Houston, Texas is the fourth largest city in the U.S. with a population of over 2 million. Houston is a sprawling industrial city, focusing on the shipping and petrochemical industries, but is located in scenic east Texas and offers many outdoor recreational opportunities close by. There are actually over 70 lakes within 25 miles of Houston, with Lake Houston, Clear Lake, Sheldon Lake, and Lake Conroe being among the most well-known and popular.
Lake Houston is by far the largest lake in the Houston area, and is located just a few miles northeast of the city. Lake Houston offers excellent swimming, boating and fishing, and the recently created Lake Houston Wilderness Park can be found at the south end of the lake, and has several marked nature trails. Large-mouth bass, white bass, perch, crappie, and catfish can all be caught at Lake Houston.
Clear Lake is located in the city of Clear Lake in southeast metropolitan Houston, adjacent to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Space Center. Clear Lake is one of the most popular boating lakes in the entire U.S., and offers over 7000 boating slips. Swimming and fishing are also fun activities to enjoy on Clear Lake. Bay Area Park and Clear Lake Park are two nearby municipal parks offering recreational activities, picnicking, and the like for locals and visitors.
Sheldon Lake, or Sheldon Reservoir, is a man-made lake located on Carpenter's Bayou, and was constructed in 1942 by the U.S. federal government. The lake and over 2500 acres to the northeast of the lake were designated a Texas State Park in 1984. Fishing, hiking around the lake, and wildlife observation are the primary activities at Sheldon Lake. The Sheldon Lake Environmental Learning Center is located in the state park and offers a variety of nature and ecology programs including nature walks, catch-and-release fishing in two stocked ponds, pond ecology, native plant gardening, hunter education, and composting and recycling information.
Lake Conroe is a large lake, over 21 miles long, and is located about 40 miles north of Houston. Lake Conroe has become a favorite outdoor recreation getaway for Houstonites over the last few decades as the city has grown. Visitors to Lake Conroe can enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, and even water skiing and jet skiing. Lake Conroe has also enjoyed a huge building boom since the 1980s and the shores of the lake are now dotted with vacation-related developments ranging from luxury hotels to campsites and condos.
Other Houston-area Lakes
Other larger and well-known lakes in the Houston area include Muleshoe Lake, Lake Sandy, Buckhorn Lake, Lake Jackson, Marshall Lake, Nelson Reservoir, Lost Lake, and Bear Lake.