Kristina Rowe, NewsCastic
Minnesota is called the land of a thousand lakes, but did you know Texas actually has SIX thousand lakes. Since these include small reservoirs based on a technical description, we could narrow it down. More than 300 lakes in Texas are navigable, with almost 5,000 miles of fresh water. Only one lake in Texas is a natural lake; most of the other large lakes are results of dams built for flood control or water supply.
To visit all of the lakes in Texas, you’d need to start at birth and live to be a hundred and visit three different lakes a year. Living a hundred years and making three lake trips a year are excellent ideas, but if you need to narrow down your lake visit bucket list, we’re here to help. Here are a dozen don’t miss lakes for boaters.
The History and the Mystery
Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in Texas. It was used by the Caddo Indians, for whom it was named, for centuries, prior to becoming a thriving riverboat port and as times changed, a recreational lake. This lake is superb for canoeing with stops for scenic picnics among the Cypress trees, but boaters and boarders won’t be disappointed at all. Bass fisherman will be quite happy here too.
The Need for Speed
Canyon Lake is a very clear, beautiful lake on the Guadalupe river near New Braunfels. A community boat club supports local boating, and speedboats are a common sight on this huge lake. The lake sports a beach, several parks, a marina, and two yacht clubs. This one is also a favorite of bass fishermen.
Don’t have a boat? There are several entry points for tubing on the Guadalupe from this lake.
Tow the Line
Okay, the saying is actually “toe” the line, but that’s okay. You can tow all kinds of things at Cedar Creek Lake, so bring your tubes, skis, and boards. Located just 55 miles southeast of Dallas, folks enjoy fishing for catfish, crappie, and bass here too.
Not a boater? Come visit Cedar Creek Brewery or one of the great restaurants in nearby Seven Points, Mabank, or Gun Barrel City, Texas.
I’m Sailing Away
Boating your way is easy at Eagle Mountain Lake, whether you prefer a relaxed outing or a party vibe. Rent or bring your own ski boat or pontoon boat, enjoy some fishing, or try your hand at sailing. In addition to five marinas, this lake also plays home to the Fort Worth Boat Club, which hosts regattas and offers sailing instruction.
Don’t Bat an Eye
No private gas powered boats are allowed on Lady Bird Lake near downtown Austin, so you’ll have to do some paddling. Kayaks and canoes are welcome, and you can rent paddle boats or stand-up paddle boards too. You can also take a variety of cruises on the Texas Lone Star Riverboat.
Here in DFW, Lake Grapevine is quite popular with water sports enthusiasts. Three marinas offer everything you need, whether you want to rent or bring your own boat (or jet skis.) There are numerous parks, trails, and camping areas, and it’s a great place for catching some pretty big bass.
The Party Cove at Lake Lewisville makes it very popular with DFW locals and visitors alike. There you can swim, hang out with other boaters, and well, party. But you don’t have to spend your day drinking. Rent equipment to try out any of your favorite watersports as well.
Get a Load of That
One of the best features of Lake Ray Hubbard is the beautiful Rockwall Harbor. The waterfront entertainment center offers shopping, dining, and more while you watch the boats go by. Of course, you’ll want to take your boat out on the water too – for some fishing or skiing.
If you don’t have a boat yet, find one that fulfills your dreams at the nearby Bass Pro Shop.
Nix Netflix, but Still Chill
Head up toward Oklahoma to Lake Texoma, the “striper capital of the world.” It’s summertime, and the fishing is fine. There are dozens of things to do at this lake – camping, hiking, swimming, and more – and when you get tired, you’ll have lots of choices of places to grab a bite to eat and a cold drink.
Make Your Mark
The most scenic lake in Texas might be Lake Travis, near Austin, Texas. The area is overflowing with resorts and restaurants, and the lake itself is a boater’s dream come true. Parasailing, wakeboarding, party boats – you’ll find all that and more here.
Get to the Bottom of Things
About 80 miles west of Fort Worth, you’ll find Possum Kingdom Lake. This ultra-clear, ultra-blue lake is a great place for snorkeling and scuba diving. Obviously, the swimming is fine too, and you’ll find plenty of options for camping, hiking, biking, and more. Don’t miss the beautiful cliffs guarding the cove. They might be called Hell’s Gate, but the view is heavenly.
Find Your Way Back
As we mentioned, almost all of the lakes in Texas are man-made. The largest of them is Lake Sam Rayburn, located in the East Texas Piney Woods. Boaters will enjoy fishing, swimming, wakeboarding and skiing. After your day on the lake, explore the area that’s situated between Beaumont and Longview. You’ll find historic charm in the surrounding little towns and be ready to hit the lake again tomorrow!