East Texas is fortunate to have an abundance of inviting cool water in the region — from diving ponds to massive lakes — so it’s no surprise how many choices people have to explore throughout the summer. Here are a few favorites:
The Texas State Parks system does a great job of providing swimming holes and water activities for visitors and residents alike in Northeast Texas. Some of the favorites include Lake Bob Sandlin in Pittsburg, Tyler State Park, Lake Tawakoni, Cooper Lake near Sulphur Springs, Purtis Creek in Eustace, Daingerfield, Lake O’ the Pines near Avinger, and Wright Patman near Atlanta. Visit tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks for information on each of the state parks in the region.
Lake Ray Hubbard, one of the largest lakes in North Texas, spans 22,000 acres bordering Kaufman and Rockwall counties on the east side. It’s great for skiing, paddle boarding, tubing, and sailing. There are numerous parks around the lake with beaches, trails, and outdoor activities. Visit lake-ray-hubbard.com.
Lake Jacksonville has two public swimming areas, screened shelters, and camping sites for tents and RVs. Go to jacksonvilletx.org or call 903.589.3510.
Camp Tonkawa Springs in Garrison near Nacogdoches features a clear spring-fed pond that promises a rejuvenating swim. The pool is deep and no lifeguards are on duty so it’s important to buckle up little ones in life jackets. The sides of the pool were created by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930s. It is said to be a constant 68 degrees year round and is completely natural with no chemicals. Even the "diving boards" are natural as visitors use trees as jumping off places. Call 936.564.888 or visit camptonkawa.com for more information.
Clear Springs Scuba Park in Terrell offers 22 acres of spring-fed lake with an approximate maximum depth of 63 feet. They have nine underwater platforms at approximately 20 feet and six entry docks. Main attractions include Sisco, the 50-foot shark, a cabin cruiser, and other surprises. Visit clearspringscubapark.com or call 972.524.6820 for more information.
Tyler Paddle is open Fridays from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m. at the Lake Tyler Petroleum Club during the summer. They offer paddle boarding, swimming, fishing, and special events like full moon rides. Call 903.426.2056 or visit tylerpaddle.com for more information.
Lone Star Marina on Cedar Creek Lake is getting great reviews not only for its water activities, but for the Tiki Hut where they serve catfish, burgers, salads, appetizers, wine, and Cedar Creek Brewery beer. They have rentals for paddle boarding, tubing and several kinds of boats. Call 903.432.2268 or visit lonestarmarina.com for more information.
The Marina at Villages Resort on Lake Palestine offers boat rentals and more, including kayaks, pedal boats, and pontoons. Visit thevillagesmarina.com or call 903.561.1413.
Waterparks in East Texas include Splash Kingdom locations in Canton, Nacogdoches, and Greenville. Visit splashkingdomwaterpark.com.
[County Line Magazine makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information.]