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Campfire Collective May 14th, 2019

Boating in Texas

With over 190 lakes to enjoy Texas offers a plethora of water fun for its visitors. Here are just a few of the best lakes in Texas.

LAKE TEXOMA

Located at the confluence of the Washita and Red Rivers, this is one of the largest lakes in the country. It is also one of the most developed lakes in all of Texas. Travis is 63 miles long with 270 miles of shoreline. It has a maximum width of 4.5 miles, and a maximum depth of 210 feet. The lake has an average depth of 62 feet, and is home to several small islands.

It is an extremely popular place, with around 6 million people heading there each year. Visitors enjoy sailing, water skiing, wind surfing and fishing. There are around 70 species of fish living in the lake, including bass, catfish and white crappie. The waters are very clear and emerald green.

There are over 12 marinas sitting around Lake Texoma, as well as two wildlife refuges and hundreds of camp grounds. It hosts the annual charity Lakefest Regatta each spring. During spring break is extremely popular amongst college students. They flock to the water to enjoy water skiing, boating, sailing, windsurfing, fishing, jet skiing, and kayaking a breeze.

Lake Travis

Lake Travis sits on the Colorado River in central Texas. The lake was formed in 1942 during the construction of the Mansfield Dam near Austin. It stretches for 60 miles and is the largest lake in the Highlands Lakes region, having a surface area of 7,660 hectares.

Lake Travis is one of the most popular lakes in Texas for recreational activities. Boating, scuba diving and swimming are popular activities enjoyed at the lake. It is also home to numerous fish species, like bass, catfish and sunfish.

The shoreline offers plenty of opportunity for camping and picnicking to be enjoyed.

Lake Travis’ clear waters, scenic surroundings, and close proximity to Austin have made it a beautifully convenient location. It is also home to Hippie Hollow Park, which is a popular spot for nudists. As well, each year the gay and lesbian community hosts Splash Day at the park.

Lake Conroe

Located 60 minutes north of Houston, Lake Conroe runs through the East Texas Piney Woods forests. It is a beautiful 21,000 acre lake that is surrounded by trees, hills and magnificent houses. This man-made lake was created in 1973 as the reserve drinking water supply for the City of Houston

The 26 mile long lake includes over 10 marinas and is a top spot for watersports. Enjoy sailing, fishing, hunting, golfing, swimming, camping, hiking, waterskiing, jet skiing, and pleasure boating.

SAM RAYBURN RESERVOIR

Sam Rayburn Reservoir is located around 110kms north of Beaumont in Deep East Texas. It is a 463 kilometre lake and is the largest lake completely in the state of Texas. This Corp of Engineers lake is created by impounding the Angelina River and several bayous. 

The lake’s surroundings are very natural and made up predominately of trees and rolling hills, creating a stunning backdrop. The wind can cause huge waves as it blows down the lake and there are a number of islands and shallow areas.

Swimming, water skiing and fishing are popular things to do. The reservoir offers largemouth bass, catfish and crappies being the most caught fish living in the lake.

There are a number of campsites and marinas on the shorelines of the lake. There is also the Rayburn Country Resort, which is home to a top notch golf course. Visitors that would prefer to stay dry can go hiking through the Sabine National Forest. With 114,500 acres of surface area, Sam Rayburn Reservoir is a fisherman’s sanctuary, where massive catfish, bass, crappie, and more can be caught all year long. The reservoir is even a location for the Big Bass Splash. This is the largest amateur fishing tournament in the state. Other critters in the reservoir include alligator gar, bowfin, and alligators.

LEWISVILLE LAKE

Lewisville Lake is located in North Texas near Lewisville and is a favourite spot in the summer months. It boasts plenty of good shoreline that is home to numerous camping facilities, restaurants, golf courses and lodges.

When it was first created it was known as Dallas Lake, though in the 1950s it was renamed due to expansion. This made it the second largest lake in the Trinity River area. The lake has a total surface area of 11,975 hectares and it surrounding by trees and rolling hills. Nine bridges cross the lake, and it is also accessible via the A-train.

A favorite spot for Dallas water-sport enthusiasts is Lake Lewisville. It offers visitors a variety of activities, including fishing, swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, sailboarding, and more.

Lake Lewisville is a large (28,980 acres) Corp of Engineers lake with plenty of camping and day use areas. It is surrounded by numerous parks, four marinas, and several boat ramps.

Lewisville Lake is a great place for fishing, with catfish and crappie being the dominant game fish found in the lake.

In addition to the boat and watercraft rental facilities, a popular destination for those looking for a good time is Party Cove. The cove where people tie their boats together, listen to music, and enjoy a few drinks.

LAKE AMISTAD

Lake Amistad is a beautiful reservoir that sits where the Devils River meets the Rio Grande, around 19kms northwest of Del Rio. It was formed in 1969 after the construction of the Amistad Dam, right along the Mexican border.  Amistad was created as a joint project between the United States and Mexico. The middle of the lake is actually the border between Mexico and the US. It is also one of the deepest lakes in Texas with a maximum depth of 217 feet. The terrain is rocky and arid desert with rolling hills and sheer cliffs.

Boating, water skiing, scuba diving and swimming are just a few of the water based activities that are enjoyed at Lake Amistad. There are plenty of boat ramps found around the 340 metre lake. Its natural surroundings provide visitors with the chance to go hiking, camping and nature walks. Note that there are no boat rental or fueling stations. Massive Lake Amistad encompasses nearly 70,000 surface acres, which are shared between Mexico and the United States. Boaters and swimmers can enjoy both open waters as well as steeply walled canyons. The protective coves offer ideal fishing spots.

Archaeological sites


At over 25 miles long, Lake Amistad has 800 miles of shoreline and some great scenery and archeaological sites to explore.  In the past, the area was home to Indigenous Americans and cave paintings can be seen in the area to this day.  The lake has sustained over 300 generations of hunters and gatherers. They left behind a record of their existence through colorful rock art panels, bits of tools, and fibers preserved for thousands of years by the arid desert climate. The Amistad National Recreation Area is home to dramatic 4,000 year-old rock art some of which is available to view. These mysterious paintings adorn rock shelter walls in the upper reaches of Amistad Reservoir. Amistad National Recreation Area has two major rock art sites open for public visitation: Panther Cave and Parida Cave.

POSSOM KINGDOM LAKE

Popularly known as PK, Possum Kingdom Lake can be found around 40 minutes north of Fort Worth. It sits on the Brazos River and is best known for being home to the spectacular Hell’s Gate cliffs. It is also home to the 620 hectare Possum Kingdom State Park, which is a popular spot for boating and fishing. Possom Kingdom Lake is one of the most picturesque lakes in Texas thanks to the cliffs and its clear water.  The lake terrain is rolling hills, lots of trees, and steep sheer bluffs to gently sloping.

The Lake has a total surface area of 8,000 hectare and sits at an elevation of 304 metres above sea level. The average depth is 37 feet with the deepest spot at 145.

The water is always the stage for ski boats, jet skis, people on floats in the water. This has also been the site for recent Red Bull Cliff Diving competitions, where divers from across the world freefall from as high as 88 feet into the waters below.

The lake is known for Hell’s Gate, two towering cliffs that stand as “gates” to the entry of a cove on the south end of the lake. This is where partygoers flock during warm months. On the Fourth of July, boaters head out to Hell’s Gate early to tie up their boats and wait for the epic firework show at night over the cliffs.

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LET'S WORK TOGETHER

 

Go boldly, tell your story. Campfire is building a collective of ambassadors who share a passion for the wild. If you’re an influencer, publisher or sport expert drop us a line. Let’s hook up and inspire others.

CAMPFIRE STORIES

Stay in the loop. Sign up for our newsletter
to get the latest stories from around the fire.