This trip is just a starting point: there are many wild coves and inlets to dip into, tons of wildlife and many other public-access places to put in, including a state park, a national forest, and dozens of private marinas. Allow plenty of time to explore undeveloped inlets—stop paddling to drift as quietly as possible—and you'll likely spot many varieties of snakes, turtles, fish and birds.
Caution: Mid-day winds, waves, water moccasins, alligators and other dangers are real. Wear PFDs, watch weather conditions, and keep a safe distance to avoid contact wildlife. And, though the lake is large enough for weeks of exploring, dense shoreline vegetation will prohibit camping in undeveloped areas.
-Mapped by Melissa Stolasz
Trailhead: From Huntsville (66 miles north of Houston and 160 miles south of Dallas on I-45) take US-190 16.4 miles east to Waterwood Parkway. Drive 7.6 miles and turn left onto Waterwood Bay Road, following signs for the marina. Drive 0.6 mile to the old marina parking lot and boat ramp.