Lake Chicot

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Lake Chicot
Lake Chicot from Lakeshore Dr in Lake Village, AR.jpg
Lake Chicot from Lake Village, Arkansas
Location Chicot County, Arkansas
Coordinates 33°19′21″N 91°16′42″W / 33.32250°N 91.27833°W / 33.32250; -91.27833Coordinates: 33°19′21″N 91°16′42″W / 33.32250°N 91.27833°W / 33.32250; -91.27833
Type oxbow lake
Basin countries United States
Surface elevation 108 ft (33 m)

Lake Chicot (/ʃɪˈk/ shi-KOH) is a lake located near Lake Village, Arkansas. It is the largest oxbow lake in North America and the largest natural lake in Arkansas, formed 600 years ago by the meandering of the Mississippi River.

The name Chicot, French for "stumpy," refers to the many cypress stumps and trees along the lake banks. The lake is approximately 3/4 miles wide and 21–22 miles long from end to end, forming a traditional "C" shape (when viewed from overhead, with top being north and bottom being south and the open end of the "C" facing east).

According to legend, Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto is buried in Lake Chicot. He died in 1542 during his expedition through the Southeast of North America.

The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism operates Lake Chicot State Park on the northern end of the lake, Chicot County also operates a county park on the eastern side of the lake across from Lake Village. Located at the State Park are a bait shop, fish cleaning station, and pier. The bait shop also has boat rentals. At the state park visitors' center, there are cabins for rent and camping spots. There is also a wildlife museum, featuring creatures found in and around Lake Chicot.

American pilot Charles Lindbergh, known for making the first transatlantic flight, made his first ever nighttime flight over Lake Chicot and Lake Village in April 1923.

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