Let’s face it; Texas’ hot summers can wear a body
down. This year the heat wave started early and
shows no sign of letting up for months. But fear
not, the Brazos River Authority has the cure for
your summertime blues. How about a dip in the
cool waters of beautiful Possum Kingdom Lake?
This natural treasure has drawn families and other
recreationists to North Texas for generations.
Located just a short drive west of the Dallas-Fort
Worth Metroplex, Possum Kingdom covers nearly
18,000 acres and is surrounded by dramatic
limestone cliffs, including the landmark Hell’s Gate
But the best part of the lake is there is so much to do at PK, most of it at no charge. Whether one likes
camping, hiking, fishing, water skiing, swimming or many other outdoor activities, fun awaits at the lake. Here
are a few of the ways you can unwind at Possum Kingdom.
PUBLIC USE AREAS
Possum Kingdom features 10 Brazos River Authority public
areas scattered across the lake’s central peninsula and on the
west side. Nearly all are free year round, and the two that
charge during the summer months call for a modest fee. The
parks feature ample camping sites and sheltered picnic tables
from the wooded areas right up to the lake front.
The youngest members of the family will enjoy the Brazos
River Authority’s playgrounds at North D & D campground and
Sandy Beach Park. Designed with age-appropriate areas for 2-
5 year olds and 5-12 year olds, they meet national playground
guidelines and feature the latest in child-safe playground equipment with swings, slides, spinners, twisters,
climbing areas and learning panels.
These fun zones are Americans with Disabilities Act accessible.
They sit atop a 12-inch thick layer of wood chip-style materials to
cushion the ground throughout the play area. The playground also
offers parent-friendly sitting areas with benches. Nearby at both
parks are ADA accessible restrooms with showers.
Many of the public areas also feature marked swimming areas,
roped off well away from traffic on the lake. For more information
about PK lake public use areas and their amenities, please click
FISHING AND WATERSPORTS
If getting on the water is your thing, Possum Kingdom Lake offers many
opportunities. The BRA has built several boat ramps and courtesy docks in and
around the public use areas. Most of these facilities are free to use, year round.
Whether you like to water ski or to tool around the lake on a personal watercraft,
there is plenty of room to do it on PK’s 17,700 acres. And with a daily fee of $5 per
boat, going on the lake is practically free.
Texas anglers know the lake is also a good place to cast their lines. Among the
varieties of fish you might hook are largemouth, striped and white bass; white
crappie; and channel and blue catfish. Many people also like to fish in the Brazos River just below Possum
Kingdom’s Morris Sheppard Dam. For more information about fishing at the lake, please click here.
HIKING AND BIKING
One area where the BRA has been busy making
improvements in recent years is our network of hike
and bike trails. These crisscross Possum Kingdom
Lake’s central peninsula, connecting the lake’s public
areas with 16 miles of paths.
The wide trails are suitable for hikers with a wide range
of abilities, averaging a 5 to 20 degree slope. You can
enjoy the sights and sounds of Texas flora and fauna
along the winding trails or at one of 19 lookouts. One
segment of the trail winds to the top of Johnson Peak,
where a scenic rest area equipped with benches
provides spectacular views of most of the lake, including the iconic Hell’s
The trails feature plentiful signs, as well as maps at the trailheads, to keep
visitors on the right path. Water fountains and restrooms have been
installed at various trailheads.
Throughout the trail system, rest areas with cedar benches have been
constructed at scenic overlooks; many named for Texas universities. With
titles such as “Longhorn,” “Raider” and “Aggie,” the rest areas feature
display signs with information about history, geology and animals of the
area. Click here for a printable map of the trail system.
Whether you want to spend a few days camping or just want to get away
for the day, the opportunities for fun at the cool waters of Possum Kingdom
Lake are practically endless. For information on recreational activities at
PK, call 940-779-2321.