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Where to Swim in Dallas Lakes A Guide for Safe and Fun Recreation

Where to Swim in Dallas Lakes: A Guide for Safe and Fun Recreation

If you’re lucky enough to call Dallas home or you’re just passing through, you’re in for a treat when it comes to lakes and aquatic adventures. 

As a proud Dallas resident and avid swimmer, I can’t wait to share all you need to know about diving into the refreshing waters of our city’s lakes. 

Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or a newbie looking for the perfect spot to cool off, this guide will serve as your compass to make the most of Dallas’ aquatic treasures. 

Can you swim in Dallas lakes?

There are some areas in Dallas lakes where swimming is prohibited and others where it is not. White Rock Lake and Bachman Lake prohibit swimming, while Lake Texoma, Lake Tawakoni, and Lake Ray Hubbard allow it.

Top 10 Lakes in Dallas Where You Can Swim

Dallas, known for its bustling city life and vibrant culture, might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of refreshing lakes for a swim. 

However, the city and its surrounding areas are home to several stunning lakes that offer a perfect escape from the Texas heat. 

If you’re a local looking for a weekend retreat or a visitor exploring the area, here are the top 10 lakes in Dallas where you can take a refreshing dip and enjoy the natural beauty of the Lone Star State.

Tyler State Park 

Tyler State Park's Homepage
Address789 TX-P16 Tyler, TX 
When can people swim in the area? 7am to 10pm daily
Admission rates • $6 for adults
• $4 for seniors (65+)
• $3 for children (ages 6-12)
• Children under 5 are free

As you approach Tyler State Park, you’ll be greeted by the inviting sight of a sandy beach bordered by majestic, towering trees. This setting sets the stage for a day of leisure and enjoyment. 

If you’re seeking a respite from the Texas heat or a fun-filled adventure for the kids, the lake at Tyler State Park has you covered. 

Swimming is just one of the many activities you can indulge in here. The park offers a range of outdoor activities to suit every interest. 

Picnic areas with scenic lake views are available for those who prefer a relaxed day out. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the park’s numerous trails, winding through pine and hardwood forests. 

Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply a peaceful day by the water, Tyler State Park is a true Dallas gem, offering a slice of Texas nature that’s well worth the visit.

Benbrook Lake  

Benbrook Lakes' Homepage
Address400 Lakeview Dr, Fort Worth, TX 
When can people swim in the area? • Holiday Park: Memorial Day to Labor Day, from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
• Mustang Park: Open year-round, from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Admission rates • Holiday Park: $5 per person 
• Mustang Park: $3 per person 

Holiday Park stands out as the largest day-use area on Benbrook Lake, making it a go-to destination for families seeking a memorable day by the water. 

What sets this park apart is its year-round availability, ensuring that you can enjoy its charms no matter the season. 

The shoreline stretches for several miles, and the gradual slope into the water makes it particularly appealing for swimmers looking for a leisurely and safe experience. 

Whether you’re looking to take a dip to beat the summer heat or enjoy a brisk swim in the cooler months, Holiday Park has you covered.

For those who prefer a more structured swimming experience, Mustang Park offers a developed swimming area that’s open from April through September. 

This window of operation aligns perfectly with the warmer months, allowing you to bask in the Texan sun and take a refreshing plunge when the temperatures soar. 

The park’s designated swimming area provides a secure and enjoyable environment for water enthusiasts, making it an excellent choice for a summer escape.

Lake Texoma 

Lake Texoma's Homepage
Address50 Park Road 20 Denison, TX 
When can people swim in the area? Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. Some beaches may open earlier or close later depending on the weather conditions.
Admission rates Ranges from $3-10 

Lake Texoma, nestled on the border of Texas and Oklahoma, stands as the largest lake in the Lone Star State, offering a haven of natural beauty and recreational opportunities. 

With its sprawling shores and crystal-clear waters, Lake Texoma has become a beloved destination for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike. 

The lake boasts an array of inviting beaches that beckon visitors to embrace the sun-soaked pleasures of swimming while also providing a wealth of other activities to enjoy.

One of the prime spots for a day of sun and waves is Eisenhower State Park Beach. This expansive sandy stretch welcomes visitors with open arms, offering not only a pristine beach but also convenient amenities that make a day by the water a breeze. 

Complete with a well-maintained bathhouse for changing and freshening up, as well as a playful playground for the little ones, Eisenhower State Park Beach is a top choice for those seeking relaxation and recreation combined.

Lake Texoma

Lake Texoma State Park Beach, another gem along the lake’s shoreline, is a testament to family-friendly fun. Here, a designated swimming area ensures the safety of young swimmers, allowing parents to relax and take in the scenery. 

In addition to swimming, Lake Texoma opens its arms to a wide range of aquatic pursuits. 

Boating enthusiasts can revel in the opportunity to cruise along its vast expanse, while avid anglers can cast their lines in search of the lake’s abundant fish population. 

Adventurous spirits can try their hand at waterskiing, adding an exhilarating twist to their lakeside experience.

Eagle Mountain Lake

Eagle Mountain Lake's Homepage
Address10201 North Shore Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76135
When can people swim in the area? Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Admission rates • Adults (13 and over): $5
• Children (12 and under): $3
• Seniors (65 and over): $4
• Active Military: $3
• Free for children under 2

Eagle Mountain Lake, located just 30 miles southwest of the vibrant city of Dallas, offers a refreshing escape, drawing visitors from all around for its serene waters and wide range of recreational activities. 

The lake is surrounded by a collection of inviting parks and recreation areas, each boasting its own unique charm. These green spaces offer easy access to the lake’s shores, making them ideal spots for sunbathing, picnicking, and, of course, swimming. 

As you dip your toes into the cool, inviting waters, you’ll find relief from the Texan sun on hot summer days.

One of the standout features of Eagle Mountain Lake is its well-maintained swimming beaches. These sandy stretches provide safe and enjoyable areas for families, friends, and solo adventurers alike to take a refreshing plunge. 

If you’re a seasoned swimmer or just looking to wade in the shallows, the lake caters to all skill levels and preferences.

Beyond swimming, Eagle Mountain Lake is a hub of aquatic activities. Boating enthusiasts can set sail on the clear waters, and fishing aficionados will appreciate the diverse range of species that call the lake home. 

There’s a sense of tranquility here, away from the city’s noise, where you can cast your line and revel in the natural beauty surrounding you.

Possum Kingdom Lake

Possum Kingdom Lake's Homepage
AddressPossum Kingdom State Park 115 Park Road 46 Graford, TX 76449
When can people swim in the area? Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm 
Admission rates • $8 for adults
• $6 for seniors (65+)
• $4 for children (12 and under)

Possum Kingdom Lake, situated approximately 100 miles southwest of Dallas, offers a refreshing retreat, drawing people in with its crystal-clear waters and inviting white-sand beaches. 

Located amidst the rolling hills and scenic beauty of North Texas, Possum Kingdom Lake has become a go-to destination for those seeking relaxation, outdoor adventure, and water-based fun.

One of the defining features of Possum Kingdom Lake is its pristine water quality, which makes it a fantastic choice for swimming enthusiasts. 

The lake’s clear waters provide a tranquil setting for swimmers to take a dip, cool off on a hot summer day, and bask in the natural beauty that surrounds them. 

Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or just looking for a refreshing experience, the lake’s inviting waters offer the perfect respite.

Beyond swimming, Possum Kingdom Lake also caters to boating and fishing enthusiasts. Boaters can explore the lake’s expansive surface, finding hidden coves and secluded spots, while anglers can cast their lines in search of a variety of fish species. 

It’s a place where families, friends, and solo travelers can come together to enjoy a wide range of aquatic activities.

In addition to its natural charm, Possum Kingdom Lake boasts a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Local communities and businesses around the lake cater to the needs of visitors, offering everything from boat rentals to lakeside dining options.

Lake Ray Roberts

Lake Ray Roberts' Homepage
Address100 PW 4137 Pilot Point, TX
When can people swim in the area? Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, weather permitting
Admission rates • Adults (13-61): $7
• Seniors (62+): $6
• Children (12 and under): Free
• Active military and veterans: Free
• Texas Parks and Wildlife Passholders: Free

Lake Ray Roberts is a prime destination for swimming enthusiasts and a sanctuary where you can cool off under the Texas sun. 

The tranquil setting provides a soothing contrast to the urban hustle, making it a popular retreat for those seeking relaxation and recreation.

One of Lake Ray Roberts’ notable charms lies in its natural beauty. 

Surrounded by lush greenery and sprawling landscapes, the lake serves as a haven for wildlife, where you might spot a diverse array of creatures, from graceful waterfowl to the occasional deer grazing along its shores. 

This unique blend of pristine waters and abundant wildlife creates a serene ambiance that complements the joys of swimming, making every dip in the lake a truly memorable experience.

Beyond swimming, Lake Ray Roberts offers a plethora of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Boating enthusiasts can take to the water, with ample room to explore the lake’s various nooks and crannies. 

Anglers will appreciate the lake’s bounty, as it’s known for its excellent fishing opportunities. 

Lavon Lake 

Lavon Lake's Homepage
Address5099 CR – 952, Princeton, TX 
When can people swim in the area? April to September, from 10 am to sunset
Admission rates $5 per vehicle

Lavon Lake’s standout feature is its inviting opportunity for swimming. If you’re looking for a leisurely dip to cool off on a scorching Texas day or a place to unwind with friends and family, Lavon Lake’s calm waters provide the perfect setting. 

The lake’s expansive surface area ensures that even on busy weekends, you can find a tranquil spot to soak up the sun and splash around.

Beyond swimming, Lavon Lake offers a delightful playground for boating enthusiasts. Whether you’re into kayaking, jet skiing, or sailing, you’ll find ample space to pursue your watercraft adventures. 

The soft, golden sands invite you to stretch out and relax as you enjoy the serene surroundings.

Burger’s Lake 

Burger’s Lake's Homepage
Address1200 Meandering Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76114
When can people swim in the area? Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily
Admission rates $15 per person 

If you’re looking to take a refreshing plunge on a hot summer day or simply float lazily while soaking up the sun’s rays, Burger’s Lake offers a perfect respite. 

The lake’s pristine conditions are meticulously maintained, creating an inviting atmosphere for swimmers of all ages.

Beyond swimming, Burger’s Lake presents a variety of aquatic activities to enjoy. Visitors can take advantage of boating options, allowing for a pleasant cruise across the water’s surface. 

For those with a taste for adventure, water skiing is also a popular pastime here, offering thrills and excitement against the backdrop of a serene natural setting.

While it’s a private lake, Burger’s Lake opens its doors to the public during the summer season, making it accessible to all. 

Visitors can purchase day passes to savor the tranquility and enjoy the aquatic pleasures that this hidden oasis in the Dallas area has to offer.

Lake Tawakoni 

Lake Tawakoni's Homepage
Address6606 FM 2475, Wills Point, TX 75169
When can people swim in the area? 6am to 10pm daily
Admission rates • $8 for adults
• $6 for seniors (65 and over)
• $4 for children (ages 6-12)
• Children under 6 are free

One of the primary draws of Lake Tawakoni is its suitability for swimming, making it a perfect place to cool off on a hot Texas day. The clear, inviting waters beckon visitors to take a refreshing dip, creating cherished memories with family and friends. 

Beyond swimming, the lake’s recreational options are extensive. Boating enthusiasts can revel in the opportunity to cruise along the expansive lake, while fishing aficionados can cast their lines in search of prized catches.

Additionally, thrill-seekers can engage in exciting activities such as water skiing and jet skiing, offered by some of the marinas in the area.

While Lake Tawakoni itself is a natural wonder, its charm extends to the towns that dot its perimeter. These quaint communities offer delightful dining options, unique shops, and cozy accommodations for visitors seeking a complete lakeside experience. 

Lake Ray Hubbard

Lake Ray Hubbard's Homepage
Address4099 Zion Road, Garland
When can people swim in the area? 5 am to 10 pm daily
Admission rates $2 per person

This sprawling 20,947-acre lake, named after a living person, encompasses the East Fork of the Trinity River and has firmly established itself as a hotspot for fishing enthusiasts. 

With its diverse aquatic ecosystem, anglers can cast their lines in pursuit of catfish, striped bass, largemouth bass, crappie, and channel catfish.

However, Lake Ray Hubbard is not just a haven for anglers; it’s also a delightful destination for those seeking water-based activities and relaxation. 

This sprawling reservoir features six scenic parks, three marinas, and four convenient boat ramps, making it easy for boaters and water sports enthusiasts to access its shimmering waters. 

The lake’s vast expanse provides an ideal setting for water skiing, boating adventures, and, of course, swimming.

One of the standout attractions on Lake Ray Hubbard is the Harbor Rockwall district, which beckons with its vibrant entertainment offerings. 

Whether you’re in the mood for live music, delectable dining experiences, boutique shopping, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, the Harbor Rockwall district delivers. 

Its lively ambiance and picturesque views make it the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring the lake’s natural beauty.

Why is swimming not allowed at some Dallas-area lakes?

Swimming is not allowed at some Dallas lakes because of safety concerns (rapid water changes), water quality (murky/polluted), and the nature of the lake (built for water supply and flood control, not for swimming). 

Some lakes in Dallas may have low watersheds, meaning that rivers and lakes at higher elevations drain into them. This can lead to sudden changes in water depth and currents, which can be dangerous for swimmers. 

There are also lakes where the water is often murky and polluted, which can pose health risks.

Some of these Dallas lakes were originally built for water supply or flood control, and swimming was never intended to be allowed.

6 Lakes Spots Where It Is Forbidden to Swim in Dallas

While the city boasts several beautiful lakes, not all of them are suitable for swimming. 

In fact, there are some lake spots in Dallas where swimming is strictly prohibited for various reasons, including safety concerns and water quality. 

Let’s take a closer look at six such lake spots where you should definitely resist the temptation to take a swim.

White Rock Lake 

White Rock Lake's Homepage

Encircled by the sprawling White Rock Lake Park, this natural oasis boasts a 9.33-mile trail catering to outdoor enthusiasts, whether they’re keen on hiking, running, or cycling. 

The lake’s serene waters are typically abuzz with activity, offering opportunities for fishing and boating that beckon visitors to its shores. 

However, one must heed a vital rule: swimming is strictly prohibited in White Rock Lake. This prohibition isn’t arbitrary but rather stems from a genuine concern for public safety.

The inviting surface of White Rock Lake might tempt swimmers to take a dip on hot Texas days, but the water quality is the key deterrent. The lake has been grappling with persistently high levels of bacteria and pollutants, making it unsafe for swimming. 

While the temptation to cool off in its waters is understandable, exposing oneself to these contaminants can pose serious health risks.

Local authorities and environmental agencies have taken steps to address these water quality issues, but the safety of those who visit the lake remains a top priority. 

Thus, the ban on swimming in White Rock Lake serves as a reminder to cherish its natural beauty from a safe distance and to engage in alternative activities such as hiking, boating, and fishing. 

By doing so, visitors can appreciate this Dallas gem while ensuring their well-being.

Grapevine Lake

Grapevine Lake's Homepage

Grapevine Lake, located approximately 20 miles northwest of Dallas and northeast of Fort Worth, is a charming artificial lake that offers a serene escape. 

This picturesque oasis boasts not only the beauty of its shimmering waters but also a wealth of recreational opportunities.

Surrounded by numerous parks and a sprawling network of 30 miles of natural trails, Grapevine Lake presents an inviting playground for nature enthusiasts. If you’re a hiker, cyclist, or simply seeking a leisurely stroll, there’s a trail for every level of adventurer. 

And if you’re looking to spend more than just a day amidst the natural splendor, the city of Grapevine offers well-maintained camping facilities.

For those who relish the idea of camping beneath the star-studded Texas sky, Grapevine Lake has you covered. The city manages RV camping, site camping, and even rental cabins to cater to various preferences. 

It’s the perfect setting to unwind, roast marshmallows by the campfire, and create lasting memories with your loved ones.

While the lake beckons with its crystal-clear waters on hot Texas days, it’s essential to note that swimming is generally prohibited in most areas. This restriction ensures the safety of visitors and the preservation of the lake’s ecosystem. 

Lewisville Lake 

Lewisville Lake's Homepage

Lewisville Lake is a popular destination, especially during the scorching summer months. Its vast expanse offers ample space for everyone to enjoy a wide range of recreational activities. 

The lake boasts an impressive infrastructure with six marinas, twelve parks, and three restaurants, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

For those looking to explore the waters, Lewisville Lake provides convenient access with boat ramps and boat rental services. Camping options abound, ensuring that you can truly immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area. 

But the appeal doesn’t end at the water’s edge; Lewisville features pristine beaches, well-maintained hiking trails, and even golf courses for those seeking a more leisurely pursuit.

Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the 2,600-acre Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area, a protected nature preserve adjacent to the lake. 

Here, you can engage in activities like hiking and camping while reveling in the serene beauty of the natural surroundings.

However, it’s important to note that swimming in Lewisville Lake is not permitted in most areas. The lake prioritizes safety and water quality, restricting swimming to designated beaches that are carefully monitored. 

If you’re in search of a livelier atmosphere and a chance to socialize, Party Cove on the lake might be more your scene. 

With its 29,000 acres of water to explore, Lewisville Lake offers something for everyone, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience in the heart of North Texas.

Joe Pool Lake 

Joe Pool Lake's Homepage

Joe Pool Lake, named in honor of Congressman Joe Pool, who played a pivotal role in securing funding for the lake’s development, is a sprawling 7,740-acre lake offering a wealth of outdoor activities. 

Its serene shores are dotted with several parks and recreational areas, providing a perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

One of the most notable spots along Joe Pool Lake is Cedar Hill State Park, located on the eastern shoreline. This park serves as a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. 

Here, you’ll find a well-equipped campground boasting over 350 stations, catering to both tent camping and RV parking. 

It’s an ideal spot for families and individuals looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature while still having access to modern amenities.

However, when it comes to taking a dip in Joe Pool Lake, there’s an important detail to keep in mind. While the lake itself is a top recreation destination, swimming is generally prohibited in most areas, except for specifically designated swimming beaches. 

These beaches are carefully monitored to ensure water quality and safety, allowing visitors to enjoy a refreshing swim while minimizing risks. 

This thoughtful approach ensures that everyone can make the most of their visit to Joe Pool Lake, whether it’s for boating, fishing, hiking, or simply relaxing on the sandy shores of its designated swimming areas. 

So, while the lake beckons with its natural beauty and recreational opportunities, it’s essential to respect the rules and regulations in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Mountain Creek Lake

Mountain Creek Lake's Homepage

Mountain Creek Lake offers ample opportunities for fishing and boating; it’s no wonder that this reservoir has become a beloved recreational spot for many local residents. 

However, one activity that’s conspicuously absent from the list of permissible pastimes here is swimming. The reason behind this prohibition is not to thwart the enjoyment of visitors but rather to prioritize their safety.

Swimming in Mountain Creek Lake is strictly forbidden due to a couple of significant concerns. Firstly, the water in this lake can be home to high levels of bacteria, making it unsafe for human contact. 

These bacteria can pose health risks by causing skin irritations, gastrointestinal problems, or even more serious illnesses. Therefore, to safeguard the well-being of all who visit, the local authorities have sensibly prohibited swimming in the lake.

Secondly, another factor contributing to this restriction is the presence of harmful algae blooms. While these blooms might seem innocuous at first glance, they can actually produce toxins that are harmful to both humans and wildlife. 

Swimming in or ingesting water contaminated by these toxins can result in a range of health issues, from skin irritations to more severe complications. 

Hence, the prohibition on swimming is not just a matter of rules and regulations but is rooted in a genuine concern for the health and safety of the public.

While Mountain Creek Lake may not be suitable for swimming, it remains a cherished destination for anglers and boaters, offering a chance to connect with nature and unwind in its tranquil waters. 

Visitors are encouraged to explore these alternative activities while being mindful of the rules in place, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the lake’s beauty in a safe and responsible manner.

Bachman Lake 

Bachman Lake's Homepage

It may seem tempting for a refreshing swim, especially during the hot Texan summers; however, it’s essential to note that swimming in Bachman Lake is not only discouraged but outright forbidden due to several significant factors.

One of the most compelling reasons to avoid swimming in Bachman Lake is its water quality. The lake has long struggled with poor water quality, resulting in murky and uninviting waters. 

The murkiness is due to various environmental factors and pollution, making it unsuitable and potentially hazardous for recreational swimming. Swimmers could encounter waterborne pollutants and contaminants that may pose health risks.

Furthermore, Bachman Lake is a unique habitat for wildlife, and it’s home to a diverse range of creatures. Turtles, snakes, and even alligators call this lake their home. 

While these animals play a crucial role in the local ecosystem, they can pose a danger to swimmers. Alligators, in particular, can be unpredictable and potentially aggressive, making any interaction with them a risky endeavor.

Local authorities have, for these reasons, implemented strict regulations prohibiting swimming in Bachman Lake. 

While the temptation to cool off in its waters on a scorching day is understandable, it’s essential for the safety of both residents and wildlife that these rules are respected.

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