Livingston, TX
Texas Outside Rating: 7.0

Acres Of Water & Miles Of Shoreline
90,000 acres and 450 miles of shoreline


Brief Overview:

Lake Livingston is one of the largest lakes in Texas with 90,000 acres over 450 miles of shore line. The lake is 39 miles long, 7 miles wide at it's widest point, and has a maximum depth of 77 feet. The shoreline is heavily treed, relatively flat, and well developed with a variety of lake homes ranging from trailers to million dollar estates. Not one of Texas Outside's favorite lakes but with that much water, over 5,000 campsites, 100 boat ramps, and some sandy beaches, Lake Livingston is very popular for camping, boating, jet skiing, and fishing. The water clarity is typical of most shallow Texas Lakes - the water has a brown tint and not real clear.

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A Typical Texas Outsider Day

We enjoy camping at Lake Livingston/Onalaska KOA. They have a fantastic pool, large sandy beach, bar, boat slips, boat ramp, good sites on the water, and a restaurant - which means we'll spend some time at the pool, playing volleyball, sipping a cold drink watching the sun set, and enjoying the sandy beach.

The lake is huge and we have only explored a portion of the lake (primarily the north end) and didn't find any great cruising areas, restaurants, or bars. We did find some very good coves and sandy beaches for skiing/boarding, dropping an anchor, and swimming. Our grand kids really enjoyed catching the small catfish and didn't have any problem landing one every half an hour or so.

If you like to golf, then you need to try Cape Royale Golf Course.

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Other Cool Things To Do:

If you looking for some fishing coves or good spots, sandy beaches, and skiing/boarding coves you'll find plenty. If you want a good restaurant and bar with a fantastic patio over looking the lake go to Lake Livingston/Onalaska KOA.

Caperoyale6 Huntsville

What To Do If No Boat:

If you don't have a boat, then visit a park and have picnic, fish off the banks, or rent one from any of these Lake Livingston Fishing Guides.

Nearby Activities:

We haven't had the chance to explore any of the local small towns around the lake, so we can't help you there. Huntsville is only 25 minutes west of Lake Livingston and they have some good restaurants, a couple of attractions, and some good golf courses.

Cape Royale Golf Course is on the west side of the lake and is a fun and challenging course with lots of ups and downs.

Restaurants, Bars, & Music:

We had heard that there was another restaurant on the northeast side of the lake, but we couldn't find it. The only bar and restaurant that we know of is Lake Livingston/Onalaska KOA

Wake Boarding & Skiing:

Lake Livingston is huge and shallow and can be rough in the middle, primarily due to wind. Check the wind direction and a map and you should be able to find a somewhat protected cove for skiing or boarding.


If you don't have a boat, then here are some Lake Livingston Fishing Guides to call to help you land a trophy or a good dinner. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, Lake Livingston is a notable white bass fishery. White bass are plentiful and grow to large sizes. Also notable is the catfish fishery, dominated by blue catfish. Largemouth bass, striped bass, and crappie are less abundant but good catches are possible in areas of the reservoir where habitat is available.

Some native emergent vegetation can be found in the upper areas of the reservoir and very little cover exists in the lower reservoir due to vertical bulkhead. White bass are most readily caught in early spring in the many creeks that feed into Lake Livingston. Striped bass can be caught around the 190 bridge area by trolling and vertical jigging spoons or live shad. Largemouth bass are most frequently caught in the bays and creeks from the Kickapoo/Penwaugh area northward. Spring and fall are the most successful seasons for largemouths. Channel and blue catfish can be caught most any time of year on a variety of organic and live baits over the main river channel and in off channel tributaries and creeks.

Species Poor Fair Good Excellent
Largemouth Bass
White Bass
Hybrid Striped Bass

*Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

Camping, Waterfront Lodging, and Day Use Parks

Northshore RV Resort is a perfect place to camp with full hook-up sites on the water.  In addition to camping they have cabins and the resort has some great amenities like a pool, boat ramp, splash park, sandy beach, and more. 

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Ramps & Marinas

Texas Outside Rating of Livingston
Water Clarity: 
Water Conditions: 
Skiing & Board Conditions: 
Cruising & Touring: 
Restaurants & Bars: 
Safety Level: 
Lake Lodging & Camping: 
Texas Outside Rating of Livingston
(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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