Discover the Top Two Largest Lakes Located in Texas

Tourist Attractions

By Christine Hitt

Texas, the second largest state in the United States, is known for its vast and diverse geography. From the deserts of West Texas to the rolling hills of the Hill Country, the Lone Star State offers a wide range of natural wonders. Among its many features, Texas is home to several lakes that are not only popular for recreational activities but also serve as important sources of water for the state.

When it comes to the two largest lakes in Texas, one can’t help but mention the iconic Lake Sam Rayburn and the massive Toledo Bend Reservoir. Located in the eastern part of the state, both of these lakes are renowned for their size, scenic beauty, and abundance of outdoor opportunities.

Lake Sam Rayburn, named after the late Congressman Sam Rayburn, is the largest lake entirely within the borders of Texas. With a surface area of over 114,000 acres, this sprawling reservoir is a mecca for fishing enthusiasts. It is home to a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. The lake also offers ample opportunities for boating, kayaking, and water skiing.

Just a short distance away, Toledo Bend Reservoir spans across the Texas-Louisiana border, making it the largest reservoir in the state. This massive body of water, with a surface area of over 185,000 acres, is a popular destination for both anglers and water sports enthusiasts. With its pristine shores, abundant wildlife, and clear blue waters, Toledo Bend Reservoir attracts visitors from near and far.

Overview of Texas lakes

Texas is home to a vast network of lakes, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and water lovers. With an area of approximately 268,597 square miles, the state boasts numerous lakes of varying sizes and characteristics. These lakes offer opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming, and other recreational activities.

One of the standout features of Texas is the presence of two large lakes – Lake Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend Reservoir. Both these lakes are not only the largest in Texas but also rank among the largest lakes in the United States.

Lake Sam Rayburn, also known as “Big Sam,” covers an impressive surface area of 114,500 acres, making it the largest lake entirely within the borders of Texas. Located in the east Texas piney woods, this reservoir attracts anglers from all over the country due to its excellent fishing opportunities. With abundant fish species like largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie, fishing enthusiasts can enjoy a thrilling and rewarding experience.

Toledo Bend Reservoir, on the other hand, straddles the border between Texas and Louisiana. This massive lake spans approximately 185,000 acres, with about 65% of its surface in Texas. It is renowned for its scenic beauty, abundant wildlife, and exceptional fishing. Anglers flock to Toledo Bend Reservoir to catch a variety of fish species, including bass, catfish, and crappie. Additionally, the lake’s size and depth make it an ideal spot for boating, water skiing, and other water sports activities.

Aside from these two impressive lakes, Texas also offers numerous other notable lakes, including Lake Texoma, Lake Whitney, and Lake Buchanan. Each of these lakes has its unique characteristics and attractions, providing ample opportunities for outdoor adventures and scenic beauty.

Lake Name Surface Area (acres) Location
Lake Sam Rayburn 114,500 Angelina National Forest, Texas
Toledo Bend Reservoir 185,000 (65% in Texas) Between Texas and Louisiana
Lake Texoma 89,000 Between Texas and Oklahoma
Lake Whitney 23,500 Hill County, Texas
Lake Buchanan 22,333 Central Texas

Lake Sam Rayburn

Lake Sam Rayburn, also known as Sam Rayburn Reservoir, is the largest lake in Texas by surface area. It is located in the east Texas Piney Woods and covers an impressive 114,500 acres. The lake is named after Sam Rayburn, a former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from Texas.

Sam Rayburn Reservoir was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the early 1960s for flood control, navigation, and water supply purposes. Today, it serves as an important recreational destination for boating, fishing, swimming, and camping.

The lake offers a diverse range of fish species, including largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, and sunfish, making it a popular spot for anglers. There are also several boat ramps and marinas available for boaters to access the lake.

For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, Lake Sam Rayburn is surrounded by beautiful forests and wildlife. The area is home to a variety of bird species and provides opportunities for birdwatching and hiking.

Overall, Lake Sam Rayburn is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to enjoy the great outdoors in Texas. Its expansive size, diverse fish population, and scenic surroundings make it a true gem in the Lone Star State.

A brief description of Lake Sam Rayburn

Lake Sam Rayburn, also known as Sam Rayburn Reservoir, is one of the largest lakes in Texas. Located in the eastern part of the state, Lake Sam Rayburn covers an area of approximately 114,500 acres. It is named after Sam Rayburn, who served as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1940 to 1961.

The lake was created in the 1960s as a reservoir and flood control measure on the Angelina River. It is operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and is a popular destination for outdoor recreation activities such as fishing, boating, and camping.

With its diverse fish population, Lake Sam Rayburn is renowned as a top destination for anglers. The lake is home to various species of fish, including largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, and more. The annual Big Bass Splash fishing tournament, held on Lake Sam Rayburn, attracts anglers from all over the country.

Lake Sam Rayburn Details
Location Eastern Texas
Size Approximately 114,500 acres
Year Created 1960s
Main Purpose Reservoir and flood control
Operator United States Army Corps of Engineers

In addition to its recreational activities, Lake Sam Rayburn also provides water supply for nearby communities and helps regulate the flow of the Angelina River. The lake’s scenic beauty and tranquil atmosphere make it a favorite spot for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful getaway.

Whether you are an avid angler or simply looking to unwind in a serene environment, Lake Sam Rayburn offers a wealth of opportunities for relaxation and outdoor adventure.

Toledo Bend Reservoir

The Toledo Bend Reservoir is one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States and the largest in Texas. It is located on the Sabine River, which forms the border between Texas and Louisiana. With a surface area of over 185,000 acres, it offers plenty of space for water recreation and outdoor activities.

The reservoir was created in the 1960s by the Sabine River Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide water supply, hydroelectric power, and flood control for the region. It stretches for over 65 miles, with a maximum depth of 110 feet.

Toledo Bend Reservoir is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts, as it is home to a wide variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, and striped bass. The lake holds several fishing tournaments throughout the year, attracting anglers from all over the country.

In addition to fishing, Toledo Bend Reservoir offers opportunities for boating, water skiing, swimming, and camping. There are numerous public boat ramps, marinas, and RV parks along the lake’s shoreline, making it easily accessible for visitors.

The surrounding area also offers hiking trails, bird watching, and wildlife viewing. The lake is known for its scenic beauty, with pristine forests and abundant wildlife.

Whether you’re an avid angler, a nature lover, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Toledo Bend Reservoir has something to offer for everyone. Its size, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities make it one of the top attractions in Texas.

Exploring Toledo Bend Reservoir

Toledo Bend Reservoir is one of the most popular and scenic lakes in Texas. Located on the border of Texas and Louisiana, it spans over 185,000 acres and offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors.

This massive reservoir is renowned for its excellent fishing opportunities. Anglers from all over flock to Toledo Bend for the chance to catch trophy-sized bass, crappie, and catfish. The reservoir also hosts numerous fishing tournaments throughout the year.

In addition to fishing, Toledo Bend Reservoir is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Boating, water skiing, and jet skiing are all popular activities on the lake. With over 1,200 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty of room for everyone to enjoy these exhilarating water activities.

For those who prefer a slower pace, Toledo Bend offers peaceful opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. Exploring the lake’s serene coves and quiet backwaters is a great way to connect with nature and unwind.

The reservoir is surrounded by beautiful forests and provides plenty of opportunities for camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Numerous campgrounds and hiking trails are available for visitors to enjoy the natural beauty and diverse wildlife that call Toledo Bend home.

Whether you’re an avid angler, a water sports enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat in nature, Toledo Bend Reservoir has something for everyone. Its stunning beauty, diverse recreational opportunities, and abundant wildlife make it a must-visit destination in Texas.

Lake Livingston

Lake Livingston is the second largest lake in Texas, with a surface area of 90,000 acres. It is located in East Texas, about 80 miles north of Houston. The lake was created in 1969 by the construction of the Livingston Dam on the Trinity River.

The lake serves as a major water supply source for the city of Houston and surrounding areas. It is managed by the Trinity River Authority and is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and other recreational activities.

The lake is known for its diverse fish population, including largemouth bass, striped bass, and catfish. Anglers can also find white bass, crappie, and sunfish in the lake.

Lake Information
Surface Area 90,000 acres
Location East Texas
Distance from Houston 80 miles
Year Created 1969
Managing Authority Trinity River Authority

Whether you are looking to relax by the water, go fishing, or enjoy a variety of water sports, Lake Livingston offers something for everyone. Its scenic beauty and abundant wildlife make it a must-visit destination in Texas.

About Lake Livingston

Lake Livingston is one of the largest lakes in Texas, spanning over 90,000 acres. Located in East Texas, the lake is formed by the construction of the Livingston Dam on the Trinity River.

The lake offers a variety of recreational activities, making it a popular destination for visitors. Boating enthusiasts can enjoy sailing, motor boating, and jet skiing on the expansive lake waters. Fishing is also a favorite pastime, with an abundance of catfish, bass, and crappie in the lake.

For those looking to relax and soak in the natural beauty, Lake Livingston State Park is a must-visit. The park offers camping facilities, picnic areas, and hiking trails that wind through the picturesque surroundings. Visitors can also enjoy swimming in designated areas of the lake.

In addition to its recreational offerings, Lake Livingston plays a vital role in supplying water to nearby communities. The lake serves as a reservoir, providing a reliable source of water for residential, agricultural, and industrial needs.

With its scenic beauty and diverse range of activities, Lake Livingston is a true gem of Texas. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful getaway, this lake has something to offer for everyone.

Lake Texoma

Lake Texoma is one of the two largest lakes in Texas, spanning across the state lines of Texas and Oklahoma. It was formed by the construction of the Denison Dam on the Red River in 1944.

The lake covers an enormous surface area of approximately 89,000 acres, making it a popular destination for boating, fishing, and other water recreational activities. Its shoreline extends for over 580 miles, offering plenty of space for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and enjoy.

Lake Texoma is known for its diverse and abundant fish population, including species such as largemouth bass, striped bass, and catfish. Fishing is a popular pastime here, with many tournaments and events held throughout the year.

In addition to its recreational activities, Lake Texoma also serves as a major water source for surrounding areas, providing water for drinking, irrigation, and industries.

Visitors to Lake Texoma can choose from a variety of accommodations, including campgrounds, cabins, and resorts. The lake is also surrounded by several state parks, offering beautiful scenic views and opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife observation.

Overall, Lake Texoma is a beloved destination for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in the beauty of Texas’ largest lakes.

Video:

Great Lakes Geography/Great Lakes North America

Photo of author

Christine Hitt

Christine Hitt, a devoted Hawaii enthusiast from Oahu, has spent 15 years exploring the islands, sharing her deep insights in respected publications such as Los Angeles Times, SFGate, Honolulu, and Hawaii magazines. Her expertise spans cultural nuances, travel advice, and the latest updates, making her an invaluable resource for all Hawaii lovers.

Leave a Comment