Forty miles north of San Antonio, Canyon Lake boasts a surface area of more than 8,200 acres, and 80 miles of shoreline. Despite the extensive size, though, it remains a well-kept secret, popular mainly with those who have second homes nearby. The lake offers the full range of water sports, from boating and sailing (there are 23 boat ramps and two marinas), kayaking, and parasailing, to water skiing, scuba diving, and fishing. There are more than eight parks on or near the lake, too, so you'll find plenty of sites for camping and picnics. With its distinctive hilly landscape, live oak trees, limestone terrain, and an assemblage of critters (from white-tailed deer to armadillos), there are few places as characteristic of the Hill Country as Canyon Lake.