101 FUN THINGS: Enjoy winding, wonderful Lake Travis

One of countless beautiful views of Lake Travis. Photo: Staff

One of countless beautiful views of Lake Travis. Photo: Staff

Lake Travis truly stands apart among the 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 Buchanan being the other — 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 also can find catfish and sunfish. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stocks the lake with striped bass in the spring each year.

Up and down the lake, you’ll find local, county and 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 only has one lane open. The unimproved ramp at Dink Pearson Park also is 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 a lake.

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