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17 Lakes to Visit Around Dallas Fort Worth

north, south, east and west of the metroplex

With spring on its way, you might be looking for something to do outside—as soon as the weather warms up a bit. One of my favorite things to do is head to one of North Texas’ many lakes. There are endless things to do—fishing, swimming, hiking, grilling out, reading, riding bikes, playing games … should I keep going?

If you’re not sure which one to visit, or you just want to try a new spot, check out this quick guide to lakes around or near Dallas Fort Worth.

NORTH OF DFW

Lewisville Lake
Known for: Originally named Lake Dallas, this reservoir was expanded in 1940s–50s and renamed. The swimming is great at the Little Elm Beach, you can hang out on one of the many open areas with a frisbee or football.

Lake Texoma // ~90 miles
Known for: Texoma is one of the largest reservoirs in the U.S. and a great spot for striper fishing. (Visit the Willis bridge over near Kingston for some good spots.) It’s also a huge favorite for swimming as it has a sandy bottom and a bunch of sandy islands boats can pull up to. One more thing to note: The Texas side has a lot of cliffs and not a lot of beach; the Oklahoma side is flatter. Most of the beach areas are on the islands.

Grapevine Lake
Known for: This lake is super fun for wind surfing and water skiing. There are also some fun spots to camp and great fishing can be found along the rocky shorelines (those bass like to hide out in there). It’s super close to Great Wolf Lodge and the Gaylord Texan Resort too!

Lake Ray Roberts // ~65 miles
Known for: Another great lake with some sandy shores available, Ray Roberts is a beautiful desitnation for swimming and boating. Be careful where you go, though, as spots in the north still have a lot of standing timber (mostly in the northern parts of the lake). The lake is a prime fishing location.

Lake Lavon
Known for: This lake is a great spot for those of you in or near Collin County—it’s located right in Wylie. It’s a great spot for camping and boating (there are a lot of boat ramps).

WEST OF DFW

Eagle Mountain Lake
Known for: This gorgeous lake is a must-see if you live in or are visiting Cowtown. While it’s not as large as some of the other lakes in the area, it still has a lot going for it. The lake is a great spot for fishing and boating.

Lake Worth
Known for: Another Fort Worth lake, Lake Worth is a beautiful spot to spend your day. There are four parks with boat ramps available, so you can easily get out on the water. Be aware that camping is not allowed on-site.

Lake Bridgeport // ~75 miles
Known for: This is a great lake for water sports—skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, you name it. There are also plenty of picnic spots if you want to just relax by the water.

Possum Kingdom Lake // ~100 miles
Known for: This massive lake is definitely a favorite among DFW residents. It’s just far enough away to make you feel like you’ve gotten away on a trip. And when you see some of that clear, blue water, you’ll understand why. Go for hiking, swimming and diving!

Lake Granbury // ~60 miles
Known for: This long, narrow lake is the perfect drive out of Fort Worth for a day or weekend away. Granbury is a fun spot for boating and water skiing. There are also quite a few restaurants with lake views.

SOUTH OF DFW

Joe Pool Lake
Known for: Just south of Dallas near Cedar Hill, this lake is a great spot for fishing. It’s also worth visiting for some hiking, fishing and camping.

Benbrook Lake // ~35 miles
Known for: This body of water is particularly known for its scenic countryside. (Think rolling hills and meadows.) It’s also one of the few lake areas where you can go hunting in addition to the usual camping, fishing and boating.

Lake Whitney // ~80 miles
Known for: Just an hour(ish) south of the Metroplex, it feels like Lake Whitney is still somewhat of a secret. It’s usually not too crowded and has absolutely beautiful cliffs to admire from your boat. There are also some solid RV campgrounds nearby if that’s up your alley.

EAST OF DFW

Lake Ray Hubbard
Known for: A great spot for picnics, camping, fishing and boat charters, this lake has some truly beautiful areas. There are also multiple marinas and parks to choose from, so visitors have plenty of access points.

Cedar Creek Lake // ~70 miles
Known for: An easy drive from Dallas, Cedar Creek is a great spot for a weekend getaway, especially if you want to spend some time fishing. While there aren’t many true beach spots, the lake has a ton of coves that are great for swimming or getting on your skis.

Lake Tawakoni // ~60 miles
Known for: This lake is a very quiet and peaceful spot just east of Dallas. It has great fishing and camping spots but is also known for its forest trails. It even has some ranger programs!

Lake Fork // ~85 miles
Known for: Fishing. This is the bass fishing lake. Most of the lake is standing timber, meaning fish will be all over the place near those trees. There are some buoys that will mark open spots where timber has been cut so you can swim or tube. But be careful—there are stumps everywhere.

Enjoy your lake days!

Image courtesy of iStock.