Lake O' the Pines is one of the most beautiful lakes in Northeast Texas, has clear calm water, limited boat traffic, good fishing, and some excellent on-the-water camping. The terrain is rolling hills with lots of pines, multiple campgrounds and parks, and limited housing development. Check the Lake of the Pines Chamber of Commerce Website to find more information on the lake.
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We come to Lake of the Pines to enjoy the camping and the beauty and serenity of the lake. Which means we will typically look for a good cove to ski/board (Johnson Creek cove or down by the dam), cruise the lake, have a burger at Bull Frog, and drop an anchor and swim.
There aren't a lot of things to see and do on Lake of the Pines. All of the coves are pretty and good for skiing, fishing, or anchoring. There aren't any bars or restaurants with live music. So come to this lake to fish, swim, cruise, or enjoy the water toys. See the nearby activities for a list of some nearby stuff to keep you entertained.
To really enjoy this beautiful lake, you need to rent some type of watercraft and get out on the lake. Rent a jet ski, fishing boat, or picnic/party barge and have fun.
You come to Lake of the Pines to enjoy the water recreation activities on the Lake. Here is a limited list of what we like to see and do in the area:
- play golf - check here for some nearby courses
- visit Jefferson for nightlife, plays, and shopping
- take the boat over for a day trip on Caddo Lake - the Big Cypress Bayou is a must stop - if you don't have a boat, rent one or take a tour you won't forget
- check out Avinger for it's General Merchandise Store
There are a couple of local events that we know about - the last weekend in April is the Wild Flower Festival in Avinger; the Saturday before the festival is the trail ride; and the first weekend in October in Linden is the Pineywoods Cowboy Gathering - chuckwagon cooking, trail ride with Michael Martin Murphy, and more). That's a very short list if you know of other fun things to see and do, drop us a line.
For restaurants, try Cindy's Catfish & Seafood or Five D Cattle Company in Avinger; the locals love The Cafe for breakfast; and nearby Jefferson has a number of good places. On the lake, the only place we found was Bullfrog Marina in Johnson Creek - good burgers. We don't know of any places that have music on the water. Big Cypress Tavern, near Johnson Creek Cove, has darts, shuffleboard, pool, live music, and karaoke - a fun place to party with the locals.
Lake of the Pines is excellent for all your water toys - there are lots of coves and not a lot of boat traffic. Any of the coves are good as is down by the dam, depending on wind direction.
According to Texas Parks & Wildlife - this lake's diverse fish community offers many angling opportunities. White bass are native to the Cypress River Basin; the population is abundant and contains many legal-size fishes. Crappie, also popular with anglers, are quite abundant with large proportions of legal-size fish available. Both white and black crappie are present with black crappie being the dominant species. Channel, blue, and flathead catfish are all present. The largemouth bass population is abundant with many legal-size fish available for harvest. Sunfish (bluegill, redear, and redbreast) are abundant with quality-size fish available. Structural habitat is comprised of inundated timber, brush, creek channels, and rip rap. Aquatic macrophytes are present in moderate densities throughout the reservoir. Hydrilla is the dominant aquatic plant species.
The following special regulation is in effect at this lake: for black crappie and white crappie caught from December 1 through the last day in February, there is no minimum length limit. Daily bag is 25 in any combination of black and white crappie, and all crappie caught must be retained. In other months, crappie are subject to a 10-inch minimum length limit and a daily bag of 25. Statewide regulations apply to all other fishes.
Johnson Creek Marina has 3 floating cabins that you can rent or Pine Shadows Guest house is perfect for a big group.
The following parks have campsites: Alley Creek (91 sites); Brushy Creek (101 sites), Buckhorn Creek (101 sites), Cedar Springs (28 sites), Hurricane Creek (23 sites), and Johnson Creek (98 sites). Texas Parks & Wildlife has a list of campgrounds. Our favorite is Johnson Creek - great sites right on the water in a very nice cove.
Texas Parks & Wildlife has a list of places to launch your boat.
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