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HomeArkabutla Lake, MS

Arkabutla Lake , MS

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Arkabutla Lake (pronounced Arkabutler) is a reservoir of about 20,000 acres on the Coldwater River in the U.S. state of Mississippi.  The main lake is quite open, but there are many back bays to explore.

The reservoir was created and facilities are provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  In the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Everett McGill's treasure is buried at a cabin located in a valley that is flooded during the construction.

38.8 miles, 49 minutes from Benjamin Hooks Library, 3030 Poplar Ave. Memphis, TN

Take I-55 south out of Memphis. From I-55  directions will vary based on which launch area you plan to use.  See the Put-ins, Take-outs below.

Minimum/Maximum Levels for safe paddling

Controlled water level. Can be paddled at any time.

Put-Ins, Take Outs

There are at least 3 good put-ins depending on wind and weather.

Description plus GPS coordinates are needed for each.

Here’s an overview of the lake.  The Pleasant Hill launch is marked in the northeast shore.

Directions to Pleasant Hill Launch Area

  • From I-55 take exit 283 to merge onto I-69 S toward Tunica.

  • Take the Fogg Rd exit.Street View

  • Follow Fogg Rd S to Pleasant Hill Point.

Highlights of the Paddle

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. The 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

Places to Camp In the Area

There are plenty of developed camping areas with  drinking water, 50/30 amp electrical hookups, water hookups, shower houses, flushable toilets, picnic tables, grills, fire rings, lantern posts, and sanitation disposal stations. There are also  plenty of primitive camping sites available too.

A brochure describing camping options is here.

Places to eat

None noted at the lake.  There are plenty of restaurants in Hernando, Coldwater and Senatobia.  

Other things to do

Activities and areas established for recreation include:  trails for hiking and biking, picnic areas, picnic shelters, ADA parking spaces at the boat ramps and recreation areas, an ADA accessible fishing pier, 3 swimming beaches including one that is ADA accessible, ADA accessible playgrounds, a variety of campgrounds, and we offer different activities for public involvement throughout the year.  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.

Potential Danger Spots

Fishermen in power boats are often present but have not been a problem in the past.  

Medical Facilities

None noted.  We need to check out Hernando for options.  

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