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20 Best Lakes in Texas a Lone Star Travel Guide

Texas Lakes – Best lakes in Texas?

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In Texas and Summer, everything can get really hot. The hot Texas weather can be difficult to beat reaching up to 110+ °F during the winter not much better. Sometimes weeks at a time, but these are all good reasons to visit plenty of gorgeous lakes to enjoy the outdoors.

There’s an amazing selection of lakes in Texas if you want a relaxing swimming place or the ideal Texas lake where you can catch trophy bass. If you see a lake you are interested in and need additional information chat us up, and you will receive free information.

Looking for more day trips & weekend adventures?

See nothing else below for more amazing Texas Lakes and Adventure experiences around the east, west, north, or south of Texas! Continue to read as we provide small details on 20 of our favorites.

Lake Meredith National Recreation Area

This hideaway nesting within Texas’ dry prairies, is managed by the National Park Service and is excellent for bird watching, hiking, and fishing.

For breathtaking views of the lake, follow Fritch Fortress Trail. Visit the flint-colored quarry of Lake Meredith, the rocky hillsides of this trail provide habitat for all types of wildlife.

Lake Meredith one of Texas lakes and good for water skiing

Lady Bird Lake (Town Lake)

Lady Bird Lake is the eastmost lake in Texas, called Highland Lake Chains, and comprises Lake Buchanan Inks, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis, and Lake Austin.

Austin does not permit motorized watercraft at Lake Ladybird, so it has become popular for paddle boarding, kayaks, canoes, and dragon boats. There are no permits to swim in Ladybird Lake despite recent drownings. There is a fact that Lady Bird Lake was named Town Lake from 2007 onwards, but many locals call it the same!

Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake is an ideal spot for fishing & paddling. The 26,820-acre lake supports 70 different fish types. Hikers will enjoy the ten official trails in the region. Five of them lie within Caddo Lake. Hell half-acre trail, which is 8.4 miles long starts and ends at Caddo Lake State Park.

Caddo lake one of Texas lakes east of Dallas

Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake is an oasis in the Texas Hill Country, halfway between Austin and about 30 miles from New Braunfels. The lake is located in the Guadalupe River, and the waters are clean. Canyon Lake is well known for recreational activities, including boating and swimming.

Army Corps of Engineers operates eight recreational areas on the lake. Many sites include camping with tents or RVs at Canyon Park. Other locations, such as Guadalupe Park and Comal Park, offer day-use destinations, including picnic tables. Overlook Park provides visitors with a unique walking route through Canyon Dam.

Canyon Lake is a natural lake or east Texas gem

Lake Travis

Due to its proximity to Austin Lake, Travis is viewed as an amusement park that offers fun for everyone. Adventure junkies can rent jet skis, jump ropes or go for a ride at Waterloo Adventure—definitely not the best fishing lake conditions.

Squeeze in a round of golf and dive before enjoying sunset meals at any restaurant or cold beer at Oasis Texas Brewing Co.

Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Sam Rayburn Reservoir is a famous recreation lake located near East Texas, operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. It has over 1100 square miles of land and is surrounded by parks.

The lake is 80 feet deep, with an impressive largemouth bass population. They are helping Sam Rayburn gain notoriety by being considered one of Texas’s finest bass fishing lakes. The Corps runs 12 parks on the lake.

Some of these parks offer hikes, picnics, views of the surrounding landscape, and boat ramps. All of the primitive camping areas and the luxurious chalets are close to the lakes.

Sam Rayburn Reservoir, go for largemouth bass, crappie and blue catfish among others

Lake Buchanan

Lake Buchanan is the second most important lake on Texas’ Highlands Lakes. It’s just a little bigger than Lake Travis. Approximately 62 miles northwest of Austin, it is considered a vital weekend destination with various outdoor adventures.

Its shoreline is 124km, with numerous access points and public properties nearby. Boating is one of the daily activities on Lake Buchanan. Lake Buchanan is also very popular in the sport fishing industry, attracting anglers wanting to catch largemouth bass, white bass, and striped bass. There are various rental cabins on commercial premises to accommodate overnight travelers.

Colorado River is not included in the Texas lakes list

Inks Lake

Inks Lake is a scenic reservoir located 50 miles west of Austin along the Colorado River. It lies within the rolling Texas Hill Country scenery and is particularly beautiful due to the pink rocky cliffs that are just near the beach.

The vast Inks Lake State Park covers the southeast edge of the lake. State Parks have amenities like camping facilities and hiking trails. These lakefront campsites make Inks Lake a great camping site in Texas. All-day activities include swimming, skiing, and kayaking.

The park offers the rental of a canoe or paddle boat.

Lake Texoma

Several million visitors a day visit Lake Texoma. This border town is 80 miles north of Dallas, and the immense amount of Red River irrigate is what draws crowds into the city.

However, the large bass population attracted the angler. Lake Texoma is the top Bass Lake over many Texas lakes. Are you looking for a PB Bass record, this may be on location for breaking it. The Texoma fishery offers the best opportunity for landing striped bass, smallmouth striped bass, and eels.

Lake Texoma has about 580 km of shore and is one of the nation’s largest reservoirs.

Lake Texoma is used for flood control and considered hell's gate

Lake Livingston

The eastern Texas jewel is an enormous lake in the state known for white bass populations.

A half-hour north of Houston, the Lake is a popular fishing spot with its constant levels and 83,000 acres of water. Lake Livingston State Park, on 635 acres on the southern shore, offers an excellent nature retreat.

Amistad Reservoir National Recreation Area

Amistad Lake has a large reservoir surrounded by multiple reservoir dams north of Del Rio along the Mexican border.

The United States portion of the international reservoir includes steep-walled rivers, wide-access waterways, 12 public boat ramps, and seven paddling trails.

The best unique attraction is the prehistoric Native American Rock art sites close to the Rio Grande and accessible via boat.

Amistad Lake on of Texas leading lakes

Lake Granbury

Lake Granbury is located in the heart of Granbury in north Texas, located 40 miles south of Fort Worth. It is a resort lake located near the Brazos Bend. This 19.8-mile-long lake includes several parks, and Granbury provides numerous stores and restaurants.

Granbury City Park is a popular public park that enjoys water. It has boat parking, boat rental, and swimming pools. Lake Granbury is a well-established fishing lake.

Largemouth bass, crappie, and sunfish live in the waters. Camping sites can be found in nearby areas besides the lakes, such as Rough Creek, Hunter Park, and De Cordova Bend Park.

Toledo Bend Reservoir

A keen angler will love this 185,000-acre lake on the Sabine River. The ecosystem is one favorite among largemouth bass fishermen, a popular lake to nature lovers year-round. Milam and Hemphill are quaint villages nearby that are excellent places of exploration while fishing at Toledo Bend Reservoir.

Possum Kingdom Lake

Possum Kingdom lake is a monster lady bird lake

Possum Kingdom lakes are situated on rugged canyon land in the Brazos River about 70 miles west of Fort Worth. This reservoir was famous as cliffs lined the south end of the lake. Possum Kingdom Lake clear blue sea makes a great photograph.

Possum Kingdom Lakes are clear water suitable for fishing/scuba diving. Possum Kingdom Lake’s best fish is white bass, which has a good population at this location. Possum Kingdom State Park provides a recreational area on the west side of the approximately 20,000-acre lake.

The state parks offer many activities off the water, including hiking and riding trails.

Medina Lake

The 6.2-mile lake northwest of San Antonio is an unusual gem for the solitude lover. Its crystal clear waters are ideal for diving, kayaking, and fishing. The local waters produced formerly state records of largemouth bass between 1940 and 1960.

Medina Lake is host to many events and festivals throughout the year, including the fall Medina Lake Cajun Festival at Lakehills, which includes barbecue and a BBQ buffet.

Lake Conroe

Lake Conroe a Possum Kingdom lake and consider one of the best lakes in Texas

Lake Conroe is one of Texas lakes most popular; it’s do north of Houston. This is an ideal place to escape from the big city. Every day, a jet ski boat makes a wave over these waters. Tourist attractions include vacation homes, timeshares with tennis courts, lake-side restaurants, and fully-serviced marinas.

Sam Houston National Forest is in Lake Conroe’s footprint; on the north end, there are various hiking trails for land lovers. The LoneStar National Park trail stretches 131 miles to Lake Conroe’s northern shore. The nearby town of Conroe should be noticed for an entire week.

Lake O’ the Pines

Lake O’ the Pines is alive and about 30 miles west of Lake Caddon in East Texas. A 18700 acre lake is covered by pine forests which add significant beauty to the lake.

The tall pine tree provides shade to the hiking trails and campsites nearby. Brushy Creek and Buckhorn Creek parks at Lake provide picturesque camping sites.

Other Lake of O’ Pine Parks including Johnson Creek and Lakeside Park boast extensive beaches that can provide swimming and seclusion. There is an abundance of boat ramps along the shorelines.

Lake Sam Rayburn

Lake Sam Rayburn was the largest lake in Texas at one time. The lake was previously dubbed McGee Bend Dam Reservoir and renamed for the funeral in 1965 to honor Sam Rayburn, an uninsurable House Speaker who fought for soil conservation.

Powell Lake Marina is the largest attraction on Lake Sam Rayburn. Lake Powell provides children and adults with the inflatable waterpark that makes Lake Sam Rayburn a beautiful lake northeast of Houston, just east of Lufkin Texas.

Lake Lewisville

The 29,000 acres are located about 1 hour from Dallas Airport. The place has a huge popularity at weekends, offering a range of options for enjoying the water.

Boating and fishing are a popular activity at Lake Lewisville. Canoes, kayaking, and boats are all heavy uses of the lake. It offers a perfect habitat for croakers, catfish, and white bass if you’re looking to fish among the chaos.

A popular activity in Lake Lewisville renting pontoon boats, tying them up to other boats, and enjoying a sunny day with music. Several public places run along Lake Lewisville’s shoreline, offering off-the-water activities like hiking, camping, and cycling options.

Lake Whitney

Lake Whitney is situated approximately one-hour southwest of Fort Worth and just north of Waco. This is one the most popular lakes in Texas, named Texas’ Getaway City in 2005. Lake Whitney is surrounded by numerous rock structures offering stunning views from above to the beautiful blue water.

Lake Whitney attracts many thrill-seekers due to its high mountain views. The cliffs which enclose Lake Whitney can reach 50ft, so they are excellent for cliff jumps. Cliff diving is the area’s main water activity and a great tourist destination.

Reviews of Texas Lakes

Great Place and Lake

Lake Apopka
★★★★★
This place is a well hidden secret. A huge variety of fish, birds, bunnies and not to forget big bass and lots of alligators in every size can be seen. No fences in their natural habitat.
- Torsten Dreier

Terrible

Henderson Lake
★☆☆☆☆
This is one of the most beautifullakes around,unfortunately there are so few fish it's not worth going. I have fished it several times and very few times i did not terrible. Just not enough fish.
- THOMAS M CORSILE

Awesome Day!!

Ken Walker
★★★★★
I took my son to Rodman today with captain Ken as our guide. Ken was a pleasure to fish with. We learned a lot about the lake and how to fish it. My son beat his personal best bass three times on this trip!! Captain Ken will put you on the fish!!
- Jamie Buchan
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Question & Answers

What are the nicest lakes in Texas?

Here’s a targeted list of 10 Texas lakes you should visit. (10) Lake Livingston (9) Ladybird Lake, (8) Lake Meredith, (7) Caddo Lake, (6) Toledo Bend Reservoir, (5) Medina Lake, (4) Lake Tawakoni, (3) Amistad Reservoir, (2) Sam Rayburn Reservoir, (1) Lake Ray Hubbard.

Where is the prettiest lake in Texas?

Caddo Lake lies near the border with Texas, and it’s among the most beautiful lakes in Texas. The beauty of the area is the beautiful cypress trees that grow along the lakefront making it different and stand out among the others.

Where is the best lake to live on in Texas?

Tell me the best lake in Texas that I could live on. This is based on a lot of personal preferences, but Lake Travis in Central TX just northwest of Auston is one of the most desired. Lake Travis in Texas is covered with rolling green hills with clear blue water, which extends for more than 220 miles along the coastline of cities like Smithwick, Spicewood, Lago Vista, Briarcliff, Point Venture, and Volente.

What is the clearest lake in Texas?

Lake Mackenzie is clear and beautiful and ideal for anyone interested in fishing boats or even camping on your own. Visibility at times seems endless, which makes it mirror-like compared to other Texas lakes.

What lake is near the Texas border?

Sabine Lake is a 90000-acre saltwater estuary at the Texas and Louisiana borders. The lake spans 7 miles and forms a confluence with the Neches and Sabine streams.

The largest most southern freshwater lake in Texas sits on the Rio Grande board of Mexico which is Falcon Lake.

What is the 2 biggest lake in Texas?

The Sam Rayburn Reservoir, the second-most populated area of the country, has ample opportunities for fish and water activity and offers over 1,600 acres of water to play on. It’s an excellent spot to plan your next fishing experience