I can’t get enough of Texas state parks, especially during the heat of summer. Just over an hour from downtown Austin, Inks Lake State Park outside of Burnet is a must-see destination. The park spans more than 1,200 acres, offering a wide range of activities for guests.
Also, the lake stays at a constant level, so activities like swimming and boating are unaffected by drought conditions.
Speaking of activities, here’s a quick run-down of what you can experience at Inks Lake State Park:
- Boating/water skiing
- Equipment rentals: paddle boats, canoes, kayaks (one- and two-person)
- Hiking/backpacking across 9 miles of trails
- Tours and guided activities with park rangers (check the park’s Calendar of Events)
- Fishing (don’t miss the fabulous Tackle Loaner Program)
- Scuba diving
I’m always blown away by how much there is to do out at Inks Lake!
Know Before Going
- Inks Lake State Park is open 7 days/week, year-round from 8am to 10pm.
- The day use entrance fee is $6/person, but children 12 and under are free.
- If you plan on heading out, reserve in advance to guarantee access.
- Campsites are available, ranging from $11/night for a primitive site to $23/night for a 50-amp RV site.
- Cabins are also available for $55/night if you can’t do without four solid walls around you! They’re also ADA-accessible.
- The most commonly caught fish are bass, crappie and catfish.
- Wildlife is everywhere, including deer, turkey, quail and songbirds.
- Dogs are allowed in the park, but they must be kept leashed (as far as I know).
We Love Swimming at Devil’s Watering Hole
Devil’s Watering Hole is definitely one of our favorite swimming holes in Texas Hill Country. This spot is an inlet off of Ink’s Lake, bordered by rock outcroppings. I’ve spent entire afternoons lounging on my floatie, watching brave souls jump to a potentially watery grave from rocky heights. It’s extremely entertaining.
Important: You must take floaties/intertubes/noodles to fully enjoy Devil’s Watering Hole. The water is too deep for standing. On that same note, safety devices are a must for little ones. But don’t worry about entertaining kids who are too restless to sit in tubes all day. They’ll be busy enjoying the rock jumping. (Despite my dramatic words about watery graves, there are safe places for young kids to jump into the water. I’ve seen children as young as 6 jump from the shorter heights.)
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, walk back to your campsite or drive a short distance to one of the charcoal grills that are available. We love these spots we found right on the lake (see photo below). Everyone but the chef can jump back in the water while the food is cooking! The shaded picnic tables are also much appreciated.
Looking Forward to My Next Visit
There’s so much of Inks Lake State Park that I still need to explore. This is a year-round destination because of all of the activities that are available. Hope you plan your next trip soon! It’s very possible that you’ll run into me during your visit.
What details have I missed? Would love hear about your Inks Lake State Park experience in a comment!
Only been once which is nuts b/c it’s not that far!
Loved it though for sure!!
Your photos are gorgeous, @timothylauzon:disqus! Hope you’re able to make it back to Inks Lake while the weather’s fine.
Sounds like stuff you can do at almost every state park. Devil’s Waterhole swim area is rather unique.
Thanks for the comment, @scudag56:disqus. Devil’s Waterhole is totally unique, and our camping enthusiast friends name Inks Lake a favorite for that purpose as well. Plus, you’ve gotta admit that hiking at one state park can be tough to compare to another state park. Inks Lake has some unique vistas and trails.
how is the water level now?
@david ancira, you can call the main office at (512) 793-2223. I’m sure the rangers can give you an up-to-date answer on the water level at this exact moment!