Lake Livingston - The Enormous East Texas Secret

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Lake Livingston is the 2nd largest lake located fully inside Texas. It is over 39 miles long and spans about seven miles at its widest point. With some 450 miles of shoreline, Lake Livingston is never crowded. It occupies about 84,000 acres and is often referred to as a "Water Wonderland." Located just 80 miles north of Houston and 175 miles southeast of Dallas, it's a fantastic place to spend a weekend, a vacation, or a lifetime. Hundreds of families maintain year-round vacation getaways in the lake area.
map of east Texas

Lake Livingston

What a wonderful place Lake Livingston is for relaxing and enjoying the great outdoors. Locals and visitors alike enjoy some of the best in fishing, camping, power-boating, sailing, water skiing, jet skiing and everything else wet in Texas. There's a seemingly endless abundance of wildlife around the lake too; it adds greatly to the fun of experiencing nature here. Situated in the midst of east Texas piney woods, the lake is surrounded by four east Texas counties: Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker. Several major highways pass through the Lake Livingston area, making it easily accessible from all directions. US Highway 59 runs north to south through the city of Livingston. Interstate Highway 45 runs north-south through Huntsville, about 30 miles west of the lake. The Interstate is also accessible from Coldspring via Texas Highway 150. US Highway 190 spans the lake and the Trinity River at Onalaska, connecting San Jacinto and Polk counties via a grand bridge and causeway. Here is a morning view from the north.

The Lake Livingston climate can be enjoyable almost any time of the year. Summer daytime temperatures often average more than 90 degrees.  Winters are mostly mild with a daytime average of 45-55 degrees, but highs in the 60s and 70s aren’t unusual.  Daytime spring and fall temperatures generally average in the 70s and 80s.  Except during unusually severe droughts and rarely needed dam repairs, the Trinity River Authority keeps the lake at a constant level at an average depth of about 23 feet. Waters near the dam, which is at the south end of the lake, are considerably deeper than in other parts.  The deepest point of the lake is about 90 feet.

The lake is surrounded by several small towns, including Coldspring, Goodrich, Livingston, Onalaska, Point Blank, Trinity, and Sheppard, not to mention the many smaller, residential communities. Their presence helps to make the entire Lake Livingston area a great place to live and to visit. Whether it's a lifetime residence, a retirement home, a weekend cabin, or just a getaway you seek, you really should give the Lake Livingston area some serious consideration. The parks on Lake Livingston offer thousands of campsites and hundreds of boat launching ramps. Find more details at the Lake Livingston State Park website.

If you travel to Lake Livingston during the spring, you're sure to enjoy a most colorful view. Almost all of the roads around and leading to Lake Livingston area are trimmed with Texas wildflowers.

Lake History
Construction of the Lake Livingston dam began in 1966 and was completed some three years later. The dam spans over 2 1/2 miles in width and has an average height of 55 feet. The lake, which resulted from damming the Trinity River about six miles east of Coldspring, produced a lake that covers more than 84,000 acres, stretching northward from the dam some 39 miles into Trinity County. The city of Houston and Trinity River Authority own the Lake Livingston water rights.

For more information, check out the Lake Livingston website.

Sailing on Lake Livingston
A considerable amount of sailing takes place on Lake Livingston annually, but mostly during the spring and fall. Most of the organized sailing-races, cruises, lessons, parades, etc. occur on the deeper waters at the south end of the lake. The prominent boating organization is the Cape Royale Boating Association (CRBA). Some thirty sailboats are presently berthed fulltime at the Cape Royale Marina. The marina belongs to the Cape Royale subdivision Property Owners Association. Cape Royale, one of the nicer lake area residential subdivisions, is about three miles north of Coldspring and accessible from FM224. Its marina is reputedly the best on the lake.
Lake Livingston    

For more boating information, visit the CRBA website.

More Lake Livingston Scenes


Lake Livingston is a particularly exciting place to visit and to live. Because of its extraordinary size among Texas lakes, it's never crowded. Whether sponsored by an organization or just out on their own, visitors are never at a loss for exciting things to do here. Most come hoping to find some adventure by seeing and romping in a place filled with natural beauty. When they get here, it's soon evident they picked a real winner. Here's hoping that you too will come soon and checkout Lake Livingston for yourself.

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