Inks Lake State Park, Burnet, TX

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Inks Lake State Park is located at 3630 Park Road 4 West in Burnet, Texas. The park has 1201 acres with recreational facilities. The lake is adjacent to the Colorado River. To create the park it was necessary to obtain the deeds from the Colorado River authority and private land owners. This occurred in 1940. It took an additional ten years before the state park was actually opened.

In Texas there are seven lakes that make up the Highland Lakes Chain. Inks Lake is one of those. All of the lakes are surrounded by granite formed hills. Due to the high location of Inks Lake it is usually not affected by drought. The lake can also be important if flooding occurs. It is used to pass the flood waters through the chain and Inks Lake to help get the water downstream where lakes do suffer from drought.

Prior to being owned by the state some of the land in Inks Lake State Park was for cattle ranching. The 1800's were very important for cattle ranching in Texas, especially where water could be found. In the 30's the Civilian Conservation Corps created roads and culverts from the camp at Longhorn Caverns to the lakes.

Near the park, as well as in it are plenty of recreational activities to be enjoyed. Visitors can backpack, camp, hike, or golf at the park. Swimming, boating, scuba diving, fishing, and water skiing are also part of the activities available. The constant level of water in Inks Lake keeps it a more active area to be. Swimming is unsupervised by lifeguards, therefore one needs to be a strong swimmer or be with a few people.

Inks Lake State Park offers tours along the nature trails, geology hikes, fish seining, ecology talks, and Junior Ranger programs. There is also the Devils Waterhole Canoe Tour. To take a tour it is imperative to call ahead. The state park sees school groups and other gatherings during the year, so any tour visitors should be booked in advance.

Besides the camping facilities there are "limited use cabins.'' These cabins can be used for a few days out of the year per group. There are two sets of bunk beds, a table and four chairs, air conditioning, ceiling fans, and electrical plugs. Cooking is not allowed in the cabins, but grills are set up. These cabins have fire rings, picnic tables, and water spigots also. All camping areas are tent or small trailer. Pets are permitted with campers, but no pets are allowed at the cabins. The restrooms do have showers.

For camping one can head away from the busier sites up to the backpack sites. These are 1.5 miles away. Drinking is prohibited, and ground fires are not allowed at the backpacking sites. Only areas with fire rings are allowed to have fires. At the lake there is a boat ramp, and an amphitheater is just a few steps away offering shows in the summer months for visitors.

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