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Lake Travis truly stands apart from all the other Highland Lakes. You can leisurely explore the winding, northwest stretches or race around the more open areas to the southeast. It absolutely is the lake for everyone.

One of two reservoirs, Lake Travis spreads across 19,297 acres covering almost 30 square miles when full. In that space, you can speed across the water or just ease along, whatever floats your boat (pun intended).

The lake was formed in 1942 when the Lower Colorado River Authority built Mansfield Dam on the western edge of Austin. It has a maximum depth of 190 feet.

While the southeastern section finds favor with the boating crowd, the more river-like portion, beginning below Max Starcke Dam in Marble Falls, has less activity.

Anglers love the lake for its largemouth, Guadalupe, white and striped bass. You can also find catfish and sunfish. Texas Parks and Wildlife stocks the lake with stripped bass in the spring each year.

Up and down the lake, you’ll find local, county and Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Parks that provide public access to Travis. Many offer boat ramps, though before heading out you might want to check the LCRA website to find out which ones are open.

Currently the ramp at Mansfield Dam has only one lane open. The unimproved ramp at Dink Pearson Park is also still in operation. Canoes and other small boats can launch from the bank. You can check current ramp conditions at the LCRA website boat ramp information page.

Even if the lake is down because of drought, don’t let that stop you from exploring the wonders of this beautiful giant of lake.