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Lake Lincoln keeps reeling them in

As of Monday, fall is in the air. For some, those lower temps mean it’s time to pull out the pop-up camper and snap up the sweet stuff for s’mores. Best of all, locals don’t have far to travel for their fun. Lake Lincoln State Park has been ranked as one of Reserve America’s Top 100 Campgrounds, and a former manager told me why.

“What sets our park apart from others is its quiet family atmosphere and the fact that it has something for all ages,” he explained. “And all this is in the midst of tall loblolly pines with a 550-acre lake for fun and fishing.”

He was right. Good year-round fishing can be found from bank, boat, or pier at Lake Lincoln, and whether it’s white perch or plain old wanderlust that reels them in, visitors all appreciate the park’s close proximity to Interstate 55, U.S. Hwy. 51, and State Hwy. 27. Once inside the grounds, though, most park-goers will find highways and hectic living easy to forget. Unsurpassed scenic views and tranquility just naturally have that affect. 

This popular state park offers several overnight options, including 71 RV sites featuring concrete pads, concrete picnic tables, grills, electrical hook-ups, and a sewage dumping station. Of these campsites, 22 are located lakeside. Bath houses are adjacent to these areas as well.

For hard-core, leave-no-trace campers, a separate primitive area is available for as many as a dozen individual groups.

Additionally, Lake Lincoln has a rentable cabin to accommodate those who prefer the comforts of a permanent dwelling. Three Katrina cottages were added to the park a few years ago as well, and all these structures have central heat and air conditioning.

Day-use activities at Lake Lincoln center on its large lake and one-and-a-half-acre sand beach. Swimmers have a designated area free of fishermen and boaters that’s open until 6 p.m. each evening. Some distance away, a public boat ramp with a floating dock makes launching easy for all types of pleasure watercraft. Three fishing piers extend into the lake with plenty of room for anglers to try their luck with bass, bream, channel catfish and perch.

But boaters and fishermen visiting Lake Lincoln should plan to arrive with the proper paperwork. Anyone born after June 30, 1980, must have completed a Boating Safety Course in order to operate a boat, and fishermen between the ages of 16 and 64 are required to have a valid fishing license in their possession when fishing public waters.

But not all the fun happens in the water. A playground beckons near the beach, as well as a sand volleyball court. Nearby are two open-air pavilions that service family reunions and other group functions. An additional 45 picnic tables with grills complete the lakeside attractions.

And while nature lovers can take the expected leisurely hike through short-leaf pine, southern magnolias, and dogwoods, there is evidence the park is determined to stay abreast of current leisure interests. An 18-hold disc golf course, Magnolia Cove, is open to the public.

Kim Henderson is a freelance writer. Contact her at kimhenderson319@gmail.com. Follow her on twitter at @kimhenderson319.