Created in 1942 to help with flood control and support the Mansfield Dam, Lake Travis is the second-largest reservoir in the Highland Chain of lakes made up by the Colorado River. Today, Lake Travis provides flood control, drinking water to the greater Austin area, and hydroelectric power. While the lake is extremely useful, it also provides hours of endless recreation for Austin area residents. Over 65 miles long, the lake is full of great swimming spots, calm waters for boating, and is home to a healthy population of Largemouth, Guadalupe, and Striped bass waiting to be caught.
To encourage your recreational pursuits, here is a rundown of some of the best spots to swim, boat, and fish on Lake Travis.
Swimming on Lake Travis
Located in the basin area of Lake Travis, Bob Wentz Park is a favorite spot among locals for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying a relaxing day on the shore. The park offers clean shower and restroom facilities, volleyball courts, a shoreline walking path, boat docks, and a pavilion available for rentals. Check out “The Point”, a small, sandy peninsula with covered picnic areas, restrooms, and access to the water. Due to the park’s popularity, you can expect a wait to enter on the weekends, but on the weekdays the park is nearly empty.
Located just south of the Comanche Trail and on the same road as The Oasis, Windy Point Park has a lot to offer visitors. This well-known Lake Travis landmark is one of the most popular swimming spots on the lake. For those looking to extend their lake day into a longer trip, primitive camping is available. This spot offers limestone cliffs, lots of shade, free wifi, grills, changing facilities, and showers. Because this is a private park, fishing is not allowed unless you go to the public part of the peninsula.
Fishing on Lake Travis
Located on the south end of Lake Travis, just before the dam floods water into the Colorado River, Mansfield Dam Park is an ideal spot for boating or fishing on Lake Travis. With ample open shoreline, this secluded cove offers plenty of places to fish. Find the steep drop-off at the point that extends furthest into the lake and start your fishing adventures there as this spot often attracts fish and holds good-sized schools of bass.
For those looking to boat here, it offers the largest public boat ramp on the lake with four lanes and adjoining wheelchair-accessibility. Once boating, be careful, as there is a secluded cove here where boaters are not allowed.
While Pace Bend Park is popular for camping, swimming, and boating, it is also a great spot to fish. The cliffs overlooking the lake provide plenty of spots for bass to congregate. One of the largest public parks operated by the Travis County Parks department, there are numerous places in Pace Bend Park to explore and fish. Start on the west side of the park where the banks are steepest and try your luck from there.
Boating on Lake Travis
Located in the Cypress Creek Arm, northeast of Windy Point, this small park is a go-to spot for boaters. With a gently sloping waterfront, the boat ramp located within the cove provides an easy access point to the basin area of Lake Travis. In addition to boating, many come to Cypress Creek to enjoy fishing, picnicking, and primitive camping.
Starnes Island, also known as Monkey Island or Snake Island, is located just northwest of Hudson Harbor in the Sandy Creek arm of the lake. In the 1930s it was just a hill in the Texas Hill Country, until Mansfield Dam was built on the Colorado River in 1940 and Lake Travis was created. This island has become a hotspot for boat parties as visitors can drop anchor and spend the day on one of the island’s several permanent docks. Fun fact: One of the opening scenes from the film “Spy Kids” was shot on Starnes Island.
In addition to being a spot for boaters, Starnes Island attracts scuba divers. The large number of partiers often result in lost sunglasses, cell phones, and an occasional unopened beer, making this a scuba diver’s dream.
Life at Lakeside at Tessera
When you live at Lakeside at Tessera in Lago Vista, you have easy access to all the fun activities Lake Travis offers. Contact us today to schedule your tour.