Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Harris Brake Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Harris Brake Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Harris Brake Lake

The essence of small-town life is vastly different from one community to the next and in the Arkansas River Valley, Harris Brake Lake gives the tiny town of Perryville much of its big personality. Lying within the Ouachita tourism region, the reservoir attracts individuals who wish for a quiet retreat in the central portion of the state.

Harris Brake Lake was built in 1955 by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and remains the third largest lake owned by the state wildlife agency. The surface of the lake spreads across approximately 1,300 acres in Perry County and has an average depth of six feet. The lake is part of the Harris Brake Wildlife Management Area (WMA), which totals 2,788 acres. Harris Brake Lake is adjacent to an 800-acre green tree reservoir, a lowland area typically flooded during the fall and winter to attract waterfowl and to prevent tree mortality.

The reservoir adjoining Harris Brake Lake makes a prime target for waterfowl hunting. The majority of ducks hunted in the green tree reservoir are mallards, though wood ducks, teal, gadwalls and widgeons have also been harvested.

Lake activities run the gamut but the mood on Harris Brake Lake runs apace with the sedate, slow-moving fish that live in the lake. Anglers arriving at the lake with hopes of ensnaring various fish species will not leave unhappy: below the surface swim bluegill, channel catfish, black crappie, hybrid striped bass, largemouth bass, redear sunfish and many other species. Supplies can be stocked at various bait shops located around the lake. Anglers are granted access to the lake at multiple boating ramps.

Fishing and hunting may be the lake’s biggest draw, but canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts enjoy dipping their paddles into Harris Brake Lake’s serene waters. Discover Doughty Cove near the lake’s southern shores or paddle into the north portions of the lake near the dam site. Kayakers and canoeists gliding along the smooth, calm waters are afforded views and moments rarely experienced by those who stick to to the lake’s shores — explore hidden coves, watch deer drink from the lake, or observe puffy, white clouds disappear into the horizon.

Bird enthusiasts sit at the water’s edge, listening carefully as songbirds reveal their daily orchestra. Bring a bird identification book to spot new species or snap photos of a bird’s daily routine as the sunlight filters through the trees. Walking quietly through the woods uncovers additional wildlife, including rabbits, squirrels, deer, doves, turkeys and furbearers, such as mink or beaver.

Harris Brake Lake’s amenities do not end with the beautiful scenery. Get back to the basics with the kids by picking out a camp site and roasting marshmallows while listening to a crackling fire. Those looking for additional luxury can lean back in an armchair at the lake’s RV park, motel or in the lakeside home and cabin vacation rentals which are open throughout the year.

The vacationer looking to get more out of their trip need not venture far from Harris Brake Lake. Rolling hills dominate the landscape, making for a quick but memorable five-minute drive to Perryville. Experience small town life by sinking your teeth into slabs of barbecue ribs or sitting down with locals to talk about the old days.

Directly to the west of Harris Brake Lake lies Ouachita National Forest, the oldest national forest in the South covering 1.8 million acres of forest in both Arkansas and Oklahoma. Miles of winding hiking trails and hours of plentiful fishing and await at this next door retreat. Residing closer to Harris Brake Lake is the Flatside Wilderness Area, located within the Ouachita National Forest, offering hours of recreational possibilities. The total area covers 10,000 acres but there are 10 miles of the Ouachita National Recreation Trail open to heart-pumping hikers and wilderness-exploring horseback riders.

Visitors looking to open the door to calm and quiet shores need look no further: vacation rentals and real estate on Harris Brake Lake promise to fulfill your dreams. Be it snagging that prized largemouth bass or capturing the memory of strolling down a dock during an early morning sunrise, this small town lake has big opportunities for water lovers.

Things to Do at Harris Brake Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Forest

Fish Species Found at Harris Brake Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish

Find Places to Stay at Harris Brake Lake

If you’re considering a Harris Brake Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Harris Brake Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Harris Brake Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Harris Brake Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Surface Area: 1,300 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 280 feet

Average Depth: 6 feet

Maximum Depth: 28 feet

Water Volume: 7,800 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1955

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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