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Located in Texas Hill Country, Medina Lake is 40 miles northwest of San Antonio in Bandera and Medina Counties. Controlled by the Bexar-Medina-Atascosa Counties Agricultural District (BMA), Medina Lake is a clear-water residential lake with depths up to 152 feet. It is a reservoir on the Medina River that was created to provide irrigation water for local agricultural use. Communities around the lake include Mico, Lakehills, Bandera, Helotes, and Lake Medina Shores. The lake is 18 miles long and 3 miles wide at its broadest point.
Medina Lake, which was constructed as an irrigation reservoir in 1911-1912, was the biggest irrigation project west of the Mississippi. The lake was constructed partially on the Edwards limestone outcrop referred to as the Edwards Aquifer. The lake contributes large amounts of water to the Aquifer. Water levels can fluctuate by as much as 40 feet, depending on area rainfall.
Due to the clear water and limestone bluffs of Lake Medina, scuba diving is a popular activity. It is a Hill Country getaway for fishing, picnicking, swimming, kayaking, boating, jet skiing, and water sports such as water skiing and wakeboarding. It is best known among fishermen for its large yellow catfish. Other fish in Medina Lake include largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, blue catfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill, and walleye. The populations of largemouth bass and hybrid striped bass are rated very good by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Bandera County Park at Medina Lake has a boat ramp, swimming area, picnic tables, and restrooms. There is no camping in the county park, but there are several private campgrounds in the area. Activities in the area include visiting Bandera, "The Cowboy Capital of the World." It is home to the Frontier Times Museum, Lone Star Motorcycle Museum, and Bandera Music History Hall of Fame Project. There are ranch tours, dude ranches, horseback riding, and rodeos just to name a few. San Antonio, less than an hour away, is home to the Alamo and the famed Riverwalk. Visiting San Antonio is like traveling to another country. The food is fantastic, and the atmosphere is very south of the border.
Just south of Medina Lake is Castroville, "The Little Alsace of Texas." The town was founded in 1844 by a small group of colonists from Alsace, France. It offers self-guided walking tours, hiking trails, fine dining, and historic homes.
The cool, clear waters of Lake Medina can't be beat on a hot summer day in Texas Hill Country. Vacation rentals are available on Medina Lake, so pack your bags for a romantic weekend getaway or a relaxing, extended family vacation.
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