What to know
Located in the flat Delta lands of southeastern Arkansas, Lake Chicot is a true natural wonder. A 20-mile-long, former main channel of the Mississippi River, it is the biggest oxbow lake in North America and Arkansas's largest natural lake. The Great River Road National Scenic Byway travels some of the lake's shoreline. Fishing: Bluegill fishing is popular in Lake Chicot. Channel catfish, crappie and largemouth bass also frequent the cypresses, willows, buckbrush, dead timber and docks along the lake's shores. In its open waters, anglers seek out striped bass. Because of its southern location, prime fishing on Lake Chicot usually begins earlier in the spring than on Arkansas's other major lakes. It is also stocked with Florida-strain largemouth bass, so be prepared with stout tackle. Lake Chicot State Park, on the lake's north end, has 127 campsites and 14 cabin units (seven duplexes) located in a pleasant grove of large pecan trees. The park has a store well-stocked with camping and fishing supplies, a marina, a swimming pool, laundry facilities, a tree-shaded picnic area, and two reservable group pavilions. Rental fishing boats are available and personal craft may be launched for free at the park. The Chicot County Park, located near the lake's southern end, is another good site for those with RVs. It features full hook-ups, concrete pads and unlimited stays. The Jack R. Rhodes Lake Front Park is a day-use area located in downtown Lake Village. The state park's self-guided levee tour (brochures available at the park) is a 30-mile drive, much of it atop the levees that now protect the area from Mississippi River floods. Tour highlights include waterfowl and wading birds, the remains of a Native American mound, a site called Whiskey Chute where river pirates once roamed, and a visit to the Lake Chicot Pumping Plant, which diverts silt-laden waters away from the lake.