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14 Fun Lakes in Dallas (& Nearby)

14 Fun Lakes in Dallas (& Nearby)

If you are looking for a great list of lakes in Dallas (and nearby) then you are in the right place! We grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and still call it home today, so know all of the fabulous lakes in this area.

Escaping the summer heat in Texas is an absolute must, but it gets boring just staying in the air conditioning all of the time. That is when you will see Texans heading out to the lake.

Our Texas lakes provide relief from the heat and load of fun activities, so let’s check out all of the Dallas lakes!

Of course, if you are visiting Dallas during one of the fabulous Texas road trips, then be sure to add one of these lakes to your itinerary!

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    Lakes in Dallas

    White Rock Lake

    Head about 5.5 miles northeast of downtown Dallas to find this popular lake.

    What originated as a reservoir to help provide drinking water to the area has become one of the most popular lakes in North Texas. Honestly, White Rock Lake is busy both during the week and on the weekends.

    Dallasites from all over flock to White Rock Lake to enjoy some time outdoors. Popular activities at White Rock Lake include paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing.

    If you are in the mood for some exercise, you can definitely make that happen at this Texas lake thanks for the 9+ mile paved trail that circles the lake. People enjoy the walking trails for walking, jogging, and cycling!

    The fact that this lake is bordered on one side by The Dallas Arboretum makes for a beautiful backdrop. It is no wonder that White Rock is one of our recommended Dallas date ideas as well.

    This is just one of the best lakes in Dallas to enjoy a day outside.

    Bachman Lake

    You will find Bachman Lake in northwest Dallas. This small lake has been on the comeback in recent years thanks to a renewed environmental effort from the local community.

    The 3.5 mile path that surrounds the lake is the perfect place to get some exercise biking or jogging.

    Bachman Lake is also a popular with fishermen as they are known to pull largemouth bass and channel catfish out of this lake.

    While visiting Bachman Lake, be sure to check out the Bachman Recreation Center and consider taking part in the activities offered at their indoor aquatic centre.

    Read Next: Weekend Getaways in Texas

    Joe Pool Lake

    You will find Joe Pool Lake located about 30 minutes southwest of the city center in the town of Cedar Hill, but still part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

    Joe Pool Lake originated for the residents in the area, but has quickly grown to be one of the premier lakes in North Texas. That can be contributed to the fabulous park land that surround the 7,500-acre lake.

    On the eastern shore of the lake you will find Cedar Hill State Park. If you want to enjoy a weekend in nature, then Cedar Hill State Park is the place for you.

    Grab your tent and head to find the perfect place to do some tent camping. This won’t be hard to do as this lakeside park offers 350 developed campsites that all have access to restrooms and hot showers. In addition to this, they also offer primitive campsites you can hike to.

    Once settled, you can explore the 1,200 acres of hiking and mountain biking trails before hitting the lake for some water sports.

    Of course, you can also fish while visiting Cedar Hill State Park. The best part about fishing in a state park is that you don’t have to have a fishing license when shore fishing or pier fishing while in a state park!

    On the northwest side of Joe Pool Lake, you will find Loyd Park. There is an entry fee per car, but that is because Loyd Park is loaded with amenities. This park offers guests a volleyball court, playground, picnic tables, and more.

    The northwest side of the lake is home to Lynn Creek State Park.

    Lynn Creek is another of the Texas parks that allows guests to enjoy the amenities of the park for a per car fee. The amenities here include volleyball courts, baseball fields, boat ramps, and a swimming beach.

    At the north end of the lake, you will find Lynn Creek Marina. This is a great place to come and grab one of the boat rentals before heading out to join the party at party cove.

    Of course all of the parks offer lake access to enjoy some fun recreational activities.

    Read Next: 12 Lakes in Austin That You Will Love

    Lake Arlington

    Lake Arlington is located about 20 minutes west of downtown Dallas.

    This is one of the best lakes in the area for bass fishing and they even host a bass tournament here every year, the Arlington Bass Classic.

    Don’t worry if you aren’t a fisherman though, you can still enjoy Lake Arlington. Many people come here to follow the paddling trail through the lake.

    Access to Lake Arlington can be found at Bowman Springs Park and Richard Simpson Park. Each of these public parks offer walking trails, a picnic area, boat ramps, and more!

    Lake Lewisville

    Originally called Lake Dallas, Lake Lewisville is located north of Dallas on the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.

    Like most Texas lakes, Lewisville Lake originated as a water reservoir for local residence, but quickly became one of the best lakes in Dallas for recreational activities.

    Not only that, but the 230 miles of shoreline make this a fabulous lake to spend a day at as there are several public parks located here.

    The parks offer picnic areas, boat ramps, fishing piers, and some even have a designated swimming area.

    One of the most popular parks is Lewisville Lake Park. Located 30 minutes from downtown Dallas, this lake park is huge, encompassing over 600 acres!

    In addition to the campsites, picnic areas, and boat ramps, Lewisville Lake Park also has an 18-hole golf course and an 18-hole disc golf course!

    Read Next: 19 Texas State Parks Near San Antonio

    Mountain Creek Lake

    Head southwest of Dallas to the town of Grand Prairie to find Mountain Creek Lake. What started as a reservoir to cool the local power plant has become a popular lake.

    There is a boat ramp on the east side of the lake where you can launch your boat. Just take note, if fishing on Mountain Creek Lake, you do have to catch and release. The fish caught here are not safe to eat.

    You can enjoy a day at the lake when you visit Mountain Creek Lake Park. This park offers baseball fields, soccer fields, picnic areas, and more.

    Grapevine Lake

    Head to the the far northwest Dallas area (about 20 miles to be exact) and you will find the Dallas suburb of Grapevine and Grapevine Lake.

    Grapevine Lake is one of the best lakes in Dallas for lake recreation. You will find people water skiing, jet skiing, fishing, and more on this Dallas lake!

    Surrounding Lake Grapevine, you will find three marinas and several public park areas. The marinas on Lake Grapevine offer everything you need for a fun day out on the lake, including boat rentals.

    While here, don’t miss your opportunity to check out the 9.5 mile bike trail, North Shore Trail and take time to explore the town of Grapevine!

    You will also find swimming beaches, nature trails, and numerous parks to enjoy all around Lake Grapevine.

    Read Next: 20 Fabulous Beaches in Texas

    Lake Ray Hubbard

    You will find Lake Ray Hubbard about 30 minutes northeast of Dallas. Containing more than 22,ooo acres, this is one of the largest lakes in this area. I mean, it is massive!

    Lake Ray Hubbard boasts several parks, 3 marinas, and enough water for everyone to find their perfect spot.

    If you are looking for a place to enjoy Lake Ray Hubbard for the day, then consider Windsurf Bay Park. Windsurf Bay Park is a 42-acre park that contains picnic areas and a fairly long “beach” area. The best thing is, it is free for day use!

    Like most of the lakes on our list, Lake Ray Hubbard is a great lake for all sorts of water activities. Fishing is popular here thanks to the largemouth bass and crappie that are often caught out of this lake.

    Of course, during the summer months, you will see people all over the lake swimming, skiing, and wakeboarding.

    On the east side of Lake Ray Hubbard, you will find the Harbor at Rockwall. This is one of the hot spots located on our list of Dallas lakes.

    The Harbor at Rockwall is a fabulous commercial and entertainment area. Here you can find great restaurants and live entertainment venues to check out.

    Read Next: Souvenirs From Texas That You Will Love

    Cedar Creek Reservoir

    So, not technically in Dallas, Cedar Creek Reservoir is close enough and is definitely worth a visit if you are in the Dallas area.

    Stretching across two counties, Cedar Creek Reservoir is the fourth largest lake in Texas and supplies water to Fort Worth and the surrounding water districts in Tarrant County.

    Built on Cedar Creek, which is a tributary of the Trinity River, boasts great cabin rentals, over 320 miles of shoreline, and loads of opportunities for fun lake activities.

    Fishing is one of the most popular activities here. Anglers are known to catch blue catfish, white bass, channel catfish, crappie, and more.

    This popularity among fishermen also means that there are numerous fishing tournaments held here as well!

    Lake Granbury

    Lake Granbury

    Just about an hour southwest of Dallas is the fun Texas small town of Granbury. While there are plenty of things to do in Granbury, it is the lake that draws many people to visit.

    A reservoir of the Brazos River, Lake Granbury is a 8,000 acre aquatic playground.

    In addition to all of the traditional water activities that you can enjoy on the lake, you can also enjoy the Granbury City Park Beach.

    The Granbury City Park Beach includes a sandy beach, a protected swimming area, volleyball courts, and picnic facilities. You can also rent stand up paddleboards, kayaks, and flotation devices here!

    Lake Tawakoni

    East of Dallas, you will find Lake Tawakoni. Named after the Native Americans that once called this area home, Lake Tawakoni was created as a water reservoir for the local community.

    Today, people flock to Lake Tawakoni to enjoy a fun day on the lake. Popular activities include boating, fishing, skiing, and wakeboarding. Swimming is also popular here thanks to the 320-kilometers of shoreline.

    Lake Tawakoni is also home to a fabulous state park, Lake Tawakoni State Park. Containing more than 376 acres of land, this state park is a great place to spend the weekend.

    The state park has hiking trails, swimming areas, opportunities to birdwatch, and camp sites. The 5+ miles of hiking trails are one of the most popular attractions here.

    Read Next: Weekend in Austin: The Perfect 2 or 3 Day Austin Itinerary

    Lavon Lake

    One of the largest lakes in North Texas, Lavon Lake is over 21,000 acres that contains over 120 miles of shoreline.

    This massive lake has everything that you would want for a fun trip to the lake.

    Of course, the popularity of Lake Lavon is due in part to the fact that this massive lake rarely feels crowded. You will see boats zipping all over the lake but there is ample room for everyone to enjoy their aquatic activities.

    Lake Lavon has 16 parks, numerous camping sites, multiple beaches, and loads of picnic sites.

    In addition to all of this, there are also many hiking and biking trails in the area.

    Read Next: Weekend Getaways From Dallas: 20 Great Choices

    Richland Chambers

    Another water reservoir, Richland Chambers is located about an hour southeast of Dallas.

    This is one of the best recreational lakes in the Dallas area.

    The fact that this lake offers lake access in numerous places makes it easy and fun to enjoy a day out on the water at this east Texas lake.

    Here you will see people enjoying boating, fishing, jet skiing, and more.

    If you are wanting to make a weekend trip out of Richland Chambers Lake, then you will be happy to know that there are numerous camping and RV sites available around the lake. Of course, there are also several hotels and Airbnb’s to choose from also.

    Lake Bridgeport

    Another fabulous lake in Texas is Lake Bridgeport. Located in North Texas, about 2 hours outside of downtown Dallas, Lake Bridgeport is a beautiful lake near Dallas to explore.

    This lake reservoir was created by damming the west fork of the Trinity River to assist in water collection for the surrounding community.

    One of the favorite local lakes for anglers, fishermen are noted to catch several species of bass and crappie out of this North Texas lake.

    In addition to fishing, you can also enjoy a day near the water thanks to Wise County Park which sits at the north end of the lake. Here you can enjoy the swimming beach, picnic facilities, playground, and campsites that are available.

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    Michelle Snell founder of That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel

    About The Author

    Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel.  Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region.  She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.

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    Saturday 4th of June 2022

    I had no idea there were so many lakes and gorgeous places so close to Dallas! I go there all of the time for work and layovers. Will definitely have to check a couple of these out.


    Monday 7th of March 2022

    So many beautiful lakes! I lived near Dallas during my childhood but never really went to the lakes. Grapevine Lake looks so beautiful!


    Tuesday 8th of March 2022

    There really are. We love the lakes just to escape the summer heat. LOL!

    Bea CiƄska

    Sunday 6th of March 2022

    I had no idea Texas had so many lakes! I can't wait to visit one day. This state has been on my bucket list for a long time.


    Saturday 5th of March 2022

    You got some great pictures. Such beautiful lakes and lots to do in the area. You should never get bored!


    Saturday 26th of February 2022

    I really had no idea about all these stunning lakes around Dallas. Really great idea for a post and live the look of that sunset on Lavinia Lake.