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Unexpected journey leads to Inks Lake Park

 
Unexpected journey leads to Inks Lake Park
Cast a line for striped bass, white bass, catfish or sunfish from one of two lighted piers in Inks Lake State Park, near Burnet.

By Harry & Linda Kaye Perez

Everyday Journeys

Our plan on this day was to enjoy some hot air balloons over Horseshoe Bay on Lake LBJ. We arrived at a very early hour, because the balloons were scheduled for a sunrise ascension. We were primed for an exciting time to watch these magnificent and colorful balloons inflate and rise into a brilliant sky. However, the wind did not cooperate and the event was cancelled. So, what do you do at 5:30 in the morning, 100 miles from home? Pull out an area map and find something else to do! Flexibility is the key to interesting travel.

Inks Lake State Park was only 30 miles away and we have such fond memories of camping there many, many years ago, when our children were young. The drive between Horseshoe Bay and the park was breathtaking; the sides of the roadways were blanketed with bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes. The blues and reds blended beautifully with the outcroppings of granite and cactus.

Something for everyone

Inks Lake State Park claims to be the second busiest park in the system, with Garner being the first. And, with one look, you can see why. There is truly something for everyone.

There are cabins and campsites within a stone’s throw of the lake, a marvelous children’s playground, swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, and just down-home good-old fun. It is a place where families are comfortable letting the children ride their bicycles on the many roads and trails throughout the park. Oh, yes, did I mention a nine-hole golf course?

One of the reasons that Inks Lake is so popular is due to its constant water level, unlike many other lakes that depend on rainfall. The recent drought has severely impacted most lakes in Texas.

Inks is the second lake in the Highland Lakes chain. It is actually a reservoir on the Colorado River formed in 1938 with the construction of the Inks Dam and has 831 acres of surface water; the maximum water depth is 60 feet. It is fed by the first lake in the chain, Lake Buchanan, also a manmade reservoir with 22,333 acres of surface water, making it the largest of the six Highland Lakes.

Inks Lake is 4-1/2 miles long and 3,000 feet wide. There are two lighted fishing piers; striped bass, white bass, catfish, and sunfish populate its waters.

Take a hike

There are 7-1/2 miles of color-coded hiking trails. The Green Trail starts at the headquarters, includes Stumpy Hollow, and loops around Rocky Knob. The Yellow Trail leads to Pecan Flats Primitive Camping Area through woodlands, streams, and rocky hills with lake views. The Blue Trail circles around woodlands, rocky hills, and streams; and the Red Trails connect all the other trails together, but are steep and rugged. Be sure to pick up a free “Hiking Trail Guide” at the park headquarters.

Wildlife within the park includes whitetail deer, raccoons, wild turkey, armadillos, and an occasional fox.

So many of the parks have cut back on personnel due to budget cuts, but not so at Inks Lake. The Ranger Programs are alive and well. The programs change with the seasons and some have a small fee. You can use the link to view the entire schedule for 2013. Some programs offered recently: Geology Rock Hike, Hike with a Master Naturalist, Fishing with a Ranger, Devil’s Waterhole Canoe Tour, and Electric Boat Sunset Cruise.

Stock up

The Texas State Parks Store is located inside the park adjacent to the boat ramp. It stocks ice, firewood, T-shirts, caps, and one-of-a-kind gift items, as well as snacks, drinks, and basic supplies. Here, you can rent a canoe, a kayak, or a paddleboat and explore every nook and cranny of the lake. You can also borrow fishing tackle at the store, just in case you don’t have your own.

So, if you are up for a little adventure, throw a couple of lawn chairs in the trunk, pack a picnic lunch, a good book, and a camera and head for Inks Lake, even if it’s just for the day.

Harry and Linda Kaye Perez are freelance writers from just down the road from Floresville. Together they share a passion for traveling and writing, and discovering the very best in all corners of the world. Email them at Harry-Linda411@att.net.


Find out more

¢Inks Lake Park Headquarters, 3630 Park Road 4 West, Burnet, TX 78611;
512-703-2223; www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/inks-lake

¢Reservations: 512-389-8900

¢Upcoming events: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/inks
lake/park_events

 
 
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