Created in 1963 when the dam was completed, Lake Athens in Texas is not only a source of water for the surrounding towns but also a source of entertainment. Community events are held on the lake throughout the years, including fishing tournaments, fireworks for the Fourth of July, and even boat parades. In addition to several small creeks replenishing the lake, there is a spring deep inside the bowels of the lake.
The closest large town is Athens, TX, about six miles west. Launch the perfect fishing and outdoor adventure when you search for an RV in Henderson County, TX.
Though only 1,500 acres, this underrated gem of a lake rarely gets crowded (aside from an occasional community event), and it’s a fisherman’s dream. Tall hardwood timbers and firs tower over the shores, lending some shade. Coves and inlets are festooned with coontail, lilies, pondweed, and alligator weed, under which fish swim in their endless search for food. Though white catfish, crappie, white bass, largemouth bass, and sunfish are in Lake Athens, it is best known for black bass. The water is relatively clear, making it easy to search for the good fishing spots as well as submerged structures. Long before the dam created a lake, there was a small settlement near a creek, not far from what’s now called Goat Island, and scuba divers can easily explore the decaying walls and follow paths created by long-gone dwellers.
The Athens Scuba Park in the nearby town has a couple of dive shops with rental gear and classes.
Under the bold, endless Texas sky, the surrounding terrain is mostly flat, as wide and vast as the sky. Beyond the line of trees encompassing the lake is a patchwork of farms and ranches, sprawling for miles around.
On the northwestern point of the lake is the Edwin L. Cox, Jr., Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, which is part of a museum, part a fishery. The facility has a 300,000-gallon aquarium in which the local fish can be observed. A short ADA-accessible interpretative trail weaves through the center’s property, passing by ponds and a pitcher plant bog.
Camping at Lake Athens
Rent an RV to fulfill an outdoor adventurer’s fantasy: waking up to the sound of serene waves washing up on the shore and birdsong in the trees. Much of the land around the lake are private properties, and RV camping at Lake Athens is limited. Lake Athens Marina and RV Center may be a good option. Boasting 60 sites, the campground also offers free WiFi, 30 and 50 amps, and an on-site bait shop. The laundry, showers, and restrooms make it easy to clean up after a day on the lake.
Should space run out, which occasionally happens during the peak summer months, there may be some RV camping near Lake Palestine. Alternatively, there are a handful of short-term RV parks around Athens. A stay at While RV Park near Brownsboro is a candidate to consider. In addition to full hookups and high-speed WiFi, most sites are within walking distance of restrooms and a fishing pond. Many sites are shaded, which is a nice plus on a hot summer day.
Should you be in a pinch, the Walmart store in Athens may work as a short-term solution. Walmart often allows RVs to park in their parking lots overnight. Don't forget to ask the store manager for permission beforehand.
Exploring the Area
In this part of Texas, it can seem like it takes an eternity to travel from town to town. With a spiffed-out motorhome rental, exploring the vast, all-encompassing countryside is painless. Athens is a small town with dreams of becoming a tourist destination. It features everything from historic museums highlighting the frontier past to cutting-edge nightclubs that young adults will enjoy. The East Texas Arboretum is a lush Eden, full of vibrant green trees and colorful flowers lining the footpaths. A babbling brook provides the ambient backdrop sound for visitors to enjoy as they explore the grounds.
Nestled in between cattle ranches and farms are rows upon rows of grapevines. The vineyards somehow thrive in spite of the harsh, arid Texas climate. Hop into a rental RV and embark on a self-guided tour of all the wineries in the area to find your favorite vintage. Historic Taro Vineyard and Winery, which is at the halfway point in between Athens and Mabank, is the oldest wine-making facility in Henderson County. The wines have won several awards over the years. Taro’s tasting room is open to the public.
Pop the cork on your favorite bottle, kick up your heels outside a rental RV and enjoy the warm, vibrant Texas atmosphere with family and friends.
Lake Athens, TX is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Lake Athens. Outdoorsy's Lake Athens RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.