History: This part of north Texas was frequented by several Indian tribes, including Comanches, Kiowas, and Tonkawas. When white settlers began to move into the area in substantial numbers in the 1840s, the region became one of the main flash-points on the frontier. By 1860, the area was moderately settled, but the outbreak of the Civil War caused the temporary and sometimes permanent abandonment of many settlements. After the war, the region again became a focus of settlement under the protection of army units at Fort Richardson and Fort Sill. The closest town to the park, Pilot Point, was first settled in 1846, but had long been a camping site for Indians, rangers, and early pioneers. Several recorded State Archeological Landmarks exist within the present park boundaries. These landmarks consist mostly of nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century farm sites.
Lake's History: The lake was created to provide water to the Cities of Dallas and Denton. Ray Roberts Lake, authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1965, takes in portions of three counties: Denton, Cooke, and Grayson. Originally Known as the Aubrey Reservoir, the proposed lake was renamed in 1980 for U.S. Congressman Ray Roberts (1913-1993). The lake is a 29.350-acre Corps of Engineers impoundment on the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. The lake is surrounded by two state park units (Isle du Bois and Johnson Branch), six satellite parks, as well as Wildlife Management Areas, wetlands, and waterfowl sanctuaries. All the parks are open. Jordan Unit contains 477 acres; Pond Creek - 20 acres; Pecan Creek - 48 acres; Buck Creek - 11 acres; Sanger - 20 acres; and Elm Fork - 290 acres.
Herbert Ray Roberts: Ray Roberts was a member of Texas' 4th Congressional district from 1962-1981. He grew up on a farm near McKinney Texas. He earned the name "Mr. Water" for his tireless efforts in water conservation in the state. He helped secure funds that enabled the Aubrey reservoir to be built. Later it was decided that the lake would be named after the person who worked so hard to make it happen hence the name Ray Roberts Lake. Construction of the reservoir and dam began in the 1980's and the Isle du Bois state park opened in 1993 followed by the Johnson Branch in 1996.
General Hunting and Fishing Requirements/Restrictions
Certified Angler Education instructors will teach the basic skills of assembling tackle, identifying fish, fishing regulations, safety, and good fish habitat. Then try your luck at the kid's fish pond.
Lake Ray Roberts Marina
The Lake Ray Roberts Marina at the Sanger Unit is a full-service marina. They have a repair shop and boat storage; sell and rent boats and motors; sell fuel; and rent boat slips. They also sell fishing licenses, bait, groceries, and deli-snacks. For more information on the Lake Ray Roberts Marina go to their web site at www.rayrobertsmarina.com or call them at 940/458-7343.
Hikers, campers, and other park visitors should be aware of the few venomous snakes native to the area. The two most common venomous snakes in our area are copperheads and cottonmouths (also known as water moccasins). Venomous snake bites are rare and generally happen because someone used poor judgment in footwear or behavior. Open shoes such as flip flops do not provide protection if you step on, or near, a venomous snake. These snakes are often out at night during the summer, so you should always use a flashlight when walking after dark. It is important to stay on marked trails and paths where you are less likely to encounter venomous snakes. Never stick your hands or feet into old logs, under rocks, or into any crevice that a snake might use for shelter. Venomous snakes that consider the park home are going to defend themselves if they feel threatened, so protect yourself by wearing the right shoes and paying close attention to the areas snakes frequent. If you do encounter a snake in or near your campsite, notify a park ranger, park police officer, or park headquarters so that we can properly relocate it.
About: Situated along the shores of a 30,000-acre reservoir Ray Roberts Lake State Park Complex consists of two state park units (Isle du Bois and Johnson Branch), six satellite parks (Jordan Unit, Pond Creek, Pecan Creek, Buck Creek, Sanger, and Elm Fork), Wildlife Management Areas, wetlands, waterfowl sanctuaries and the 20 mile Ray Roberts Lake/Lake Lewisville Greenbelt Corridor. Bird watching, water sports, riding horses or backpacking along a scenic trail, Ray Roberts has something for everyone.
The Greenbelt Trail is a joint project between the city of Denton, Dallas, and the Army Corps of Engineers to connect Lake Ray Roberts and Lewisville Lake. The Greenbelt is a 1,500-acre wilderness corridor area that follows the Elm Fork of the Trinity River and features approx. 11 miles of multi-use trails and waterways for bicyclists, equestrians, hikers, kayakers, canoeists, and others. It has become the premier North Texas destination for outdoor enthusiasts from the surrounding area looking to escape the hustle of city life for a little while.
Horseback riders can start their ride at FM 380, FM 428, FM 455, Isle du Bois Unit, or Jordan Park. The Equestrian trail continues all the way around the east side of Lake Ray Roberts, through the state park at Isle du Bois, and on to Jordan Park, near Pilot Point.
Canoeists and kayakers will be able to take advantage of the three access points located at FM 455 (just below the Lake Ray Roberts dam), FM 428, and US 380 for put-in and take-out points.
Click here to download the TPWD Rules and Regulations PDF
NEW - Trail Guides for your smartphone
Self Guided Tours using your smartphone for navigation available using EveryTrail.
Ray Roberts Lake State Park
Guide 1 - Introduction, Lost Pines Trail, and Interpretive Center
Guide 2 - Ray Roberts Lake State Park, Isle du Bois & Satellite Parks
Guide 3 - Ray Roberts Lake State Park, Greenbelt Corridor
Guide 4 - Ray Roberts Lake State Park, Johnson Branch Unit
Download PDF Maps from Texas Parks and Wildlife:
Ray Roberts Google Earth Trail Maps Suitable for printing
Map to Ray Roberts Lake State Park
Click on the navigation controls on the top left side to
move around and the vertical bar to zoom in/out
The center has lots of reference resources. It is located by the Visitor's Center in the Isle du Boise Unit. It is open on Saturday and Sunday. There is a pond and native plant demonstration gardens.
This program often draws a large number of people. It is currently sponsored by the Pilot Point Rotary Club and Cabela's. Participants rotate through educational stations and learn what constitutes a healthy fish habitat, the aquatic food chain, fish anatomy and the effect of all these on species survival. Other important topics include rules and regulations, safety, and ethics. The program focuses on fish that are native to North Texas with an emphasis on species in Lake Ray Roberts. Participants learn how to tie knots, bait hooks, and cast. They also have the option of fishing with poles and bait provided by TPWD with assistance from volunteers and park staff. Children that complete each of the educational stations receive a Junior Angler certificate and pin. Hot dogs are free for anyone participating at lunch time. Fishing poles, lures and tackle boxes are raffled off throughout the event. This program is held at Isle du Bois Unit and Johnson Branch Unit.
A fun evening event held in the evening, features guest speakers.
The Beauty of Ray Roberts.
The beauty and variety of Ray Roberts Lake State Park can be seen everywhere you look. Artists and Photographers often capture the constantly changing beauty of Ray Roberts. This video slide show is a compilation of beautiful photos of Ray Roberts created by exceptional photographers from the Dallas Ft. Worth Area.