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Horseshoe Lake is a 2,362-acre lake located six miles east of the town of Hughes in Crittenden County, Arkansas. Horseshoe Lake was once part of the mighty Mississippi River. As the river changed course over time, many oxbows were left behind to become independent landlocked lakes. These often U-shaped or horseshoe-shaped lakes were further isolated in the 1920s when the Mississippi River levee system was built. No longer connected to the Mississippi, Horseshoe Lake is not subject to constant water level fluctuations. This consistent habitat is favored by fish and has made Horseshoe Lake a favorite with anglers.
Horseshoe Lake is private, but the public is allowed to fish and boat on the lake. Because the lake depends solely on the current water table and rainfall in the area, the average depth of Horseshoe Lake is 5 feet with a maximum depth of 25 feet. There are two private pay boat ramps for launching a boat onto the lake. The north access point is also home to a small campground and marina with a fishing dock, restaurant, restrooms and gas station. Although surrounded by rich, delta farmland, the lake is famous for its open water and massive stands of ancient cypress trees.
Fishing, boating, and waterskiing are the main recreation on Horseshoe Lake. Fishing for largemouth bass is excellent year-round. The cypress trees, fallen timber, lily pads and numerous wooden docks that belong to lakeside homes offer anglers multiple opportunities for shallow water fishing. Many trophy-size bass have been taken from the dense beds of water lilies and cattails on the inside bend of the lake. The lake does not have a length limit, but the daily creel limit is 10 bass per angler. Largemouth bass and bluegill are the predominant fish in the lake. Note: Although most fish taken from Arkansas lakes and streams are safe to eat, refer to the National Listing of Fish Advisories (link below) before eating fish caught from any Arkansas waterway.
For lodging and vacation rentals, there are several private homes for rent on Horseshoe Lake and additional real estate in the surrounding area. The town of Horseshoe (population 321), named after the lake, sits on the eastern tip of the lake.
Additional outdoor recreation for visitors to Horseshoe Lake can be found at Village Creek State Park, located northwest of the lake. Facilities at this 7,000-acre park include two fishing lakes, rental boats, hiking trails, campsites, tennis courts, ball fields, swimming, and duck hunting.
St. Francis National Forest sits southhwest of Horseshoe Lake and covers 22,600 acres. Recreational opportunities abound for camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, hunting, boating, scenic drives, picnics sites, and wildlife viewing.
Just over the border from Horseshoe Lake in the state of Mississippi, sparkling Arkabutla Lake is a popular vacation destination. Over two million visitors a year enjoy the lake's recreational activities and beauty. Fishing, hunting, swimming, sailing, boating, camping, picnicking and wild life viewing are just a few of the activities that make this lake so popular.
North of Horseshoe Lake is Memphis, one of the most exciting cities in Tennessee. Home to Graceland, the Memphis Zoo, Beale Street, Mud Island River Park, museums, theaters, art galleries, parks and plenty of opportunity for great food, original music, and professional sports explains why this city attracts people from all over the country.
Whether you crave the buzz of a big city or seek to commune with the great outdoors, Horseshoe Lake is the perfect destination for your next vacation or weekend getaway.
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