Approximately 125 miles southeast of Little Rock, Lake Village is located along Great River Road National Scenic Byway and lies on the curving shore of picturesque Lake Chicot, a 20-mile long abandoned channel of the Mississippi River. This ancient river channel is Arkansas's largest natural lake and the largest oxbow lake in North America.
Fishing for crappie, bass, bluegill, and catfish, as well as water sports and birding, are popular at Lake Chicot State Park, along with cabins, campgrounds, a marina, and other recreational assets. County and private campgrounds also are located on the lakeshore, while the downtown Jack R. Rhodes Lakefront Park provides a community swimming area, walking path, small amphitheater, boat ramp, and picnic pavilions. A state-of-the-art Arkansas Welcome Center on the lake greets visitors to the state.
The historic Lakeport Plantation near Lake Village is the only remaining antebellum plantation home located along the Arkansas stretch of the Mississippi River. The restored Greek revival home is open to the public as one of Arkansas State University's heritage sites and features exhibits on the people who lived and worked on the plantation.
Other area attractions include exhibits at the Lake Chicot Pumping Plant, a facility built to protect the lake's water quality; a marker recording the site where Charles Lindbergh landed in April 1923 after completing history's first night flight; a Depression-era mural at the U. S. Post Office in Lake Village; an Arkansas Welcome Center on the lake; and the longest cable-stayed bridge on the Mississippi River, linking Lake Village to Greenville, Mississippi. It opened to traffic in 2010, replacing a bridge built in 1940. Additionally, shoppers from all over Arkansas and surrounding states flock to the Paul Michael Company in Lake Village for a wide variety of home décor items, ranging from traditional to modern.
While Lake Village was not incorporated as a town until 1898, the history of the area begins much earlier, with the arrival of the Spanish in 1541. Legend has it that Hernando de Soto and his men came upon a friendly Native American tribe, ruled by Chief Chicot, whose village was near the present-day site of Lake Village. Though de Soto did die in 1542 at an Indian village likely near what is now Lake Village, Chief Chicot is not mentioned in the chronicles of the expedition. Come and do your own exploration of this historic town.