Best Texas Lakes

The best Texas lakes may be in every corner of the state. Do you think? Or do you think they're concentrated in certain areas? One thing's for sure, many are created from damming rivers or major streams.

We all know Texas is a huge U.S. Southwestern state. With coastal areas, hills, plains, deserts, mountains, piney woods and all kinds of areas in between. And through it all go the rivers, streams - and the lakes.

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We've traveled Texas quite a bit. And we're not done yet! Have you been there? Are you planning to go? Do you live in Texas?

All told, there's certainly lots & lots of lakes. So together let's find some of the best lakes in Texas. See if you agree! Maybe you'll be willing to Add Your Favorites to the mix?!


Tops of the Best Lakes in Texas

we ask you to pick your best Texas lake. a woman here seems like she has found hers.
1st, 2nd and 3rd place medals hanging from ribbons.

Sometimes you just have to pick a couple you feel are the best Texas lakes of all. We'll choose our own Top 3 Texas Lakes. See if you like them, or if not! 


Then You can...


3rd Best Texas Lake

LAKE BOB SANDLIN

Damming Big Cypress Creek created this reservoir & adjacent Lake Cypress Springs. Once called Fort Sherman Dam Lake & Cherokee Trail Lake. Now named for business/civic leader. Historically the site of Fort Sherman.1 Why it's among the best Texas Lakes:2

  • Its beauty, in transitional habitat from eastern Piney Woods to Blackland Prairie called Post Oak Savannah. 
  • You get autumn color spectacular in a warmer climate, with redbud, dogwood, oak, hickory, maple, & pine tree varieties.
  • The lake is large (9000 acres), without being overwhelming. Like when windy days prevent boating, but not ocean-like waves!

LAKE BOB SANDLIN STATE PARK - Adjacent, has all the recreational amenities: boating/launch ramp, trails for hiking or bicycling, geocaching, picnicking.

  • Fishing (no license needed in park from shore/lighted pier), fishing-pole loaners & fish cleaning station. 
  1. Stocked Trout & Brim Ponds. Try for largemouth bass, catfish & crappie.
  • Kayak rentals available
  • Camping via your style: 75 water/electric sites, 16 primitive hike-in sites, 12 screened shelter sites/electric, basic cabins with ac/heat. 
  1. To reserve: 512-389-8900. Busiest March-October.

2nd Best Texas Lake

LAKE WHITNEY

Choose your preferred access on these pristine Brazos River created waters.

Get There: Near Hillsboro take I-35, either Exits 367/368/B to Rt. 22W., arriving at South end of this 2nd best Texas lake.

Why the best? Picturesque at over 200+ shoreline miles. Usually known for clarity, with excellent boating & fishing (try for stripers!).

Teens love diving from the "White Cliffs of Whitney!"3 

Washita Prairie location has gorgeous springtime wildflower displays. Plus it's dotted with diverse shade trees.

Ideal Lake Whitney Texas Lake Places to Visit South to North:

Whitney Dam - Has overlook & picnic area. Plus below the dam, there's Riverside Park. Army Corps of Engineers operation. 254-622-3332

Walling Bend Park - West side. Corps of Engineers provided boat launches, primitive camp-sites. There are cliff-bluffs for diving.

Lofers Bend Park - Off Hwy. 22. Two campgrounds: West & East. A marina has boat storage, with campsite & cabin rentals (call 254-694-3129). Plus day-use area with swimming beach & picnicking.

Lake Whitney State Park - Fabulous place to stay, for their campgrounds with full hookups, elec/water or just water. 137 In All

No tent/RV? They have screened shelters, too.

Once there: take a trail, try a Ranger program, see local animal life, swim, find a geocache, go boating OR Fishing:

  • The boat ramp gets you on the lake to try for largemouth, striped or white bass, if you're licensed
  • OR borrow their fishing gear! Without a license OK to fish from park's pier or shore
  • Use the fish-cleaning station & cook 'em up for dinner!

McCown Valley Park - Oak & Cedar trees scattered over lovely meadows.

  • Variety of campgrounds include electric and/or water, equestrian, shelters & primitive. 
  • Kids love the playground & will love you helping them spot deer or wild turkeys! 
  • Have fun boating (motors, canoes, kayaks), fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking.
  • From Whitney take Jefferson West, make left onto 1236/1231 to park.

Cedron Creek Park - Army Corp. of Engineers. Well-run, between creek & lake's west side. Access north of McCown, across Katy Bridge. 

  • Must Reserve your campsite, April-Sept. 
  • Noncampers pay to use park facilities!5

Juniper Cove Park - Between the lake & Cedar Creek. Army Corp. of Engineers property.

  • Gorgeous sunset views. 
  • On-site concession: Lake Whitney Marina with boat slips and storage. Plus fuel, sales, two ramps and more. 
  • They run a campground with variable hook-ups and cabins. 254-694-3129 to reserve.

Steele Creek Park - Another Army Corp of Engineers facility. Roomy park on a peninsula between Steele Creek & where the Brazos River transitions into a lake.

  • 21 basic, free campsites with cooker/fire rings. Water & 2 restrooms available. 2 boat launches.
  • Accessed from FM56 to 1304, on Lake Whitney's west side,5 near its top. 
picnic table amidst trees by a lakeLakeside Site at Steele Creek Park

You can find even more parks & points of interest all around Lake Whitney. How could it not be one of the best Texas lakes?

Some might even say its got some of the Best Things to Do at a lake!


Number One Best Texas Lake

POSSUM KINGDOM LAKE

This one is tops in our view.

Large enough, about 20,000 acres. But with many stunning side coves, giving the feel of a smaller lake: 300+ shoreline miles.

Kind-of reminding us of our own sort of lake of that type: Lake Powell in Arizona (tho' much of it a Utah Lake!).

But here in Possum Kingdom, this absolutely best Texas lake accommodates plenty of entertainment styles all around its shores!

Gorgeous cliffside areas! The best boating opportunities.

The lake waters are delightfully blue & clean. The Brazos River Valley's scenic beauty, amidst Palo Pinto Mountain foothills, is irresistible. It's certainly among the Prettiest Texas Lakes.

Have a look at a great place to access it:

Possum Kingdom State Park - 1500 acres here is ideal for checking out the lake.

  • Choose your style of Campground Stay: water/elec site, water only, primitive walk-in. Numerous lakeside choices. 
  • Or upgrade! Stay in A Cabin with AC/heat, electric, kitchen, bathroom.
  • Hike on one of three trails, see the park's Points of Interest, or try geocaching. 
  • Kids playgrounds, Ranger programs. Forget/need anything? Well stocked store at hand.

THE LAKE'S WATER! 

Fish from shore or pier, no license required!

Have a license? Then put a Boat In at the launch & try for white, largemouth & striped bass. You may catch blue or channel catfish. Almost certainly white crappie!

Bring your own boat. Or rent one, even paddle style (kids love it!) or kayaks.

Clean your catch at the Fish Station & cook 'em for dinner over your campfire!

What else IN THE WATER?

  • Water skiing your thing? Plenty of room for that!
  • Under water intrigue you? Alright! Go for snorkeling, even scuba! (Remember that clear water!)
  • Or just swim at the beach (own risk, no lifeguard).

Beaches on Possum Kingdom Lake - Go swimming, there are several exceptional public beaches.

Sandy Beach -  No fee weekdays/off-season. Summer Weekends/+Holiday Rates: $3 mid-May to mid-Sept.

  • Quite nice, its name is descriptive. Sand is just like an ocean's seashore! 
  • Restrooms with showers, picnic area with shelters, playground, boat launch.6,7 
  • From Hwy. 16, take Park Rd. 36/2951 all the way out.

Bug Beach - The beach is nice here also, with good sand.

  • Free entry, boat ramp, trailhead, picnicking. 
  • 10 free tent sites have tables, grill/fire pits.6,7 
  • Head toward Sandy Beach,6 but after the left for Colonel's Row, watch soon to take a left onto Frontier Unit Rd., then next left on Bug Beach Rd.

Brazos River Authority North D & D - Nice sandy beach within, plus a campground, playground, restroom with showers, boat ramp & dock.

  • Free weekdays/off-season. Other times: May-Sept. - Day Use $3; Camping $10 nite.7 
  • Get there: head for Sandy/Bug Beach on 2951. After crossroads of TV Tower/Harris, watch for right ahead for N.D&D Loop.

Don't Forget the Beach in the State Park!

More Outdoor Activities - You'll find lakeside golf courses, many more campgrounds, resorts & marinas with all kinds of water craft rentals (explore the lake's islands!). And what else?

Take a Road Trip over to Mineral Wells Fossil Park. East via Hwys. 16, 254 & 337. 

  • Pretty "cool" & kids especially love this! Use caution to search for 300-million year-old fossils. People say easy to find.
  • Handy equipment: small trowel, baggies for your treasures, gardening gloves & something to kneel on. Bring water, too! Watch for snakes, scorpions, etc.
  • Free entry, opens 8am. Til 3pm weekdays, til dusk weekends.

Take the PK Hike/Bike Trail - Trail through cedar/oak forest natural/primitive areas near the lakeside.

  • For hiking/bicycling (nothing motorized). 
  • Many trailheads have restrooms, trash disposal, parking. 
  • No water (bring yours), leash your pets. Use planning sense: be fit enough for steep inclines/uneven pathways.

If the Weather Turns On You! Now it doesn't happen very often, but you may want some indoor things to do on those occasions. Best to call ahead for hours.8

Road Trip to Swenson Memorial Museum - In Breckenridge. Approx. 1 hour drive.

  • Excellent pioneering history in the TX Forts Trail Region. 254-559-8471. 
  • From Possum Kingdom Lake's N/W side, get 1148W to 67S which meets your right turn on 180W. 
  • From PK Lake's eastern side at Possum Kingdom Bridge, take 16S to 180W. Just over 2-1/2 miles, after Hwy. 183 on right.

Road Trip to Old Jail Museum ComplexIn Palo Pinto. Approx. 45 minute drive. 

  • See the jail/jail-yard, the Dog Trot Moseley & Johnson Cabin & Carriage House.  940-325-2557
  • From Possum Kingdom State Park, take PkRd.33 out of park for 4-1/2 miles, where it curves left. Follow to Caddo & make left on Hwy.180 for about 24 miles into town. Make right on S.5th Ave., it's 2-1/2 blocks on left. 

Do you agree this is totally the best of all the Texas lakes? Some might even say one of the Prettiest Texas Lakes!

What do you think?


More Texas Lakes That May be Best?

Texas has so many more lakes, there must be a greater number than we've mentioned that are the best and prettiest Texas lakes. What other Texas Lakes to Visit do you know?

Honorable Mentions for the Best Texas Lakes


Hubbard Creek Lake

If you like to get away from it all, this could be one of the best Texas lakes to do that!

It's pretty huge, almost 15,000 acres!9 Close to the town of Breckenridge, North Central part of the state. That's where to get your supplies. What makes this created reservoir one of the best?

  • Since its creation, still has many dead trees, like Black Willow, visible at shallow edges.9 With right lighting & times of the year, makes for great photo ops. 
  • Along with buttonbush, & other aquatic/brushy vegetation, lots of areas for superior fishing. Especially if you like crappie! But not bad for white & largemouth bass & catfish.9
  • Boating amidst few! Such a huge lake almost to yourself. 
  • Four public ramps & some private ones get your boat Into The Water: Paul Prater Landing (also usable at low water), Bob Clark Landing, Corley Ramp, & Peeler's Pier.10 
  • Tow your boat there, however. Lakeside marinas are there only for sales/service.
  • Hubbard Creek Reservoir Public Park - 2 acres with picnicking, fishing & swimming. Primitive camping, no drinking water. No off-road vehicles. Find it at the North end of the dam.10
  • Duck Hunting Good To Go! Only from watercraft during open migratory waterfowl season. No Using firearms on Water District grounds or <1000 feet from residential/public access.10
  • One Drawback - Watch for Private Property. Posted with signs or purple posts.10

Green Lake Texas

It's the largest natural, fresh-water lake within the borders of the whole state of Texas! Yet it's not even very large, about 10,000 surface acres.1 

We also love it for its location near Corpus Christi & Port Aransas.

Named for the unique greenish color! So they say.

There are efforts to make A Park for it. There are lots of novelties regarding it, to qualify for our list of best Texas lakes.


Sabine Lake

Adjacent to Port Arthur, the Sabine Lake borders Louisiana. Two river mouths open onto its waters: the Sabine River & Neches River.

It runs about 14 miles generally from North to South, & about half that width. 

The waters are brackish, covering about 45,320 surface acres. Continually refreshed with inflow from rivers & its watershed, plus averaging up to 60 inches of yearly rainfall.1

As a tidal estuary, it's an important feature for bird & marine life.

On the Texas side, Port Arthur is very urban & in the thick of the oil industry. A natural opening to the Gulf of Mexico is called Sabine Pass.10

What we love about this Texas lake, is the saltwater/gulf proximity & feel.

And the fishing mix here. How about trout, plus flounder?11 Don't forget redfish, red snapper, ling, amberjack, shark & even more!12 And lots of knowledgeable guides to help you out, if you need it!


What's Your Own Best Texas Lake?

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