Located just 75 miles north of Dallas and 121 miles south of Oklahoma City, Lake Texoma is considered a premier vacation destination. Known as the “Playground of the Southwest”, this 89,000-acre lake is well known for fishing and a myriad of water sports. In addition, the lake offers a multitude of amenities for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors.
Formed when the Denison Dam was built in 1944, Lake Texoma borders the states of Texas and Oklahoma with a thousand miles of shoreline. It’s sheer size and proximity to both the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Oklahoma City, contribute to it’s popularity – attracting approximately 6 million visitors a year.
Free-flowing current in the Red River makes Texoma one of the few lakes in Texas with a self-sustaining population of striped bass, and one of only eight inland freshwater reservoirs worldwide where this species has spawned. In addition to “Stripers” other species found in Lake Texoma include Blue & channel catfish, White & striped bass, Largemouth bass, Spotted bass, Smallmouth bass, Black & white crappie and Bluegill. A lake for all seasons, fishing on Lake Texoma is a year ‘round event!
Lake Texoma, one of the largest reservoirs in the United States, is a deep water reservoir with deep channels formed by the Red River from the west and the Washita River from the north. The surface area is approximately 89,000 acres with 580 of miles of shoreline. Power boating, sailing, personal watercraft, water skiing and wind surfing are all popular pursuits. Lake Texoma has become a major sailing center based on the lake’s size, depth and miles of sailing shoreline. Beautiful coves offer quite respites for anchoring up and enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds Lake Texoma. Known for gorgeous sunrise and sunsets, early mornings and late afternoons are popular times for cruising. Local charter companies offer everything from Eagle watching tours to late afternoon sunset cruise or river floating adventures.
Discover the great outdoors
For hiking enthusiast, the scenic Cross Timbers hiking trail winds for 14 miles above the lake on rocky ledges and through blackjack woodland. Eisenhower State Park offers visitors over four miles of walk or bike trails along the high bluffs overlooking Lake Texoma. Adventure awaits as you explore the caves, climb the boulders, or hunt for fossils.
Over 25 miles of equestrian trails are enjoyed by hundreds each year. Platter Flats is very popular for horseback riding and has group camping facilities with corrals for horses.
State and National Parks and Wildlife Refuges in both Texas and Oklahoma attract hundreds of “birders” and wildlife photographers each year. Texoma sits along the migratory path of many species of birds and waterfowl. Every season brings a change in wildlife to the Texoma area.
The Texoma area is blessed with a multitude of excellent golf courses that are reasonably priced and fun for all skill levels. Designed by Ralph Plummer and Arnold Palmer, Tanglewood Resort Golf Course offers scenic views and challenging holes on a 7,000-yard par 72 course. Rolling hills, and wooded terrain line the well bunkered fairways leading you to the finest bent grass greens in North Texas.
Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the two national wildlife refuges located in Oklahoma and Texas. Each year thousands of Canada and Snow geese, various shorebirds, several species of ducks and bald eagles migrate to both the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge and Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge. Deer, wild turkey and other native animals make their home year-round on the 30,000 acres that make up these two areas. If you enjoy birding, nature photography, or just observing nature, Texoma is the place to be!
Lake Texoma area has a rich history. The area was pivotal in the development of Texas and Oklahoma and Historical markers dot the countryside. Local museums and cultural centers chronicle the development of the area, offering visitors a glimpse into the lives of the early settlers who became Presidents, Statesmen, leaders in Viticulture, education, architecture, commerce and industry. The Chickasaw Cultural center celebrates the history and culture of the Chickasaw Nation and the Native American Indian.
The communities that surround Lake Texoma each have their own personalities. Whitesboro is known as “horse country”. The countryside is dotted with white pipe fencing and horses roam the pastures creating a picturesque scene. Farming and ranching are the core of the Whitesboro economy. Sherman, the county seat of Grayson County, is a dynamic economic, government, and manufacturing hub of Grayson County. Denison has a bustling downtown cultural arts district, lined with historic buildings and a bustling commerce. Home to Texoma Medical Center, the largest regional hospital system in Texoma, Denison is committed to providing quality of life to it’s residents. The newly opened Gateway Village and Texoma Health Foundation Park are just two examples of the dedication the city has to this commitment. Pottsboro is one of the smallest of the Texoma communities. Since the opening of Hwy 289 which originates in downtown Dallas and heads north to Lake Texoma, Pottsboro has begun to grow considerably with a number of new home developments. While they differ in many ways, one thing is common – these small towns offer quality of life where you know your neighbors.
The Texoma area also seems to produce outstanding singers, songwriters, and musicians. More than just a few local entertainers have become well known recording artist and many others have achieved state wide recognition from the Texas Music Awards. According to Mary Jane Farmer, Scene In Town, “Texoma rocks! And it country-es, and blues-es, and acoustic-es, and bluegrass-es!” Many of the local nightclubs offer live entertainment on the weekends, pickin’ circles, acoustics and jam sessions during the week. Harmony House Concerts, Chrystal Opry House, Texoma Blues Society and a number of bluegrass festivals offer more intimate venues. Nationally known recording artist perform live at the Choctaw Event Center and WinStar Casino Resort Centerstage.
Texoma is also well known as a cultural arts center. Art galleries line the downtown area of Denison, featuring both local artist and nationally recognized artist exhibits. The Sherman Symphony, Sherman Community Players, Theatrics, as well as the theatre and art programs of Austin College and Grayson College offer visitors and local residents many opportunities to experience the performing arts at their very best. The Historic Rialto Theater in Denison features comedy shows, musical revues, and concerts in an upscale atmosphere. The Denison Ballet has several performances throughout the year.
Want to live the resort lifestyle? Texoma communities offer ample opportunities to live where you play. Lakeside neighborhoods, golf course communities, cabins in the woods, and luxurious homes overlooking the waters of Lake Texoma, are some of the most affordable resort values in the country. Thinking about retirement? Many of the communities in Texoma have been named as “Most Affordable Places to Live”. Pottsboro, which borders the shores of Lake Texoma, is a designated GO TEXAS Retirement community. All of the communities in Texoma have excellent schools, access to outstanding medical facilities, award winning secondary educational opportunities, quiet friendly neighborhoods, and a wide variety of housing choices that are priced far below the national average.