fines of up to $100,000 and imprisonment for up to 5 years.

Additionally, the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of 1990 makes it a criminal offense for individuals to transport Native American remains without appropriate permission. First offense penalties include up to 12 months imprisonment and a $100,000 fine.

Concerning drone usage:

Title 36, Section 327.04 Aircraft.

(a) This section pertains to all aircraft including, but not limited to, airplanes, seaplanes, helicopters, ultra-light aircraft, motorized hang gliders, hot air balloons, any non-powered flight devices or any other such equipment.

(b) The operation of aircraft on project lands at locations other than those designated by the District Engineer is prohibited. This provision shall not be applicable to aircraft engaged on official business of Federal, state or local governments or law enforcement agencies, aircraft used in emergency rescue in accordance with the directions of the District Engineer or aircraft forced to land due to circumstances beyond the control of the operator.

(c) No person shall operate any aircraft while on or above project waters or project lands in a careless, negligent or reckless manner so as to endanger any person or property.

Contact Us

Phone: 662-562-6261

Arkabutla Lake Field Office address:
5500 Arkabutla Dam Road
Hernando, MS 38632

Fax: 662-562-8916

Arkabutla Lake Location

Arkabutla Lake Map

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!




Find us on FaceBook 

Historic Arkabutla Lake Photos

Arkabutla Lake News


Vicksburg, Miss.--The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District is accepting applications for a youth raccoon hunt at Arkabutla Lake. The hunts will take place Feb. 17-18 and Feb. 24-25. The deadline for applications is 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 8. The hunt provides a great opportunity for youth hunters aged 10-15 to experience a guided raccoon hunt.

All youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older. All participants will be responsible for meeting all age-appropriate State and Federal small game hunting regulations. Hunters and accompanying adults are encouraged to dress appropriately. The hunt will take place at night and include walking over uneven terrain. Participants are encouraged to wear waterproof boots and bring flashlights, water, etc.

 Applications are available at:

Arkabutla Lake Field Office

3905 Arkabutla Dam Road

Arkabutla, MS 38618

They can also be downloaded at:

* Selected applicants will be notified of their appropriate time and hunting date *

* Any missing or false information will result in a rejection of the application. *

* All State and Federal small game regulations will be enforced. *

*Date is subject to change if unfavorable weather conditions arise

 For additional information, contact Park Rangers Hunter Saunders or Ethan Danner at the Arkabutla Lake Field Office at 662-562-6261.

USACE Vicksburg District announces youth waterfowl hunts at Arkabutla Lake

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District announces that Arkabutla Lake will host youth waterfowl hunts on Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, 2023. 

The hunts will be held in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks in a management area near Arkabutla Lake Dam. A total of 12 hunters, six per hunt, will be randomly selected from all applications received. Applications must be submitted and received by 3 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2023.   

These hunts will be open to youth 10 to 15 years of age.  All youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older.  All participants will be responsible for meeting age-appropriate State and Federal waterfowl hunting regulations.  

The accompanying adult is encouraged to possess a general knowledge of state and federal waterfowl hunting regulations.  The accompanying adult and youth are also encouraged to bring all necessary materials associated with waterfowl hunting, i.e. chest-waders, duck calls, and shotgun with ammunition.   

Applications may be obtained either at the Arkabutla Lake Field Office, or printed from the Arkabutla Lake website at and returned to, or mailed to the Arkabutla Lake Field Office at:  3905 Arkabutla Dam Rd.  Coldwater, MS  38618. Applicants may also email their applications to Ranger Rob Hoff. Please use the contact number listed to obtain email information and address as needed. 

* Selected applicants will be notified of their appropriate time and hunting date *

* Any missing or false information will result in a rejection of the application. *

* All state and federal waterfowl regulations will be enforced. *

The youth waterfowl hunt provides opportunities for experienced waterfowl hunters to teach younger generations of hunters in the proper techniques and ethics of the sport.  

For questions about the hunt, application or for additional information, contact Ranger Rob Hoff at the Arkabutla Lake Field Office at 662-562-6261.

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 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

How to buy a recreation pass