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Top Texas Lakes

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Texas has spring-fed lakes perfect for swimming, vast reservoirs for sailing, urban water settings in which to spend the day in a tube, and places for water sports such as windsurfing, parasailing and the now universally popular stand-up paddle boarding. Along the shores of many of them you'll find parks for hiking, horseback riding, birding, geocache excursions, and even 4,000-year-old Native American paintings. In Texas, if you are told to “go jump in a lake,” it’s often a very good idea.
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Dallas may not have the hills of Austin or the coastline of Galveston, but locals get their fix of natural splendor at White Rock Lake. Developed in 1911 as a water source for the city, the man-made lake is now the focal point for a 1,015-acre...
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200 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704, USA
It might be a part of the Colorado River—a man-made reservoir carved out of the river in 1960—but everyone calls the body of water bisecting Austin Lady Bird Lake. On hot summer days, scores of walkers and joggers move...
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106 City Park Rd, Boerne, TX 78006, USA
A short drive northwest of San Antonio sits Boerne, where the City Lake Park has the relaxed feel you’d expect from a small Hill Country town—but because this is Texas, "small" is not quite as it seems. Along with kayaking, paddle boarding, and a...
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127 Sherwood Dr, Canyon Lake, TX 78133, USA
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...
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7696 Hwy 255, Jasper, TX 75951, USA
Located north of the East Texas town of Jasper, in the heart of the Piney Woods, the vast Sam Rayburn Reservoir extends for more than 110,000 acres of surface water. Activities include swimming (most of the parks have beaches), boating, trail...
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301 Fm 2025 Rd, Coldspring, TX 77331, USA
On the eastern side of Sam Houston National Forest (one of four national forests in Texas) sits the jewel-like Double Lake, which feels worlds away from civilization (though Houston's only about an hour’s drive.) Planned and built by the...
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300 State Park Rd 65, Livingston, TX 77351, USA
Drive about an hour north of Houston to find Lake Livingston State Park—which, with about 90,000 acres of surface water, is one of the state's largest. In addition to expected pursuits like swimming and boating, the lake is celebrated for its...
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229 Park Rd 63, Wichita Falls, TX 76310, USA
Just 14 miles southeast of Wichita Falls, Lake Arrowhead State Park contains a reservoir lake with more than 16,000 surface acres of water and 100 miles of shoreline. Though far from the lush forests of east and southeast Texas, this state park...
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3901 St Park Rd 33, Caddo, TX 76429, USA
The 20,000 acres of Possum Kingdom Lake make up the heart of Possum Kingdom State Park, located in the semi-arid canyon country formed by the Palo Pinto Mountains and the Brazos River Valley. Built as a reservoir in the late 1930’s by the Works...
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9685 US-90, Del Rio, TX 78840, USA
You might be surprised to find one of the largest reservoir lakes in the state here. The lake was formed as a result of the Amstad Dam, an international cooperative project completed in 1969. With an astounding 547 miles of shoreline (on the Texas...
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6550 Comanche Trail, Austin, TX 78732, USA
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Lake Travis, approximately 20 miles northwest of Austin, is one of seven reservoirs, known as the Highland Lakes, formed by dams along the lower Colorado River (Lady Bird Lake in Austin is another). Travis is the largest and, despite its depth,...