Lake O' The Pines
Longview, TX
Texas Outside Rating: 7.5

Acres Of Water & Miles Of Shoreline
19,780 acres and 144 miles of shoreline


Brief Overview:

Lake O' the Pines is one of the most beautiful lakes in Northeast Texas, has clear calm water, limited boat traffic, good fishing, and some excellent on-the-water camping. The terrain is rolling hills with lots of pines, multiple campgrounds and parks, and limited housing development. Check the Lake of the Pines Chamber of Commerce Website to find more information on the lake.

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A Typical Texas Outsider Day

We come to Lake of the Pines to enjoy the camping and the beauty and serenity of the lake. Which means we will typically look for a good cove to ski/board (Johnson Creek cove or down by the dam), cruise the lake, have a burger at Bull Frog, and drop an anchor and swim.

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Other Cool Things To Do:

There aren't a lot of things to see and do on Lake of the Pines. All of the coves are pretty and good for skiing, fishing, or anchoring. There aren't any bars or restaurants with live music. So come to this lake to fish, swim, cruise, or enjoy the water toys. See the nearby activities for a list of some nearby stuff to keep you entertained.

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What To Do If No Boat:

To really enjoy this beautiful lake, you need to rent some type of watercraft and get out on the lake. Rent a jet ski, fishing boat, or picnic/party barge and have fun. 

Nearby Activities:

You come to Lake of the Pines to enjoy the water recreation activities on the Lake. Here is a limited list of what we like to see and do in the area:

  • play golf - check here for some nearby courses
  • visit Jefferson for nightlife, plays, and shopping
  • take the boat over for a day trip on Caddo Lake - the Big Cypress Bayou is a must stop - if you don't have a boat, rent one or take a tour you won't forget
  • check out Avinger for it's General Merchandise Store

There are a couple of local events that we know about - the last weekend in April is the Wild Flower Festival in Avinger; the Saturday before the festival is the trail ride; and the first weekend in October in Linden is the Pineywoods Cowboy Gathering - chuckwagon cooking, trail ride with Michael Martin Murphy, and more). That's a very short list if you know of other fun things to see and do, drop us a line.

Restaurants, Bars, & Music:

For restaurants, try Cindy's Catfish & Seafood or Five D Cattle Company in Avinger; the locals love The Cafe for breakfast; and nearby Jefferson has a number of good places. On the lake, the only place we found was Bullfrog Marina in Johnson Creek - good burgers. We don't know of any places that have music on the water. Big Cypress Tavern, near Johnson Creek Cove, has darts, shuffleboard, pool, live music, and karaoke - a fun place to party with the locals.

Wake Boarding & Skiing:

Lake of the Pines is excellent for all your water toys - there are lots of coves and not a lot of boat traffic. Any of the coves are good as is down by the dam, depending on wind direction.


According to Texas Parks & Wildlife - this lake's diverse fish community offers many angling opportunities. White bass are native to the Cypress River Basin; the population is abundant and contains many legal-size fishes. Crappie, also popular with anglers, are quite abundant with large proportions of legal-size fish available. Both white and black crappie are present with black crappie being the dominant species. Channel, blue, and flathead catfish are all present. The largemouth bass population is abundant with many legal-size fish available for harvest. Sunfish (bluegill, redear, and redbreast) are abundant with quality-size fish available. Structural habitat is comprised of inundated timber, brush, creek channels, and rip rap. Aquatic macrophytes are present in moderate densities throughout the reservoir. Hydrilla is the dominant aquatic plant species.

The following special regulation is in effect at this lake: for black crappie and white crappie caught from December 1 through the last day in February, there is no minimum length limit. Daily bag is 25 in any combination of black and white crappie, and all crappie caught must be retained. In other months, crappie are subject to a 10-inch minimum length limit and a daily bag of 25. Statewide regulations apply to all other fishes.

Species Poor Fair Good Excellent
Largemouth Bass
White Bass

*Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

Camping, Waterfront Lodging, and Day Use Parks

 Johnson Creek Marina has 3 floating cabins that you can rent or Pine Shadows Guest house is perfect for a big group.

The following parks have campsites: Alley Creek (91 sites); Brushy Creek (101 sites), Buckhorn Creek (101 sites), Cedar Springs (28 sites), Hurricane Creek (23 sites), and Johnson Creek (98 sites). Texas Parks & Wildlife has a list of campgrounds. Our favorite is Johnson Creek - great sites right on the water in a very nice cove.

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Ramps & Marinas

Texas Parks & Wildlife has a list of places to launch your boat.

Texas Outside Rating of Lake O' The Pines
Water Clarity: 
Water Conditions: 
Skiing & Board Conditions: 
Cruising & Touring: 
Restaurants & Bars: 
Safety Level: 
Lake Lodging & Camping: 
Texas Outside Rating of Lake O' The Pines
(scale of 1 - 10)
Water Clarity:
Skiing & Board Conditions:
Crusing & Touring:
Restaurants & Bars:
Safety Level:
Lake Lodging & Camping:

More Pictures

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Texas Outside Lakes Rating Scale

Texas Outside rates lakes on a 1 to 10 scale based on:

  • Beauty: high scores are given for lots of trees, hills, or pretty houses
  • Water Clarity: if you’re standing in two feet of water and can’t see your toes or the water has a deep brown color, we’re talking a 1
  • Water Conditions:  rough water with waves over a foot (good for PWCs or surfing) due to consistent wind or boat wakes don’t rate high on our scale
  • Skiing & Board Conditions:  on the weekends if you can typically find a good cove or part of the lake with glass, we’re talking a 10
  • Beaches:  don’t you hate those beaches when you step into the water you sink in mud up to your knees and loose your flip-flops or it’s all slime and weeds or small rocks – if so, that’s a 1
  • Fun Scale: lakes scoring a 10 have fun restaurants and bars, great coves for raft ups or swimming, and fun rental toys
  • Cruising & Touring:  if you can cruise the lake and look at beautiful houses, nice marinas, pretty coves, or anything similar it will score high
  • Restaurants & Bars:  nothing better than cruising over and having some good food and listening to some great music on the deck of a fun restaurant – the ride back with smooth water and a fun moon is also pretty cool – we’re talking a 10
  • Safety Level: lakes with lots of wild and crazy jet skiers or fast cigarette boats will score low
  • Camping:  we’re looking for beautiful spacious sites right on the water with a nice sandy beach to swim and park the boat
  • Fishing:  the bigger the better and they have to be easy to hook


*Fishing information was provided with permission of the Texas Parks and Wildlife ( in 2006. Texas Parks and Wildlife does not endorse Texas Outside or information presented on ©Copyright Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

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