Cecil M. Harden Lake was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and opened in 1960. The property is operated and maintained by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, under a lease arrangement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The main functions of Cecil M. Harden Lake are to control flooding and to provide recreation and resource management. The property is composed of 2,005 acres of land with a 2,060-acre lake.
Cecil M. Harden Lake exists as a cooperative management effort between the Corps of Engineers and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The lake, formerly Mansfield Lake, is also referred to as Raccoon Lake. The lake provides flood reduction downstream from the dam, primarily in the Big Raccoon Creek and Lower Wabash River watersheds. Cecil M. Harden Lake also offers water-related recreation and the enhancement of fish and wildlife.
Cecil M. Harden Lake Fishing:
Loaded with about every species of fish in the state of Indiana, you are sure to find the fishing that you are looking for. Common known fish are bluegill, bass, crappie, bluegill, stripped bass, trout and catfish.
< http://indianainfo.net/index.php/indiana-dnr-fishing-reports.html ">Cecil M. Harden Lake Fishing Reports
Raccoon Lake Camping:
There are over 300 camping sites at the lake, with over 240 electric and the rest providing great tent camping in Indiana. The campground provides it own campstore and is in with minutes of a Historic Mansfield Roller Mill. Pre 1900 flower mill. Definitely a place to take the family and enjoy the weekend.
Here is a list of things to do at the lake from the Indiana DNR Website
Boating / 5 Launch Ramps
Fishing / Ice Fishing
Fishing Pier (open when water level permits)
Hunting / Limited
Picnicking / Shelterhouses
Rental – Fishing Boats, Pontoons
Swimming / Beach
Wildlife Viewing Areas
Cecil M. Harden Lake Hiking Trails
The lake has 6 trails ranging from 1.1 easy trails to 2.1 mile moderate trails. There is also an archery trail with non-moving targets set up for short and long range shooting.
Additional Indiana Open Country Resources