Cane Creek Lake is a shallow timbered 1,653-acre lake located in southeast Arkansas. It is manmade, created in 1987 by the construction of a levy along Bayou Bartholomew (the world's longest bayou) to hold water year round in an area that traditionally flooded seasonally. The result is a somewhat swampy lake that is filled with stumps, dead trees and living bald cypress, water lilies and American lotus that provide an excellent habitat for waterfowl, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Fishing is good for largemouth bass, catfish and perch. The stumps and trees provide a somewhat challenging flatwater obstacle course in areas. Those who prefer a smoother ride can stick to the boat lanes. Fishing boats are common, but are curtailed from joyriding by the stumps. Jet skis are not allowed on any of the Arkansas Game & Fish owned lakes in the state.
I paddle Cane Creek several times a week and really enjoy the wildlife viewing. Breezy to windy days are the norm, so I find a kayak more comfortable to paddle than a canoe on the lake. The occasional bumps with submerged logs are also absorbed better (less tipsy) in my recreational kayak as opposed to my canoe. The western side of the lake is occupied by 2,000 Cane Creek State Park that has a boat launch, where I usually put in, and a 30-site campground. The park will begin renting recreational and sit-on-top kayaks in January 2001.
Other paddling destinations in the area include Bayou Bartholomew, Moore Bayou at Arkansas Post National Monument, and Seven Devils Swamp in Monticello, Arkansas.
Cane Creek State Park has 30 campsites with electric and water hookups. A heated bathhouse with hot water showers is located in the center of the campground. A small motel is located in Star City and several hotels are available within 30 miles in Monticello or Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
No fees or permits are needed to launch a boat or to park. Camping fees are $14.00 for regular sites or $16.00 for preferred (lakeview) sites, plus tax.
From US 65 just south of Pine Bluff, AR take Hwy 425 south to Star City, Arkansas. In Star City, turn east onto AR Hwy 293, and continue 4 miles to Cane Creek State Park entrance. Put in at Boat Launch located in park. Abundant parking and restrooms are located by the boat launch.
Call Cane Creek State Park, 870-628-4714, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on Cane Creek State Park and Cane Creek Lake.
A free lake map is available at the Park Visitor center. For other paddling destinations in the state, call 1-800-NATURAL and request an Arkansas Float Kit, which is a guide to the best float streams in the state.