What to do in Ray Roberts Lake State Park

Ray Roberts Lake State has a total of 5,848.8 acres. All properties were acquired in 1984 by a lease made between the Secretary of the Army and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Park, Isle du Bois Unit, is on the south side of Ray Roberts Lake in Denton County. Isle du Bois Unit (meaning "Island of the Trees") opened in 1993.

Ray Roberts Lake State Park, Johnson Branch Unit, is located on the north side of Ray Roberts Lake in Denton and Cooke Counties. This unit opened on December 4, 1996.

This part of north Texas was frequented by several Indian tribes, including Comanches, Kiowas, and Tonkawas. When white settlers began to move into the area in substantial numbers in the 1840s, the region became one of the main flash-points on the frontier. By 1860, the area was moderately settled, but the outbreak of the Civil War caused the temporary and sometimes permanent abandonment of many settlements. After the war, the region again became a focus of settlement under the protection of army units at Fort Richardson and Fort Sill. The closest town to the park, Pilot Point, was first settled in 1846, but had long been a camping site for Indians, rangers, and early pioneers. Several recorded State Archeological Landmarks exist within the present park boundaries. These landmarks consist mostly of nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century farm sites.

The park is open 7 days a week year-round. The busy season is March through November.

The park is located in the Eastern Cross Timbers, a narrow strip of wooded terrain bordering the Blackland Prairies of north central Texas. Geologically, the region is part of the Woodbine Formation, an Upper Cretaceous deposit consisting mostly of sandstone, with localized layers of shales and clay.

A partial plant list includes sumac holly, milkweed, prickly pear, honeysuckle, sunflower, rough leaf dogwood, eastern red cedar, persimmon, bullnettle, blackjack oak, post oak, bluestem grass, grass burr, Bermuda grass, switch grass, Indian grass, Johnson grass, Texas wintergrass, black hickory, black walnut, red bud, honey locust, honey mesquite, greenbrier, Spanish needles, chinaberry, snailseed, bois d'arc, red mulberry, pokeweed, buckwheat, knotweed, hawthorne, wild plum, blackberry, toothache tree, eastern cottonwood, black willow, western soapberry, gum elastic, ground cherry, horse nettle, winged elm, American elm, ivy treevine, and mustang grape.

A variety of mammals at the park include opossum, cave bat, beaver, nutria, plains pocket gopher, eastern flying squirrel, eastern gray squirrel, fox squirrel, California jackrabbit, eastern cottontail, white-tailed deer, nine-banded armadillo, raccoon, mink, spotted skunk, red fox, coyote, and bobcat. Some of the reptiles seen include lizards and various snakes, such as the copperhead, cottonmouth, bullsnake, and diamondback rattlesnake, while amphibians seen occasionally include turtles and frogs. Wintering bald eagles may occasionally be encountered around the lake.

The Ray Roberts Lake has emerged into a very productive fishing lake, growing in popularity among anglers. The current lake record for largemouth bass is 14.06. Crappie, white bass, and catfish are also a good catch. Please check the "TPW Outdoor Annual Official Hunting and Fishing Regulations".

Facilities: Isle du Bois facilities include restrooms with showers; picnic sites, each with a table and a grill; campsites with water and electricity (accessible for the disabled); walk-in and hike-in developed campsites, with a picnic table, a tent pad, a fire ring, and a lamp post; equestrian campsites (bring your own horses); group picnic pavilions; 16.5 miles of trails - 12.5 miles of dirt trail for horseback riding and nature study and an additional 4.5 miles of paved trail accessible to the disabled available for day hiking and mountain biking; a trailer dump station; a lighted boat ramp; a lighted fishing pier; fish-cleaning facilities; and playgrounds. Walk-in and equestrian areas have self-composting restrooms and water nearby. A full-service Park Store is located in the day use area next to the swimming beach. Items include ice, grocery items, camping supplies,
drinks, candy, sandwiches, ice cream, souvenirs, fishing tackle, and toiletries. Also, the park headquarters has a soda vending machine, firewood, and ice.

Johnson Branch facilities include restrooms with showers; picnic sites with a table and grill each; campsites with water and electricity (accessible for the disabled); walk-in campsites with a picnic table, tent pad, fire ring, a lamp post, and water in the area; hike-in primitive sites with a tent pad (5 miles of trail)(containerized fuel only - no ground fires); group picnic pavilions with a large grill, picnic table, lights and electric; 9 total miles of trails of which 5 miles is for back packing and nature study, 9 for hiking, 7 for mountain biking, and 4 miles of paved trails accessible to the disabled; a trailer dump station, fish-cleaning facilities; and playgrounds. Walk-in and primitive hike-in areas have self-composting restrooms. A primitive group area will be opened later. Johnson Branch also has gift items, ice, firewood and a soda vending machine. Now open is a 5-mile, single track mountain bike trail carved through a beautiful hillside forest by Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association (DORBA) volunteers. Call the park (940-637-2294)for trail conditions.

Lake Ray Roberts Marina (940-458-7343) at the Sanger Unit is a full-service marina. They have a repair shop and boat storage; sell and rent boats and motors; sell fuel; and rent boat slips. They also sell fishing licenses, bait, groceries, and deli-snacks. Lighthouse Cove Restaurant, located adjacent to Lake Ray Roberts Marina, is now open.

Nearby attractions include Eisenhower State Park; Tioga, a railroad town that enjoyed prominence as a mineral water and health spa in the 1880s; Gainesville: Morton Museum, antique shops, Frank Buck Zoo and a factory outlet mall.

Camping fees vary; entrance fee. For reservations, call 512/389-8900. Current weather conditions, including fire bans and water levels, can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

Activities include picnicking; camping; hiking; biking; roller blading; swimming on a beach area (unsupervised); boating; and fishing. Johnson Branch also offers backpacking. Event: Annual MADD BikeRally is scheduled for the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. For more information, contact the Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD) office at 940-387-8814.

The Isle du Bois Unit is located on FM 455, 10 miles east of Interstate 35.

The Johnson Branch Unit is located on FM 3002, 7 miles east of Interstate 35.

Ray Roberts Lake State Park is located at an elevation of 620 feet. Temperatures within the park range from a January average of 30 degrees and a July average of 95 degrees. The park has an average annual rainfall of 38.2 inches. For current weather conditions, call 940/391-5840.

Isle du Bois Unit
100 PW 4137
Pilot Point, TX 76258-8944

Phone: 940/686-2148

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