Sunk Lake is a 1,870-acre natural area located in Lauderdale County about 18.5 miles northwest of Covington. It is located in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain and included in the Eastern Gulf Coastal Region of the southeastern United States. Sunk Lake supports excellent examples of bald cypress swamp, bottomland hardwood forest, and emergent marsh aquatic habitat. The diversity of wetland and upland communities offer a wide range of habitat for waterfowl and other birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians. Rare plant species at Sunk Lake include creeping spot-flower (Acmella oppositifolia), featherfoil (Hottonia inflata), lake cress (Neobeckia aquatica), ovate-leaved arrowhead (Sagittaria platyphylla) and cedar elm (Ulmus crassifolia). The southern unit is open to the public only from March 16 to November 14 because of its refuge status. A 180-foot boardwalk provides an observation viewing area of one lake. A boat ramp provides lake access for fishing boats and canoes. Gasoline-powered boats are prohibited. The northern unit is open year-round. The lakes within the preserve were created by the same series of the New Madrid earthquake that created Reelfoot Lake. Floodwaters from the Mississippi River recharge the lakes approximately every five years. Recent additions to the natural area that included farmland have been planted with cherrybark oak, nuttall oak, willow oak, and other bottomland species to restore the bottomland hardwood forest.
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