Sibley Lake is a municipal water supply and recreation area owned by the City of Natchitoches and Water Works No. One. Sibley Lake was originally known as Lac Terre Noir as early as 1875. In the early twentieth century Lac Terre Noir was drained and remained a swamp, wooded area until it was developed as a water source in the 1960’s.
Sibley Lake was named in honor of Dr. John Sibley, an early settler and Indian agent, who came to Natchitoches from New England in 1803, soon after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. He acquired land as part of a government tract including the Northwestern State University property to land extending beyond the sector now occupied by Sibley Lake.
As early as 1942, the area was recommended as the best location for a new Natchitoches reservoir which was necessary to avoid future water shortages. Completed in 1962 at the cost of 2.3 million dollars, the lake covers approximately 2,000 acres and has a 38 mile shoreline. Recreational activities include fishing, hunting, boating, skiing, camping, and picnicking.