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Lake Bonham is a 1,020-acre recreation destination in the Prairies and Lakes Region of northern Texas, just south of the Texas-Oklahoma border in Fannin County. The lake was created in 1969 by the City of Bonham, five miles to the south, as a municipal water supply. The Lake Bonham Dam impounds Timber Creek and other small tributaries that are part of the Red River Basin. Residents and visitors enjoy Lake Bonham for fishing, boating, waterskiing, swimming, picnicking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
Two boat ramps, operated by the City of Bonham, provide public access to Lake Bonham. Both ramps, one located on the north shore and the other on the south shore, accommodate all boat types and require a boat permit. The south shore ramp is located in the Bonham City Lake Recreation Area, which also provides restrooms, live bait, courtesy docks, picnic areas, camping, and handicap access.
Lake Bonham contains healthy populations of largemouth bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, crappie, and sunfish. All species are currently managed with statewide regulations, so check with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department before fishing. The best places to fish in Lake Bonham are along the shoreline ringed with cattails, under boat houses, and around the rip-rap along the dam.
Rich in history, this part of Texas is often referred to as the area where the Old South meets the Wild West. East of Lake Bonham are the Piney Woods of Texas, and west are the wind-blown Plains. Visit the City of Bonham and see the Sam Rayburn House Museum, the Fannin County Museum of History, and the Creative Arts Center, which was created to provide Fannin County with a venue where artists and performers can display or create their art. The Bonham Chamber of Commerce also arranges tours of local wineries.
The Sam Rayburn Library and Museum, one of the five divisions of the Center for American History, is the creation of the man (Sam Rayburn) who served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives longer than any other speaker. It contains exhibits on the life of Sam Rayburn and an exact replica of the office of the Speaker of the House.
For more outdoor recreation, head to Bonham State Park, a 261-acre park with a 65-acre lake, rolling hills, prairies, and woodlands. The park offers boating, paddling, swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, and camping. Facilities include a fishing pier, picnic areas, showers, restrooms, and a newly renovated indoor complex that sleeps 94. Close to Lake Bonham, the State Park is perfect for family camping.
Lake Bonham and the surrounding area are home to raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, and numerous songbirds for bird watching and wildlife viewing. With rolling hillsides and mature trees, Lake Bonham offers a relaxing, lazy weekend or week-long trip along the Texas-Oklahoma border. You may decide to make the Lake Bonham shoreline your permanent home.
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