Arkansas Bend Park
Arkansas Bend Park, located in Lago Vista, has recently been restored to include two boat ramps, a playground, and upgraded campgrounds. This tranquil 323-acre park is located on Lake Travis’ north shore near the hamlet of Lago Vista and incorporates many of the greatest features of other Lake Travis parks. Hiking, fishing, camping, picnicking, and lake access through two boat ramps and a courtesy dock are all available along the park’s two miles of shoreline. A playground and many attractive, shaded picnic tables are located along the point on a cliff over a gently sloping, rocky shoreline.
Travis County Parks does not supply any equipment, despite the fact that the park allows access to the specified activities.
Arkansas Bend has 18 upgraded campsites, each with a picnic table, BBQ grill, lantern hook, and a fire ring, as well as water and 20/30/50 electricity hookups. Roadrunner Loop has three restroom facilities, each with ten separate bathroom and shower combos. The camping area is staffed by camp hosts and is restricted to paying campers only. All sites require a log-in. Reservations are strongly advised because space is limited.
On-site parking is provided. A site may accommodate up to two automobiles and up to eight persons. There is more parking available.
Ground fires are authorized as long as the weather permits. All Travis County Parks, however, restrict the cutting or collection of firewood, including kindling. You must supply your own firewood.
To ensure that all park visitors have a pleasant stay at Arkansas Bend, we recommend that all overnight campers arrive by 9:00 p.m. and keep vehicle traffic to a minimum after dark. Quiet hours are rigorously enforced between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. At this time, all radios and generators must be switched off.
Swimming and boating
Arkansas Bend presently has two boat ramps open to the public. One has a courtesy dock as well as an ADA ramp. This will assist to relieve any lengthy startup delays.
There is no lifeguard on duty, so swim at your own risk.
Zebra Mussels have been discovered on the shores of our lake parks. Swimmers and those looking for water-based leisure should be cautious when in or near the water.
Arkansas Bend’s Historical Background
Lake Travis is a reservoir formed by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) when the Mansfield Dam was built. The dam, which was built to regulate the flooding of the Colorado River for 600 miles, is massive—26 storeys high and 7,000 feet long. Although the LCRA also constructed five further dams, resulting in the formation of six additional lakes (known as the Highland Lakes Region), Lake Travis is usually recognized as the area’s crown gem. For one thing, it’s enormous: Its roughly 64-mile-long body bends and turns into various streams, with 270 miles of scenic and unspoilt beach.
Not to add, every aquatic activity conceivable is available on Lake Travis, including skiing, sailing, fishing, boating, and swimming. Scuba divers will love the lake. Its water is 225 feet deep in spots (the deepest point of the lake lies between Volente and Hudson Bend), and the water quality is stunningly brilliant when compared to other lakes in the area: an iridescent blue-green that contrasts beautifully with the stark white limestone of the cliffs.
Arkansas Bend Park, located on the lake’s north shoreline near Lago Vista, provides a beautiful sight of everything Lake Travis has to offer. This was not always true. The area had fallen into disrepair before to the park’s recent refurbishment, with damaged tree roots and grounds (and only very basic amenities). That is no longer the case. Today, the park (which re-opened in June 2019 after extensive renovations) has plenty of amenities to keep visitors happy, including two public boat ramps (one of which has a courtesy dock and an ADA ramp), grassy, shaded picnic areas, 18 campsites, a short loop trail, and a playground perched on a bluff above the water.
Ways to Get There
Depending on traffic, Arkansas Bend State Park is about 50 minutes from downtown Austin. It is also around three hours from Houston and two hours from San Antonio.
From Austin, take I-35 north to 183-N toward Cedar Park. Then, exit at FM 1431 and go on Ranch Road 1431 until you reach the park.
What Should You Do?
Of course, the water is the major draw of Arkansas Bend. The swimming is excellent, and the environment is stunning, with sun-bleached limestone bluffs, shimmering blue-green lakes, and rich, dark green foliage reminiscent of Provence or southern Italy. After swimming in the clean waters, have a picnic atop the bluffs at one of the shaded tables overlooking the lake.
At Arkansas Bend, you may engage in a variety of water sports (though keep in mind that the park simply gives access to the water; you’ll need to rent equipment elsewhere)—charter a sailboat and park it here for a time, or bring your own boat or kayak and launch from one of the docks. Fishing is also popular in the lake, which is home to catfish, white bass, largemouth bass, sunfish, and other species. If you want to take a walk, there’s a gorgeous half-mile circular track that runs around the park.
But, for those looking to beat the Texas heat and swim the day away, Arkansas Bend is practically unrivaled in the Austin region.
Next Point of Interest: The Oasis On Lake Travis