Joe Pool Lake, Texas, USA

Also known as:  Joe Pool Reservoir

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Joe Pool Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Joe Pool Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Joe Pool Lake

When summer heat leaves residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth area longing for cool breezes, many of them head for Joe Pool Lake. This reservoir was created in 1985 for water supply and recreation for the millions of residents of the nearby metro-plex. When the lake was finally full in 1989, a full 7,740 acres of water surface provided those cool breezes sought by area residents and offered fishing, camping, boating and swimming facilities to meet every visitor’s needs. Although other reservoirs exist south of Dallas-Ft Worth, Joe Pool Lake is one of the largest, and is specifically planned to provide access to the public in a number of places.

Although Joe Pool Lake could be termed urban, much of the land surrounding the lake is park land, mostly public. The atmosphere is natural, and the camping facilities are excellent. Swimming and boating are favored activities. Visitors enjoy pontooning, sailing, power boating, water-skiing, tubing, wake-boarding, canoeing, and kayaking. Two marinas on the lake provide boat rentals, and boat slips can be leased for those who wish to keep their larger watercraft at the lake. The marinas offer bait, ice and snacks. One also has a restaurant available for a sit-down dining experience after a long day on the water.

Boat ramps are available in several spots along the 60-miles of shoreline to accommodate the many fishermen who enjoy fishing the varied underwater terrain of the reservoir’s two arms. White crappie, largemouth bass, and catfish are the species most often fished for, but bluegill and sunfish are popular with the children. The lake has very little plant life, which limits spawning of some species. State experts are working to improve the fishery; this is still a young lake, and good habitat takes time to develop. Joe Pool Marina at Cedar Hill State Park also has a pay ‘fishing barge’: a covered platform on pilings over the water with benches built around an open center ‘fishing hole’- very popular with families and senior citizens!

The best-known park on Joe Pool Lake is Cedar Hill State Park. The 1826-acre park has over 300 campsites, hundreds of picnic tables and grills, swim area, hiking trails, mountain bike trail, boat ramps, the marina, and fishing barge. An additional attraction at Cedar Hill State Park is the Penn Farm Agricultural History Center, where tours demonstrate how farm families lived and worked over 150 years ago. The Escarpment Nature Preserve is also part of the park and is home to five native tallgrass prairie remnants containing a variety of endangered plants. The reserve harbors many more common animals that city dwellers often don’t see, including bobcat, coyote, fox, squirrel, armadillo, and raccoon. The park is also a flyway for neotropical birds and is often the destination of bird-watching clubs.

Some of the other parks along the shore of Joe Pool Lake are: Loyd Park, with campsites, boat ramps, hiking trail, swimming beach, picnic facilities, equestrian trail, softball and volley ball courts. Loyd Park also rents camper cabins with up to two bedrooms. some that are handicap accessible. These modern-style cabins are excellent for the reluctant camper in the family who dreads ‘roughing it’.

Lynn Creek Park has a boat ramp, a beach area, a concession stand, group and single use picnic sites, and sand volleyball courts. Lynn Creek Park is a day use facility.

Britton Park’s primary purpose is to allow boaters easy access to the southernmost reaches of Joe Pool Lake. Boat launch fees are reasonable, and a parking lot and rest room are provided.

The area around Joe Pool Lake is well-supplied with other recreational activities such as golf courses. And, being only 10 miles from the metropolitan areas of Dallas-Fort Worth, there is never a shortage of places to shop, attend a movie or theater performance or enjoy a night out, complete with fine dining and night-clubbing.

Named for the late Congressman Joe Pool, the reservoir was planned originally in the 1960s, but construction was not started until 1977. The dam was completed in 1985. Joe Pool Reservoir impounds the waters of Mountain Creek and Walnut Creek, forming the two arms at the south end of the reservoir. Once water leaves the dam area, it flows northward as Mountain Creek until it ends at Mountain Creek Lake. Currently Joe Pool Reservoir serves as a water supply for the City of Midlothian, but other municipalities can claim water if they need to do so in the future. Before the lake was filled, extensive archeological excavations were carried out in the area. Discoveries at that time included small, briefly occupied camps of prehistoric hunter/gatherers, several larger reoccupied prehistoric camps, a small prehistoric village, an antebellum plantation, several large post-Civil War farmsteads, and a number of late nineteenth century farmsteads with standing buildings. These excavations greatly enhanced the knowledge of historic settlement in the area, with both ancient pottery and spear points found, as well as more modern canning jars and ceramic dishware.

Real estate opportunities still exist along the shore of Joe Pool Lake, mostly in new developments. Both existing homes and lots for building can be purchased, some with generous lake frontage. Few vacation rentals are available along the shoreline, but the occasional private residence is available for lease. However, the surrounding areas are full of other lodging choices, from hotels and motels, bed-and-breakfasts, condos, sublets and guest cottages. With a generous offering of public access to the lake, even those who stay some distance away can take advantage of the beautiful expanse of open water daily. So the next time you have a chance to visit the Dallas-Fort Worth area, make the trip to Joe Pool Lake. Bring the swim suits, the kids and the water skis. There’s something for everyone at Joe Pool Lake. Come and experience it all for yourself.

Things to Do at Joe Pool Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish Species Found at Joe Pool Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • White Crappie

Find Places to Stay at Joe Pool Lake

If you’re considering a Joe Pool Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Joe Pool Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Joe Pool Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Joe Pool Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: U. S. Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 7,470 acres

Shoreline Length: 60 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 522 feet

Maximum Depth: 75 feet

Water Volume: 176,900 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1985

Drainage Area: 304 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Shop Joe Pool Lake Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


Advertise Your Joe Pool Lake Business or Vacation Rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.


Looking for the Joe Pool Lake Forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Joe Pool Lake Photo Gallery

New photos coming soon!

Spread the word! Share our Joe Pool Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!