Limestone cliffs and arid flatlands surround the immaculate Lake Amistad, the third largest lake in Texas. The lake and its surroundings are part of the Amistad National Recreation Area in Del Rio, one of just two of its kind in the state. This desert oasis comprises the International Amistad Reservoir, which supplies water to communities in Mexico and the United States. Although it serves a critical function, the lake also provides ample recreational opportunities, such as hiking, boating, and water skiing. Its size and prominence has made it one of Del Rio’s top attractions as well as one of the must-visit places in Southwest Texas.
Things to Do
If you like spending time outdoors, you’ll enjoy all you can do at the Amistad National Recreation Area. There’s no shortage of fun you can have on land or in the pure water of Lake Amistad. This includes:
Canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding in Lake Amistad is a great thing to do here as well. If you have your own gear, you can traverse just about any part of the lake. The National Park Service offers seven suggested paddling trails that take you to caves full of ancient pictographs and down rivers embedded in rugged canyons. If you’re wanting a bit more adventure, plan a trip down Devils River. This 47.7-mile excursion takes you from the Devils River State Natural Area down into Amistad National Recreation Area through some of the most picturesque landscapes near Del Rio.
Meanwhile, the 2.1-mile-long Sunrise Trail, situated just northwest of Del Rio, follows a section of Lake Amistad’s southern shore, affording plenty of great lake views. If you’re feeling ambitious, head to the Figueroa Trail System on the western side of Devils River. Three trails comprise this system, with the longest being about 2.75 miles long. The diversity of trails makes hiking in Amistad National Recreation Area one of the top things to do in the area. Before you hit the trails, make sure you have at least one gallon of water per person per day, sunscreen and protective clothing, and heavy-soled hiking boots.
Lake Amistad is known as one of the best bass fishing lakes in Texas, and as such anglers travel here from all over the state. The angling is so well known, in fact, that Lake Amistad is the site of several prominent local, regional, and national fishing tournaments, including the Bass Champs South Amistad #1 and the Bass Prop Shops Central Open. Find out more about fishing tournaments at Lake Amistad here.
Day-use areas in Amistad National Recreation Area, which includes the picnic areas, are open from dawn to dusk throughout the year. The information center, located at 4121 Veterans Boulevard, opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 4:30 p.m. Access to the park is year-round.
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