Lake Columbia, Arkansas, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Lake Columbia.

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Lake Columbia visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - South - Arkansas - Timberlands -

The Timberlands Region of Arkansas is home to Lake Columbia, a 2,950 acre reservoir situated northwest of Magnolia the country seat of Columbia County. Constructed in 1986, Lake Columbia is one of the largest impoundments created by the Arkansas Game and Fish in South Arkansas. While the Columbia County Rural Development Authority operates the dam and controls the water level, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission provides visitors with boat docks, fishing piers and picnic areas. Some of the boat docks and fishing piers are handicap accessible.

Columbia Lake is divided into four zones with one of the zones inaccessible to unauthorized visitors. Half of the lake is open for pleasure boating and water skiing, while three quarters of the Columbia Lake is accessible to anglers who will enjoy fishing in the timber flooded parts of the lake for largemouth bass, crappie, channel catfish, red ear sunfish, and bluegill.

The area surrounding Columbia Lake has a rich history and some fascinating sites to visit. First inhabited by Native American, Columbia County was known as a region with abundance of natural resources. It was these resources that drew settlers to the area shortly after Arkansas achieved statehood in 1836. First cotton then timber, oil, gas and bromine, the natural resources provided Columbia County with economic capital. The courthouse square of Magnolia is lined with tress by the same name. History buffs may want to solemnly stroll through the Magnolia City Cemetery. There they will find the final resting place of the highest ranking Confederate officer buried in Arkansas, Major General John Porter McCown, as well as a number of other known and unknown Confederate soldiers. While in Magnolia, garden enthusiast may want to walk though 600 plus acres of the Agricultural and Horticultural Farm of the Southern Arkansas University that was founded in 1909.

Campsites can be found around the Lake Columbia that offer water and electrical hook-ups. There is also an RV rental located nearby. The undeveloped shores of Lake Columbia do not offer residential homes or vacation rentals, however, accommodations such as hotels and bread and breakfast can be found in the nearby towns of Magnolia and McNeil. The Logoly State Park is located in McNeil and is the first environmental education state park in Arkansas. There are a few campsites located at the park along with a bathhouse with hot showers, a standard pavilion, playground, trails, picnic sites and a visitor center. Interactive educational nature activities make Logoly State Park a child friendly place. Children will enjoy exploring nature though hikes, fish and alligator viewing at the aquarium and having fun with hands on exhibits.

For Lake Columbia visitors who do not mind to dive a little may enjoy staying overnight in Little Rock, the capital city of Arkansas and the home of former President William Clinton. In addition to great food, exciting shopping and fun site seeing, visitors can explore the William J. Clinton Presidential Center which has the United States newest Presidential Library that holds the largest collection of presidential history.

Visitors can enjoy the beauty of wood lined shores of Lake Columbia while taking in all the sites and sounds around. They can take pleasure in the rural surroundings of Lake Columbia yet still be close to nearby city life. Whether visitors come out for some thrilling pleasure boating or some relaxing fishing, they will find Lake Columbia offers something the whole family will enjoy.

Custom Lake Columbia house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Lake Columbia

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • Playground
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Columbia

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

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Columbia

The Lake Columbia map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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Lake Columbia photo gallery

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Lake Columbia statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Columbia County Rural Development Authority

Surface Area: 2,950 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 240 feet

Average Depth: 11 feet

Maximum Depth: 27 feet

Water Volume: 28,787 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1986

Drainage Area: 46 sq. miles

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