Situated on the east side of Waco is the 7,712 acre body of water known as Lake Waco. The lake is home to all different types of activities such as fishing, hunting, hiking, boating and much, much more.
The lake offers so much in outdoor activities and incredible beauty that it’s easy to forget whether this lake is man made or natural.
Fact is, what you see today is not what has always been. Lets take a look at a little bit of history behind Lake Waco.
Related: Is Lake Waco Safe To Swim In?
Is Lake Waco Man Made?
Yes. Lake Waco is a man made lake that is a result of a dam that was built in 1929 to control flooding on the Bosque River.
Lake Waco was also intended to provide a reliable water source for the city of Waco. A modern earthen dam replaced the original structure in 1961, increasing the lake’s surface area from 2700 acres to approximately 8,400 acres. The lake is currently maintained by the United States Army Engineering Corps and the Brazos River Authority.
Though the lake’s primary function is to provide a reliable water supply for Waco, it has also long served as a center of recreational activity. Boating has become a very popular activity on Lake Waco.
Waco Lake Parks
The construction of the new dam sparked debate in the Waco community about the development of community centers around Lake Waco. Many residents saw the lake as a source of civic pride and wished to expand the services the park could provide to the community. Along the dam, the US Army Engineering Corps encouraged the development of features such as wildlife habitats and parks.
Airport Park, Midway Park, Reynolds Creek Park, and Speegleville Park are the corps’ four parks that surround Lake Waco. These parks have camping and picnic areas, as well as several boat ramps and two marinas. They also provide areas for water sports, hunting and fishing, boating, and hiking.
Reynolds Creek Park’s Lacy Point Nature Trail is part of the National Trails System. Throughout the summer, educational programs on topics such as wildlife, lake history, and water safety are available to the general public.
Read More: How Long Is The Lake Waco Dam Trail?
The Waco Wetlands are located at the upper end of Lake Waco, an environmental project established in 2001 to reduce habitat loss when the city raised the reservoir seven feet. This site, which is managed in collaboration with Baylor University, serves as a living laboratory for research, education, and recreation.
Lake Waco, which began as a civic project, has evolved into an important gathering place for the city due to the educational and recreational benefits it provides.