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6 Fantastic Recreational Lakes near Victoria, TX

Victoria has a modest but excellent collection of lakes. Some of the options are full-on recreational reservoirs with tons of activities. And others are ideal spots for families and nature fans.

Although there aren’t many lakes around Victoria, all of them provide something special and unique.

For example, Coleto Creek Reservoir is the nearest place with fantastic swimming and no limits on recreation. City of Cuero Lake is urban but perfect for families and kids. And Lake Corpus Christi is one of the most-visited reservoirs in South Texas. 

The best way to explore these gems is to rent an RV and go on the lake trip. Check out the options!

Lakes near Victoria:

  1. Lake Texana
  2. Coleto Creek Reservoir
  3. Saxet Lake
  4. City of Cuero Lake
  5. Lake Corpus Christi 
  6. Choke Canyon Reservoir
Lakes near Victoria Texas Comparison Table

1. Lake Texana

Lake Texana
Source: depositphotos
  • Official Page: Lake Texana
  • Distance from Victoria: 32 miles (35 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, SUPs, Swimming, Hiking, Camping, RVs, Wakeboarding, Water Skiing, Tubing

Lake Texana is a 9,727-acre reservoir near Edna. It’s a versatile destination with well-maintained parks and plenty of boat ramps.

Texana Park and Brackenridge Recreational Area are the best places to access the lake. Both offer campgrounds, cabins, and rental facilities. 

Also, the two parks have miles of hiking and biking trails which are fantastic for exploring the surroundings and spotting wildlife.

Lake Texana offers a wide range of water activities, too. It’s an excellent place to kayak, thanks to the numerous coves with sandy landings.

However, water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing may be more challenging. The lake has a lot of vegetation and standing timber. So, the safest place to ski is at the dam.

Swimming is allowed at Lake Texana, making it a popular summer destination. And yes, there are alligators in the water, but they tend to keep to the creeks and rarely show themselves.

Fishing is pretty good here; all the timber and vegetation provide excellent fish habitat. In recent years, the lake has been actively stocked with largemouth bass that many anglers target. Yet, the reservoir is known for its catfish rather than bass. 

In short, it’s a fantastic destination with tons of activities. It’s great fun for kids, nature enthusiasts, and seasoned anglers.

Related: 9 Superb Recreational Lakes near Waco, TX

2. Coleto Creek Reservoir

Coleto Creek Reservoir
Source: unsplash
  • Official Page: Coleto Creek Reservoir
  • Distance from Victoria: 14 miles (20 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, SUPs, Swimming, Hiking, Camping, RVs, Wakeboarding, Water Skiing, Tubing

Coleto Creek Reservoir is 3,100 acres in size. It’s a popular family spot with lots of activities and an excellent competition to Lake Texana. If you’re renting an RV for a family trip, this should be your first option.

Coleto Creek Park is the only access area at the lake, but it has plenty of amenities to keep you busy (or relaxed). Here, you will find a fishing pier, boat ramp, nature trail, various sporting grounds, and camping facilities. 

Also, the park offers a designated swimming area that’s great fun in summer, and the lake is known for relatively clear water, too.

When it comes to boating activities, there are no limits here. It’s an excellent kayaking spot, but if you’re planning to ski or wakeboard, extra care is required. Like many lakes in East Texas, there is plenty of vegetation and standing timber.

Fishing is average at Coleto Creek Reservoir. Local anglers know good spots and easily pull 4-pound largemouth bass, but generally, the lake isn’t known for great fishing. You can also go for crappie and catfish.

Overall, it’s an excellent and versatile spot, especially for family getaways. And it’s just 20 minutes away.

Related: Best Beaches near Victoria, TX

3. Saxet Lake

Saxet Lake
Source: flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • Official Page: Saxet Lake
  • Distance from Victoria: 3 miles (10 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Picnics, BBQs

Saxet Lake is all about fishing and grilling. Located just 10 minutes from downtown, it’s the nearest spot to cast and relax or bring the family for a day by the lake.

Patriot Park and Victoria County Park are the two places that provide access to the lake. They are simple parks with very few amenities. You get a few picnic tables, a boat ramp, and a disk golf course, but that’s pretty much it.

On the water, you can go kayaking and boating, but the lake is too small for wakeboarding or skiing. Instead, it’s a popular fishing spot.

There is no pier, so you are limited to fishing from the bank or a boat. Shore access is ok, but as expected, the best fishing is from the water.

The variety of species is quite good. You can target largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill – the usual suspects.

Overall, it’s a nice place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city or get together with friends and family, and it’s just 10 minutes from home.

Related: 15 Superb Lakes near San Antonio, TX

4. City of Cuero Lake

City of Cuero Lake
Source: depositphotos
  • Official Page: City of Cuero Lake
  • Distance from Victoria: 27 miles (30 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Kayaking, Canoeing, Picnics, BBQs, Walking, Sports Fields

City of Cuero Lake is the centerpiece of Cuero Municipal Park. Although quite urban, it’s a fun destination with lots of activities and probably the best family-friendly spot around.

The park offers kayak and canoe rentals, so it’s an excellent place to learn paddling before investing in your own equipment.

Also, there is a pier, but as you may expect, fishing here isn’t as good as in large lakes. Still, great for beginners and kids. They have lots of bluegill, catfish, and an occasional bass.

In addition, the park has various sports fields, a 2.8-mile walking trail, and plenty of picnic spots. And if you want to cool off in summer, there is an outdoor pool and a splash pad.

With so much going on, it’s a buzzing place at any time of the year. And although it’s not a traditional recreational lake, it’s worth visiting, especially with kids.

Related: Best Beaches near Victoria, TX

5. Lake Corpus Christi 

Lake Corpus Christi 
Source: Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia
  • Official Page: Lake Corpus Christi 
  • Distance from Victoria: 84 miles (1h 25 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, SUPs, Swimming, Hiking, Camping, RVs, Wakeboarding, Water Skiing, Tubing

Lake Corpus Christi is an 18,256-acre reservoir near Mathis. It’s a hugely popular destination with gorgeous surroundings and amazing wildlife.

The best place to visit is Lake Corpus Christi State Park in the southern part of the lake. It offers camping, beaches, boat ramps, trails, and kayak rentals – everything you may need for a weekend on the lake.

When it comes to water activities, Lake Corpus Christi is amazing. Swimming is allowed here, and although there are alligators in the lake, they rarely visit the state park area. In fact, the rangers haven’t seen one there for many years.

Also, Lake Corpus Christi is excellent for kayaking and canoeing. Its shoreline has various features like cliffs, marshes, and sandy landings, making paddling here enjoyable.

And for boating sports like wakeboarding and skiing, it’s ok, too. Although there are areas with standing timber and vegetation, you can find deep spots to ski safely.

Fishing is another amazing thing about Lake Corpus Christi; it’s excellent here. Anglers target largemouth bass, various types of cats, and freshwater drum. And the size of alligator gar that people pull in is simply unbelievable.

Also, every winter, the reservoir is stocked with rainbow trout. Although a rare catch, there are few trout places in Texas.

Yet, the lake has two drawbacks. One is the water level tends to fluctuate a lot, and boat ramps become unavailable during droughts. And also, this is a very popular lake with only a few access areas. It gets packed during summer, especially on weekends.

Despite all the drawbacks and the distance from Victoria, it’s a must-visit place that you never get tired of.

Related: 7 Unique Recreational Lakes near Lufkin, TX

6. Choke Canyon Reservoir

Choke Canyon Reservoir
Source: depositphotos
  • Official Page: Choke Canyon Reservoir
  • Distance from Victoria: 92 miles (1h 45 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, SUPs, Swimming, Hiking, Camping, RVs, Wakeboarding, Water Skiing, Tubing

Choke Canyon Reservoir is a 25,670-acre lake located near Three Rivers. It’s known for impressive wildlife and outstanding fishing.

Choke Canyon State Park is the best place to start, especially if visiting for the first time. It’s a very peaceful place, and the first thing you will notice is how quiet it is.

The park is teeming with wildlife who are not shy of campers. You are guaranteed to see deer, wild boars, and various rare birds. It’s a haven for wildlife photography.

The lake itself is excellent for kayaking and boating, although it’s not really known for wakeboarding or skiing. 

If you’re not off-put by alligators who make the reservoir their home, you can go for a swim here as well. 

This lake’s biggest drawback is the same as Corpus Christi’s – fluctuating water levels. In fact, Choke Canyon hasn’t been more than 50% full since the drought of 2010-2013.

Still, the biggest attraction here is fishing. The variety and sizes are impressive. Depending on the time of year and your preference, you can target largemouth bass and various cats or go for an alligator gar. The biggest one caught here was a 216-pound monster.

Choke Canyon Reservoir is frequently overlooked by lake-goers, probably because it’s not as developed as other lakes. Still, it’s an incredible spot for wildlife enthusiasts and anglers.

Related: Best Beaches near Victoria, TX

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