Jillian Garrigues

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Video: Hidden Treasures — Choctaw Lake

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CHOCTAW COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – You may see their small signs along the highway as you pass, but if you blink, you’ll often miss them. Lake Monroe, Pontotoc Lake and Choctaw Lake, just to name a few in our area, are beautiful places hidden from the road.

“Too often we spend too much time indoors, and we don’t take advantage of these really neat opportunities we have literally just a mile down the road,” said Caren Briscoe, District Ranger of the Tombigbee National Forest.

Just off Highway 15, south of Ackerman you will find Choctaw Lake. The 100 acre lake is on the Tombigbee National Forest and operated by the U.S. Forest Service. Its breathtaking views and recreational activities have led people here since it was created in the 1930s because of the great depression.

“The Works Progress Administration came in to bring some economic development to the area. They decided this would be a great place to create a lake. They built the lake and a whole park around it. A beautiful lodge, cabins and pavilions used to exist out here. It was beautiful with stone and big timber. The Choctaw County locals always talk about a large dance pavilion over the water with wonderful memories of coming out here dancing. At the time it was federal land but not national forest. In 1959 the land transferred into Tombigbee National Forest and the lodge and cabins went away,” Briscoe said.

The peaceful spot is perfect for fishing, hiking and camping. An 18 hole frisbee golf course has now been added as well as 26 miles of mountain bike trail. Visitors come for the fresh air.

“Their main priority is to get away from the city, to get in the peace and quiet, and they feel like it’s their week of rest to get away. They get in the wildlife and you will see wildlife,” said campground host Ruth Robbins.

“If you bring binoculars out here, there have been both eagle and osprey sightings as they come out here and fish in the lake. It’s a really neat sight to see those birds of prey swoop down and snatch the fish up out of the lake,” said Briscoe.

For more information visit, http://www.recreation.gov/camping/Choctaw_Lake/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70544. If you have any hidden treasures in your area you would like WCBI to visit, send an email to news@wcbi.com.