There is so much to see and do at Ray Roberts Lake State Park, it was impossible to include everything in one guide. This is Guide #2, covering details for Isle du Bois Unit, including 5 Campgrounds with 178 campsites, Boating, Fishing, Swimming, Walking/Hiking Trails, Equestrian Trails, and Birdwatching. This guide also includes the Ray Roberts satellite parks of Sanger, Buck Creek, Pond Creek boat launch, the Lake Ray Roberts Marina, and the Culp Branch Native Prairie area.
Ray Roberts Lake State Park Guide #1 contains an introduction to Ray Roberts Lake State Park and the Interpretive Center. It includes a detailed walking tour of the Lost Pines Nature Trail with identification of native trees and plants.
Guide #3 covers the Ray Roberts Greenbelt Corridor including Kayak, Canoe, Fishing, Birdwatching, Walking/Hiking/Biking Trails, and Equestrian Trails.
The Greenbelt Trail runs along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River between Lake Ray Roberts and Lewisville Lake. The Greenbelt is a 1,500-acre wilderness corridor area features approx. 11 miles of multi-use trails and waterways for bicyclists, equestrians, hikers, kayakers, canoeists, and others. There are separate trails for equestrians and walkers. The Greenbelt has become the premier North Texas destination for outdoor enthusiasts from the surrounding area looking to escape the hustle of city life for a little while.
Ray Roberts Lake State Park Guide #4 is an overview of the final unit, Johnson Branch State Park, which is across the lake north and west of Isle du Bois. Like Isle du Bois, it includes a variety of Campgrounds, Boating, Fishing, Walking/Hiking Trails, and Equestrian Trails.
Guide #5 covers the Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association (Dorba) Mountain Bike Trails at Isle du Bois and Johnson Branch.
Ray Roberts Lake is a beautiful 30,000-acre lake complex complete with boat ramps, camping, fishing, a swimming beach, numerous hiking trails, equestrian trails, Dorba mountain bike trails, hotel, marina and a park store.
Most of Ray Roberts Lake State Park is located in northern Denton County. The Ray Roberts Lake State Park Complex consists of two state park units (Isle du Bois and Johnson Branch), six satellite parks (Jordan Unit, Pond Creek, Pecan Creek, Buck Creek, Sanger, and Elm Fork), Wildlife Management Areas, wetlands, waterfowl sanctuaries and the 20 mile Ray Roberts Lake/Lake Lewisville Greenbelt Corridor.
Bird watching, water sports, riding horses or backpacking along a scenic trail, Ray Roberts has something for everyone.
No License Needed - Did you know that no one needs a fishing license or stamp to fish inside the boundaries of a Texas State Park? Regardless of age, or where you’re from, the Free Fishing in State Parks makes it possible to fish anytime you like, once you’ve entered the park, no license required. Plus, you can even learn fishing with your kids.
One of the best ways to experience the great outdoors in Texas is on horseback. You don’t have to be a cowboy to enjoy the fun of trail rides and old-fashioned cookouts. At Ray Roberts, riders can take their equine companions camping with them with special horse-friendly campgrounds at Bluestem Grove and lots of trails. Horseback riders can start their ride at the Greenbelts southern entrance off US 380 (University Drive), or at FM 428, FM 455, Isle du Bois Unit, or at the north end in Jordan Park. The Equestrian trail is over 20 miles long from US 380 to Jordan Park and continues all the way around the east side of Lake Ray Roberts, through Isle du Bois, and on to Jordan Park, near Pilot Point.
Note - The Hiking/Biking Trail is open, but the Equestrian Trail from FM 455 to US 380 is currently closed to repair bridges and erosion along the trail.
Canoeists and kayakers can take advantage of the Greenbelt three access points located at FM 455 (just below the Lake Ray Roberts dam), FM 428, and US 380 for put-in and take-out points.
Lake's History: The lake was created to provide water to the Cities of Dallas and Denton. Ray Roberts Lake, authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1965, takes in portions of three counties: Denton, Cooke, and Grayson. Originally known as the Aubrey Reservoir, the proposed lake was renamed in 1980 for U.S. Congressman Ray Roberts (1913-1993). The lake is a 29.350-acre Corps of Engineers impoundment on the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.
These guides have been developed in cooperation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife by Texas Master Naturalists - Elm Fork Chapter, Denton, Texas.
Did you forget something? There is a park store in IDB and Johnson Branch that carries the essentials and offers boat rentals as well.
Wireless WiFi service is available at the visitor center.
This is the second guide in a group of 4 covering Ray Roberts Lake State Park. All of the parks are managed by Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Great for the Family! - Texas Master Naturalists maintain an Interpretive Center with numerous displays about the wildlife and plants in North Texas. The Interpretive Center is across the parking lot from the Visitors Center at the Isle du Bois entrance.
Campfire programs are offered at Isle du Bois and Johnson Branch. Check at the Visitor Center for a schedule.
Stay on established trails -- If you do get lost, remember that you are using a trail guide and your smartphone, so you have a GPS to help you navigate back to the trail.
Poison Ivy lurks near the edges of the trails.
What to bring:
This Trail Guide and your Smartphone with the EveryTrail mobile app installed. To cover all of the parks, trails, and features, you will need all 5 guides.
* Proper Hiking gear (and food/water) if you plan to hit the trails.
Mountain bike, boat, fishing gear, kayak if you are planning to enjoy all the fun at Ray Roberts Lake State Park.
The beauty and variety of Ray Roberts Lake State Park can be seen everywhere you look. Artists and Photographers often capture the constantly changing beauty of Ray Roberts. The included video slide show (in Guide #1) is a compilation of beautiful photos of Ray Roberts created by exceptional photographers from the Dallas Ft. Worth Area.
The Interpretive Center has lots of reference resources. It is located by the Visitor's Center in the Isle du Bois Unit. It is open on Saturday and Sunday. There is a pond and native plant demonstration gardens. For more information on programs, events and scheduled activities go to the Interpretive Center website.
The Lake Ray Roberts Marina at the Sanger Unit is a full-service marina. They have a repair shop and boat storage; sell and rent boats and motors; sell fuel; and rent boat slips. They also sell fishing licenses, bait, groceries, and deli-snacks. For more information on the Lake Ray Roberts Marina go to their web site at www.rayrobertsmarina.com or call them at 940/458-7343.
Hikers, campers, and other park visitors should be aware of the few venomous snakes native to the area. The two most common venomous snakes in our area are copperheads and cottonmouths (also known as water moccasins). Venomous snake bites are rare and generally happen because someone used poor judgment in footwear or behavior. Open shoes such as flip flops do not provide protection if you step on, or near, a venomous snake. These snakes are often out at night during the summer, so you should always use a flashlight when walking after dark. It is important to stay on marked trails and paths where you are less likely to encounter venomous snakes. Never stick your hands or feet into old logs, under rocks, or into any crevice that a snake might use for shelter. Venomous snakes that consider the park home are going to defend themselves if they feel threatened, so protect yourself by wearing the right shoes and paying close attention to the areas snakes frequent. If you do encounter a snake in or near your campsite, notify a park ranger, park police officer, or park headquarters so that we can properly relocate it.
This self-guided tour is available for download on EveryTrail.com.
Check out our other self-guided trips and Guides in Denton County:
They include the LLELA Nature Center in Lewisville:
* Beaver Pond Kayak Water Trail
* Cicada Trail
* Cottonwood Trail
* Bittern Marsh Trail
* Pioneer House Tour
* Redbud Trail
* Beaver Pond Kayak Water Trail
City of Highland Village
* Wichita Forest Nature Trail
* Wichita Forest Nature Guide
City of Denton
* Cross Timbers Nature Trail
Ray Roberts Lake State Park - Pilot Point
* Guide 1: Park Overview and Lost Pines
* Guide 2: Isle Du Bois State Park
* Guide 3: Greenbelt Corridor
* Guide 4: Johnson Branch State Park
* Guide 5: Dorba Mountain Bike Trails at Ray Roberts
You can take these Trips and Guides on the trail with you! Go to EveryTrail.com for information on how to download the free app to your iPhone or Android smartphone. Once you have downloaded the EveryTrail app, you can download the tours and walk the trail with your phone as your guide.