Summer weather in North Texas waits for no one. The long, hot, sunny days are already here.
One way to treat early symptoms of summer heat? Take a dip into a local lake or swimming hole. And North Texas has plenty of places to dive in and make a splash — all while enjoying the great outdoors.
Many of these swimming spots are in Dallas-Fort Worth or less than an hour or two away.
Keep this list handy this summer and you could visit all of them by the time it gets cold again — so, November.
Burger’s Lake in Fort Worth offers the best of both worlds. It’s a spring-fed lake, but the water is filtered like a pool. The 30-acre park includes two beaches, more than 300 picnic tables, almost 200 grills, a slide, a trapeze and enough diving boards that a family of six could each have their own. And the most important amenity: A staff of lifeguards is always on the clock. Word to the wise: Don’t bring alcohol or pets of any kind; they’re prohibited. More details on Burger's Lake here.
- General: $15
- Children 6 and younger: $5
- Children under 1: Free
Joe Pool Lake is a 7,400-acre lake that covers parts of Grand Prairie, Cedar Hill and Mansfield. It has three major parks and a good one for swimming is Lynn Creek. It’s a park you can use during the day -- it operates from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. It has many amenities, including boat docks and pavilions for gathering, along with The Oasis Restaurant right on the water. Your furry friends must be leashed at all times, but it’s best not to bring them; they’re not allowed on playgrounds or the swimming beaches. P.S. Don’t bring glass containers. More details on Lynn Creek Park here.
Grand Prairie residents
- General: Free
- Holidays: $15
- General: $10
- Holidays: $15
North of Dallas, the 29,000-acre Lake Ray Roberts offers a lot of space for plenty of water-based activities. For swimming, go to either the Isle du Bois or Johnson Branch units in Ray Roberts Lake State Park. With its large beach and swimming area, Isle du Bois in Pilot Point is considered the most popular park and campground on the lake. The Johnson Branch, in Valley View on the north side of the lake, is not quite as crowded, but it still has a large beach and swimming spot located within a cove. It’s a popular day beach, but it’s also open to campers — as is the Isle du Bois. Gates to both areas are open daily from 6 a.m to 10 p.m. Here's the general pet policy for Texas state parks. Call 1-800-792-1112 for more information. More details on Ray Roberts Lake State Park here.
- General: $7 daily
- Children 12 and younger: Free
Cedar Lake is a spring-fed lake that covers 116 acres of Cleburne State Park, which is about 30 minutes southwest of Fort Worth on the northern edge of Hill Country. No wake boating is allowed. Jet skis and other personal watercraft are not. So the waters should be nice and placid for swimming. While you’re there, you can also fish, hike or bike nearly 13 miles of trails and then camp under the stars. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Here's the general pet policy for Texas state parks. Call 1-800-792-1112 for more information. More details on the Cleburne State Park here.
- Adults: $5 daily
- Children 12 and younger: Free
In Tarrant County, Lake Grapevine has two designated swim areas — one in Meadowmere Park and another in the Vineyards Campgrounds. The latter is only available to people staying in the campground and gets less traffic than the Meadowmere Park swimming spot, according to the lake's website. If you’re too cool for those options, there are also some non-designated swimming spots. One of the most popular is the "quiet cove" in Katie’s Woods Park. People can also swim below the cliffs in Rockledge Park and on the banks of Murrell Park near campsites 7 and 8. More details on Lake Grapevine here.
- Meadowmere Park: $5 per vehicle; $10 on holidays
- Rockledge Park: $5 per vehicle; $10 on holidays
- Katie’s Woods Park: Free for day use
- Murrell Park: Free for day use; $10 for camping
- Vineyards Campgrounds: Prices vary — details here.
Lake Lewisville has several designated and non-designated beaches for swimming, but we’ll focus on Little Elm Park on the north end of the lake. The Denton County park is always open. You can camp up to four nights for $15. There are volleyball courts, picnic tables and fire pits that are free to anyone to use. You can rent kayaks and paddleboards, too. And, there’s a life jacket loaner program. Fishing isn’t allowed on or around the beach. Don't bring glass containers or your pets to the beach. More details on Little Elm Park here and here.
Admission: Free; camping costs $5 per day.
Other swimming spots in Texas
This list was updated June 10.