Things to Do

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Highland Lakes

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From recreational activity to water supply, the Highland Lakes provide it all for the Texas Hill Country. The lakes include Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis, and Lake Austin –  in that order.

Here are five things you probably didn’t know about the Highland Lakes:

1. The creation of the Highland Lakes.

Highland Lakes

Photo: Amanda Waltman

The Highland Lakes were created by a chain of six dams whose construction began in the 1930s and span 85 miles from Austin to the northwest Llano and Blanco counties. Through their creation, they have become the lifeblood of the Texas Hill Country.

2. Why were the Highland Lakes created?

Highland Lakes Drought

Photo: Amanda Waltman

The Highland Lakes were created to prevent flooding in the lower basin of the Colorado River, provide hydroelectric power, and act as reservoirs for water supply. Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan are the largest of the six lakes and together hold around 655 billion gallons of water that over 1 million people in surrounding communities depend on for business, farming, and recreational use. It is the #1 source of water for the central Texas region, so it’s a good thing that the Highland Lakes just came back from the worst drought in its history from 2008-2015.

3. So much to do!

Highland Lakes recreation

Photo: Amanda Waltman

The Highland Lakes mean business, but they also offer something fun for everyone: boating, fishing, water sports, Lakeside lodging, camping, and resorts, etc. Each lake is unique. Lake Buchanan is perfect for striped bass fishing. Inks Lake is a great place to camp and hike. Lake LBJ is ideal for boating since it is a constant level lake (one of the largest constant level lake in the US at that). Lake Marble Falls has fun events like Marble Falls’ Lakefest and a vineyard nearby that puts on Grape Jam Wine and Music Fest. Lake Travis is the longest of the Highland Lakes, and home to many Hill Country golfing and retirement communities.

4. Fun Festivals


Photo: Pexels

There is always something going on in the communities surrounding the Highland Lakes! Some of the best events are the Lake Buchanan Regatta and Dam Jam, Lakefest Drag Boat Races, Volente Beach Olive Festival, Lake Travis Spring Fest, Grape Jam Wine and Music Fest and Lake Travis Hot Air Balloon Fly Over.

5. Places to Stay

Canyon of the Eagles

Photo: Facebook/Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park – A Calibre Resort

There are also many places to stay in the Highland Lakes communities to enjoy hiking, camping, and the water. Some of the best places to stay along the Highland Lakes for a vacation experience or special occasion are Canyon of the Eagles Resort, Hampton Inn Marble Falls- On the Lake, Horseshoe Bay Resort, Lakeway Resort and Spa, and Lake Austin Spa Resort.