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Located in Texas' Prairies and Lakes tourism region lies Grapevine Lake, one of the most picturesque and welcoming reservoirs in the state. Although certain facilities are leased out to cities and private companies, the reservoir is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Oblong in shape, Grapevine Lake covers 6,684 acres and is crucial to water conservation, navigation and flood control for the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas.
Just north of the City of Grapevine, the Grapevine Lake Dam was built in 1952 to control Denton Creek. Made up of a spillway and an embankment of compacted earth with a rock foundation, it is 12,850 feet long with a maximum height of 137 feet above the bottom of the stream. Initiated in 1948 as a part of the Grapevine Dam and Reservoir Project, Grapevine Lake was impounded a mere four years later.
Lake Grapevine's relatively small size and welcoming ambiance make it an ideal getaway for groups and families alike. Although it was originally intended to provide water for the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and surrounding communities, Lake Grapevine has now become a prime destination for leisure and recreational activities such as hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, camping, sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, and jetskiing. Playing the two nearby golf courses and shopping at the impressive DFW Metroplex are also popular activities.
Visitors come from all over Texas (and beyond) to explore Grapevine Lake's marinas, fishing holes, playgrounds, and handfuls of campgrounds and bar-restaurants. Ample picnic areas inspire relaxing day trips and barbecues along these peaceful shores. To the southeast, the Grapevine Lake Recreation Area is a wonderful place for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages to enjoy the many recreational activities that this lake has to offer. Numerous hiking and biking trails wind throughout the 15,000-acre protected zone. Nearby, you'll find a number of enticing wineries, a vintage railroad and a public art walk. Roughly ten miles northeast of Grapevine lies the enormous Lewisville Lake and Dam, which offers everything from parasailing to horseback riding. Real estate properties with lakeside views are available, but most vacation rentals are located close by in the adjacent City of Grapevine, Flower Mound and other surrounding areas.
Wildlife lovers will rejoice in Lake Grapevine's natural-surface trails, where fox, waterfowl, rabbit, and even the occasional mountain lion can be spotted. Local paths are perfect for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The rocky Northshore Trail runs for about nine miles and can be picked up from three different trail heads. Located on the western side of Grapevine Lake, the Knob Hills Trail stretches for about four miles along nearby Denton Creek.
Fishing is a popular pastime at Lake Grapevine and is guided by statewide rules and regulations as found on Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website (below). Sport fish such as largemouth bass, spotted bass, catfish, crappie, and white bass are common in Grapevine Lake's tranquil waters. Due to drop offs and dramatic changes along the basin's bottom, largemouth bass is particularly plentiful throughout, while the Twin Coves area is the best place to find catfish and crappie. A daily bag limit of five is in place for any combination of black bass.
Hunting is also prevalent at Lake Grapevine. Game animals include deer, squirrel, turkey, hogs, waterfowl, quail and rabbits, which can be pursued at various times throughout the year with the correct state and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits. For deer and wild hogs, bow hunting is also permitted.
Just minutes south of Lake Grapevine you'll find the City of Grapevine, originally named in 1854 by one of its founders, Judge Morehead, after the copious amounts of wild mustang grapes growing in the area. A day trip to this historical town is a must, as the area embodies an incredibly rich history. The Grapevine Commercial Historic District was noted by the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
At Grapevine's local museum you'll learn about the famous Tarantula road map created in 1873 by Captain B.B. Paddock, a depiction of Fort Worth surrounded by a tangle of proposed outward-bound railroads. Both the young and the young-at-heart will enjoy a ride on the corresponding Tarantula Train, which runs between Grapevine and the Stockyards National Historic District. Stockyards is the only district in the country that features daily Texas Longhorn cattle drives, which can be witnessed along Fort Worth's East Exchange Avenue for a taste of the old west. You can also learn about the notorious duo Bonnie and Clyde, who, according to the Dallas Historical Society, murdered two Grapevine highway patrolmen here in 1934.
Lake Grapevine is an ideal getaway for combining history, modernity and the great outdoors. Such close proximity to major urban centers like the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex make the lake extremely convenient in terms of travel, entertainment and amenities. Whether you like to swim, hike, fish or shop there is certainly something for everyone in and around Lake Grapevine.
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