Bardwell Lake, TX

Bardwell Lake, Texas

With over 3,500 surface acres, Lake Bardwell is of one of the largest attractions in Ellis county with annual attendance exceeding 500,000. The sparkling body of water offers skiing, fishing, swimming, boating and more to be done at your leisure. Camp, picnic, or host a special gathering on the 1,800 acres surrounding the lake. Highview Marina rents paddle boats and offers fishing space in a covered pavilion.

Recreation and favorable fish and wildlife habitats are beneficial uses derived from this lake built and operated by the Corps of Engineers. With lake property open to all, there are many attractive areas for outdoor recreation, water sports, hunting, fishing, and boating, or just relaxed living. Information pamphlets and copies of rules and regulations for boating and public-use areas are available at the lake office and attended gatehouses in the recreation areas.

Cities Near Bardwell Lake

Bardwell Lake Fishingmore

Lake Bardwell Fishing
Lake Bardwell FishingMany local fishermen consider Bardwell Lake as one of the best kept secrets in the state. Although the largemouth bass caught from these waters may not win a state record, bass fishermen seldom leave empty-handed. Crappie fishing at Bardwell Lake is considered moderate with most of the success for catching this species at either Highview Marina, under the state highway 34 bridge or in Waxahachie and Mustang creeks during spawning. Fishing for catfish is usually excellent, especially when the lake elevation is gradually rising. A six or seven pound blue or channel cat caught with a rod and reel will certainly get the adrenaline started.Enclosed Fishing Area

A favorite spot are the fishing piers at the marina. Two of the piers are enclosed for the convenience of customers during inclement weather. A small fee is charged for the use of these facilities.

No special rules or regulations pertaining to size restrictions or bag limits are in effect at Bardwell Lake. Fishermen need only to make certain that all fishing activities are in compliance with applicable state laws and avoid any posted restricted areas.

Bardwell Lake Boatingmore

Bardwell Lake Boating
Bardwell Lake has boat ramps at 5 parks. These boat ramps are of concrete construction with four lanes. Courtesy docks are available at most of the boat ramps. Swimming in the vicinity of the courtesy docks is prohibited. Fishing is not allowed from the courtesy docks or boat ramps. A "No Wake" zone is enforced for boat ramps. Some boat ramps are available year-round while others are closed during the winter. All boat ramps, except Little Mustang Creek Park, require a $3.00 fee or possession of an annual pass for access.

Love Park has one boat ramp with four lanes of concrete construction, a courtesy dock for loading and unloading boats, and an adjacent asphalt parking area. The boat ramp is in a cove that offers substantial protection from north, south, and east winds. Swimming or fishing is not permitted in the vicinity of the boat ramp. Purchase of a $3.00 boat launch permit or possession of a valid annual pass is required to access the boat ramp. A vault type restroom is situated near the parking area. The boat ramp is open from 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. April 1 through September 30. It is open 24 hours a day the remainder of the year.

Mott Park has one boat ramp with four lanes of concrete construction, a courtesy dock for loading and unloading boats, and an adjacent asphalt parking area. The boat ramp is in a cove that offers substantial protection from north, south, and west winds. Swimming or fishing is not permitted in the vicinity of the boat ramp. Purchase of a $3.00 boat launch permit or possession of a valid annual pass is required to access the boat ramp. The boat ramp is open from 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. April 1 through September 30.

Highview Park has one boat ramp with four lanes of concrete construction, a courtesy dock for loading and unloading boats, and an adjacent asphalt parking area for vehicles with trailers. There are also two parking areas available for other vehicles. Swimming or fishing is not permitted in the vicinity of the boat ramp. Purchase of a $3.00 boat launch permit or possession of a valid annual pass is required to access the boat ramp. The boat ramp is open from 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. each day.

Waxahachie Creek Park has two boat ramps with four lanes of concrete construction and an adjacent asphalt parking area. The boat ramp at the upper end of the park is very shallow at normal lake level and not suited to launch ski boats or larger vessels. The boat ramp at the lower end of the park is suitable for all types of boats at normal lake level and has a courtesy dock for loading and unloading boats. Swimming or fishing is not permitted in the vicinity of the boat ramps. Purchase of a $3.00 boat launch permit or possession of a valid annual pass is required to access these boat ramps. The boat ramps are open from 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. yearly.

Little Mustang Creek Park has one boat ramp with four lanes of concrete construction, a courtesy dock for loading and unloading boats, and an adjacent asphalt parking area. Swimming or fishing is not permitted in the vicinity of the boat ramp. The boat ramp is open 24 hours a day all year. There is no fee to launch a boat.

High View Marina is situated in the cove that separates High View and Mott Parks at Bardwell Lake. Vehicular access is provided by entering High View Park from state highway 34. A full service marine service station is also on site to provide fuel for boaters. Various types of paddleboats may be rented at High View Marina. The marina has an abundance of boat stalls, covered and uncovered, which may be rented. Dry boat storage facilities are also provided on a rental basis.

Bardwell Lake Campingmore

Bardwell Lake Parks and Camping
Bardwell Lake Parks and CampingThere are six developed park areas at Bardwell Lake.

Mott Park

The park consists of approximately 270 acres with development on approximately 54 acres, and is located on the west side of the lake. Access to the area is a paved road that connects to FM 985. Existing facilities include an attended entrance station, sanitary dump station, 33 campsites with water and electric hook-ups, 7 campsites without hook-ups, one vault toilet and one waterborne restroom with showers, one 4-lane boat ramp, one courtesy dock, one group camping shelter, two designated fishing areas, and one swim beach with 3 covered benches. The group camping shelter has facilities to accommodate 4 recreational vehicles and up to 100 people.

The recreation season opens April 1 and closes on September 30 each year.

High View Park

The park is on the west side of the lake and consists of approximately 155 acres with development on 84 acres. A paved county road leading from the State Highway 34 provides access to the park. Existing facilities include an attended entrance station, sanitary dump station, 39 campsites with water and electric hook-ups, two vault toilets and one waterborne restroom with showers, one 4-lane boat ramp, two courtesy docks, 10 picnic sites, one full service marina and one designated swim beach with 3 covered benches.

The park is open year-round.

Waxahachie Creek Park

The park is located in the upper reaches of the lake along the Waxahachie Creek arm of the lake. The park consists of approximately 205 acres with development on 63 acres. A paved county road leading from State Highway 34 provides access to the park. Existing facilities include an attended entrance station, one sanitary dump station, 69 campsites with water and electric hook-ups, 7 campsites without hook-ups, 13 picnic sites, 4 vault toilets, 2 shower facilities, two 4-lane boat ramps, one nature trail and one group camping shelter. The group camping shelter has facilities to accommodate 8 recreational vehicles and up to 200 people.

The park is open year-round.

Little Mustang Creek Park

This area is located in the upper reaches of the lake on a promontory formed by the confluence of Mustang Creek and Little Mustang Creek. The area consists of 163 acres with development on 12 acres to date. Access is via an existing paved county road and a road that was constructed as part of the relocation phase of the project. Existing recreational development consists of one 4-lane boat ramp and one courtesy dock. The area is open year-round.

Meadowview Nature Area

Formerly known as Bluebonnet City Park, this area is located on the northeastern shore of the lake and consists of 39 developed acres. Access is via a paved county road. The area was formerly leased to the City of Ennis and returned to the Corps of Engineers in 1994. Twenty covered picnic tables remain in the park. There are no sanitary facilities available at this time. The area is opened for the months of April and May for the Ennis Bluebonnet Festival. The rolling hills in the former campground are covered in bluebonnets and wild flowers each spring.

Love Park

This day use area is located on the southeastern shore of the lake and consists of 439 acres of which 49 acres have been developed. Access is via paved county and city roads. Existing development consists of a gatehouse, one 4-lane boat ramp, 20 covered picnic tables, two pit vault restroom facilities, drinking fountains, one volleyball court, one horse-shoe pit, one designated swim beach, and one day-use group shelter. The group shelter has ample parking, portable toilets, one volleyball court, ceiling fans, pedestrian lake access, and a trail to the swim area portion of the park. The shelter will accommodate up to 200 people.

The recreation season opens April 1 and closes on September 30 each year.

Advance camping reservations are available through the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS™) at http://www.reserveusa.com or by telephone toll free at 1-877-444-6777.

Bardwell Lake Huntingmore

Bardwell Lake Trailsmore

Bardwell Lake Trails
Bardwell Lake TrailsTonkawa Trail

Almost a mile in length, Tonkawa Trail provides easy access to the various components of Buffalo Creek Wetland. It is named for a tribe of native Americans that inhabited this part of Texas many years ago. A four to six inch layer of crushed granite provides a firm, all-weather, universally accessible surface for persons to see many of the plants and animals that were so essential to the native Americans, pioneers and early settlers that previously occupied the region. Plenty of parking space is provided near the trail entrance on the north side of Bardwell Dam Road very near the east bank of Waxahachie Creek. Four observation shelters, strategically placed along the trail, provide an excellent opportunity to observe or photograph some of the plants and/or animals that live at Buffalo Creek Wetland or they may simply serve as a nice shady place to sit, relax and rest before finishing the hike.

Waxahachie Trail

A dense upper canopy of bottomland hardwood trees covers most of the journey along the short nature trail in Waxahachie Creek Park, with a small segment skirting the edge of an adjacent open range site. The three tiers or layers of forest vegetation are easily observed in this relatively undisturbed bottomland hardwood forest and local schools have used the trail extensively to illustrate the function and benefits of this type of ecosystem. Many species of native plants and animals may be viewed while walking quietly along the trail. The trail entrance is conveniently located near the picnic area for persons wanting to go for a relaxing walk after enjoying a meal at Waxahachie Creek Park.

Equestrian and Multi-Use Trail

WAXAHACHIE CREEK PARK at Bardwell Lake, Ellis County, Texas only 30 minutes south of Dallas off I-45.

The Bardwell Lake Equestrian and multiuse trail is on a two thousand acre tract of land at the north end of Waxahachie Creek Park at Bardwell Lake. Waxahachie Creek Park is 7/10 of a mile west of the Bardwell Lake Bridge on Highway 34 east of Bardwell and west of Ennis.

Currently, there are over 8 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking, or bicycling. The trailhead is located near the northernmost boat ramp at Waxahachie Creek Park. The system features one broad flat main trail traversing the area with numerous loops into the surrounding upland wooded thickets, meadows, croplands, and bottomland hardwood forest along Waxahachie Creek. These trails are designated with color coded signs and international symbols. One unique feature is a white arrow prominently displayed that marks the return trail for new users who might become disoriented. Other features include a secure trailer length parking lot inside the park, trailhead with bulletin board and maps, entrance gates, and hitching posts. Additional improvements are planned.

TRAIL USERS BE ADVISED THAT THE TRAIL IS LOCATED WITHIN A HUNTING AREA. HUNTERS ARE ALLOWED TO UTILIZE THE AREA FOR HUNTING GAME FROM 01 September to 31 March AS PUBLISHED IN THE TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE OUTDOOR ANNUAL.

Trails extend over flat grasslands, wooded hillsides and ravines, and along the scenic banks of Waxahachie Creek.

Bardwell Lake Equestrianmore

Bardwell Lake Equestrian Trail
Bardwell Lake Equestrian TrailThe Bardwell Lake Equestrian and multiuse trail is on a two thousand acre tract of land at the north end of Waxahachie Creek Park at Bardwell Lake. Waxahachie Creek Park is 7/10 of a mile west of the Bardwell Lake Bridge on Highway 34 east of Bardwell and west of Ennis.

Currently, there are over 8 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking, or bicycling. The trailhead is located near the northernmost boat ramp at Waxahachie Creek Park. The system features one broad flat main trail traversing the area with numerous loops into the surrounding upland wooded thickets, meadows, croplands, and bottomland hardwood forest along Waxahachie Creek. These trails are designated with color coded signs and international symbols. One unique feature is a white arrow prominently displayed that marks the return trail for new users who might become disoriented. Other features include a secure trailer length parking lot inside the park, trailhead with bulletin board and maps, entrance gates, and hitching posts. Additional improvements are planned.

TRAIL USERS BE ADVISED THAT THE TRAIL IS LOCATED WITHIN A HUNTING AREA. HUNTERS ARE ALLOWED TO UTILIZE THE AREA FOR HUNTING GAME FROM 01 September to 31 March AS PUBLISHED IN THE TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE OUTDOOR ANNUAL.

Trails extend over flat grasslands, wooded hillsides and ravines, and along the scenic banks of Waxahachie Creek.

Bardwell Lake Map

Bardwell Lake Information

Location: One mile So of Ennis on TXHwy 34

Contact: 972-875-5711

Lake Area Events

Waxahachie (7)

Recreation