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Towering trees frame White Oak Lake, a reservoir located in the Timberlands Tourism Region of Arkansas. Rolling hills provide a scenic backdrop for anglers hoping to reel in one of the lake's whoppers. They also serve as a beautiful setting for hikers taking in the area's diverse terrain.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission completed White Oak Lake in 1961; it is the second largest lake created by the AGFC. A major road, Arkansas 387, divides the 2,766-acre lake into an upper lake of 1,031 acres and a lower lake of 1,735-acres. The lower White Oak Lake is a reservoir in Ouachita County while Nevada County is home to the rest of the lake.
The State of Arkansas obtained the land for the lake and the park in 1957. In November 1964, more land was leased for a shoreline park along the lower lake. The park officially opened on April 1 1967. At that time the park, it was made up of 510 acres. It has since grown to725 acres.
The White Oak Lake State Park hugs the shores of the fish filled lake. Rolling hills and beautiful forests make a perfect setting for the White Oak Lake State Park's 15 miles of trails. Hikers will find white sand can on the forest floor of some of the trails. Millions of years ago the Gulf of Mexico covered a large portion of what is now the southern United States. The trails also have diverse terrain; ranging from marshlands to ridges covered with beech, white oak and hickory trees. Because the terrain is so diverse the park is home to a wide variety of flora, fauna and wildlife.
Wildlife on White Oak Lake and in the state park draws people to the area. Visitors come to spy great blue herons, egrets, ospreys, green herons, and bald eagles. Bird watchers have more than 100 species to observe. Additionally, there are 31 species of mammals making their home at the lake and in the state park. These include the gray and fox squirrels, beavers, raccoons and the nine-banded armadillo.
White Oak State Park offers guests a campground with 41 lakefront sites for RVs and trailers and another four for visitors roughing it in tents. Vacation rentals around White Oak Lake include cabins at the state park.
The visitors' center has exhibits on the Red River Campaign of the Union Army during the Civil War. There is also a store. The marina rents fishing boats, party barges, canoes and personal watercrafts.
Fishing is the big draw to the waters of White Oak Lake. Anglers set sail in hopes of reeling in one of the lake's legendary catches: big largemouth bass weighing in at more than eight pounds, crappie coming in at nearly three pounds, and bream at a pound and a half. The fall is a primetime for crappie, bluegill and redear, but the spring is when many of the largest fish are hoisted out of White Oak Lake. Anglers have told tales of catching 13-pound Florida largemouth bass.
Adjacent to the White Oak Lake State Park is the Poison Spring State Park. Poison Spring features interpretive exhibits focusing on the Civil War battle that took place in the spring of 1864. It was a part of the Union Army's "Red River Campaign."
White Oak Lake is 22 miles southeast of Prescott. There you will find the Nevada County Depot Museum. The restored railroad depot has exhibits on the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, early railroads in the areas, Indian pottery and the early settlements and settlers of Nevada County.
Nearly 70,000 people each year make White Oak Lake their destination. They come to take in its serene beauty, watch osprey dive for their daily catch and fish the bountiful waters of White Oak Lake.
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