Millwood State Park is located just outside Ashdown, Arkansas, in Little River County in southwest Arkansas. Known for its excellent fishing and wildlife habitats, the park was established about a decade after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built 29,500-acre Millwood Lake north of Texarkana in Miller County. Held in place by a 3.3-mile-long earthen dam (the longest of its type in Arkansas), the lake’s trademark timber stands have made it a bass-fishing haven by providing cover vegetation and a food source that keep the fish in shallow, more accessible water.
The lake was built in 1966 on the Little River, some sixteen miles above its confluence with the Red River. In addition to the Little River, the Cossatot and Saline rivers also contribute to the lake.
Among several recreational areas the Corps of Engineers established on the lake’s shoreline was Cypress Slough, at the southwestern end of Millwood Dam. On April 1, 1976, the Corps signed a lease agreement with the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, and Cypress Slough became Millwood State Park. The site was chosen because of the important role the various lakes in the Little Red River basin play in controlling flooding on the Red River below Lake Texoma.
Due to the Corps of Engineers’ involvement, a combination of state and federal funds was used to expand the park’s facilities. Additional funding over the years has greatly improved the park. The lake and park take the name “Millwood” from a frontier river landing in the area, which was in use between 1845 and 1875.
The park offers camping, picnic sites, a pavilion, a marina, boat rentals, and hiking and bike trails. The park hosts several recreational events and interpretive activities, including fishing events, bird watching, lake tours, and family festivities.
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