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Can you swim in Houston’s lakes? 

Can you swim in Houston’s lakes

Thinking of taking a dip in Houston’s lakes and wondering if it’s allowed?

You can swim in Houston’s lakes, but if you do it, you are doing so at your own risk. This is because not all of Houston’s lakes are man-made, most of the lakes have bacteria festering in the waters, and there are alligators calling the lakes their home. 

So you do have to be careful which of the lakes you select for your dip. Below we’ll give you some suggestions with notes like how much it costs to be granted entry to them.

Which lakes near Houston are suitable for swimming?

Which lakes near Houston are suitable for swimming

Out of the 160 of Houston’s lakes, there are a select few near Houston that are suitable for swimming

These lakes include Lake Longhorn, Double Lake, Lake Conroe, Sleepy Hollow Lake, Lake Raven, Lake Livingston, Lake Somerville, and Ratcliff Lake. 

Lake Longhorn 

  • Address: : 2391 Gun Range Rd, League City, TX 77573, United States

For those interested in scuba diving or triathlon training, Lake Longhorn is a private lake that meets those needs. You can hire kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, go for a swim, or do any combination of the three. 

This lake in the Houston region is surrounded by more than 30 acres of land, so you can easily spend the day there. 

The office is a tiny trailer, so if you don’t fill out the waiver at home, you’ll be forced to sit in the hot sun. Day passes for kayaks and stand-up paddleboards cost $15, and entrance to the lake costs $15 per person.

Double Lake Recreation Area

  • Address: 301 FM 2025, Coldspring, TX 77331
  • Contact Info: +1 936-653-3448

An hour from Downtown Houston, there is a recreation area in the Sam Houston National Forest called Double Lake, and it’s a great place to go swimming, fishing, or canoeing. 

You can set up a tent right next to this lake in Sam Houston National Forest. You may also grab plenty of snacks and even purchase canoes for the day at the park’s general store.

Lake Conroe — Scott Ridge’s Swim Site

  • Address: 13274 Scotts Ridge Rd, Montgomery, TX 77356 
  • Contact Info: 936-344-6205

This swimming spot an hour from Houston features a beach, a picnic area with covered tables and grills, and access to Lake Conroe on the western edge of the Sam Houston National Forest. It’ll set you back $5 daily per car.

Sleepy Hollow Lake — Woodsy Hollow Campground

  • Address: 248 Woodsy Hollow Rd, Goodrich, TX 77335
  • Contact Info: 936-365-2267

Take an hour drive from Houston and spend the day at Sleepy Hollow Lake. Day tickets are available at this campground and RV park on Sleepy Hollow Lake for water sports like kayaking, paddleboarding, and swimming. 

The swimming fee is $5 per person, with an additional $10 for fishing and picnics.

Lake Raven — Huntsville State Park

  • Address: 565 Park Road 40 west, Huntsville, TX 77340, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 936-295-5644

Lake Raven, located in Huntsville State Park, is yet another excellent swimming spot in the Houston area. Lake Raven is a great place to go fishing, swimming, or paddling. 

You should know that the swimming area is on the small side and often full of people. Several signs alert visitors to the area’s alligator population. 

Renting canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats is also an option. 

Everyone over the age of 13 must pay $7 to enter. Don’t forget that state parks, especially on the weekends, can fill up quickly, so registering in advance is highly encouraged.

Lake Livingston 

  • Address: 300 State Park Rd 65, Livingston, TX 77351, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 936-365-2201

A fantastic place to cool off on a hot Texas day is at Lake Livingston, one of the state’s largest lakes. One must use a ladder to reach the designated swimming area, which is quite deep. 

Only when boat rentals are not in operation can swimmers use the shallower part of the beach leading to the water. Canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards can be rented at the park. 

Also, Paddle EZ offers self-service kayak and paddleboard rentals for $18 per hour. After making a mobile payment, you will be given a code to access the boat. 

Keep in mind that in between trips, the boats are not cleaned. Adult admission is $5, and children under 13 get in free.

Lake Somerville 

Lake Somerville
  • Address: 14222 Park Rd 57, Somerville, TX 77879, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 979-535-7763

Hiking paths, campsites, and lake access may all be found at Lake Somerville, a lovely park in the area. This swimming hole near Houston, Texas, offers a huge area of shallow water, making it ideal for toddlers and younger children.

Bear in mind that the water can get quite hot during the hottest parts of the summer because of its modest depth. This Houston swimming spot is best visited between May and July, rather than later in the year, like August. 

Each person over the age of 13 will be charged $4 to enter. 

Ratcliff Lake

Ratcliff Lake
  • Address: TX-7, Ratcliff, TX 75858, United States
  • Contact Info: +1 936-655-2299

Davy Crockett National Forest’s Ratcliff Lake has a tiny swimming area. In other words, the water is typical of that found in East Texas, and there is a sign warning of alligators.

Despite that, it is still a great area to go swimming. Simply keep your eyes open while there, as the locals say.

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