Texas Lakes Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

A Lake For Every Season

Emory – Eagle Fest

Eagle at Emory Lake ForkStarting out in January, you can visit Emory and take a cruise around Lake Fork during Eagle Fest. There is fun to be had in town during the festival as well as out on the lake where you can view the eagles in their natural habitat. Rains County was declared the “Eagle Capital of Texas,” by the 74th Legislature of the State of Texas May 24, 1995. Rains County is located between two lakes, bordered on the west by Lake Tawakoni, the catfish capital, and on the east by Lake Fork, the bass fishing capital. 

These two lakes and surrounding areas have been nesting and feeding grounds for Bald Eagles as well as many other species of birds, both regional and migratory. Rains County has recorded 260 different species and varieties of wild birds.

While you are in the area, be sure and visit the Rains County Heritage Park. With all of this touring around, you may have worked up an appetite and there are great locally owned options in Emory. If burgers and ribs make your mouth water, stop in at Big Mouth Burgers. If you are in the mood for some home-style cooking, then Sidekicks is the place for you. I hear that the catfish is the best in town. During one of my trips to town, I had a delicious breakfast at the Ya’ll Come Back Café. This is a local favorite where they gather to solve world problems on a daily basis.

Eagle Fest
Rains High School Campus
1759 W US Highway 69
Emory, TX 75440

Rains County Heritage Park
191 Doris Briggs Parkway
Emory, Texas 75440

Where to Stay

Wills Point Bluebird Fest – 2nd Saturday in April

Bluebird - Wills Point

Wills Point is the Bluebird Capital of Texas, and they start off the spring each year with the Bluebird Festival on the fourth Saturday in April. Bluebird tours are offered by the Texas Bluebird Society and take you to see the bluebird nest boxes at Lake Tawakoni State Park from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. The festival is held in downtown Wills Point where you will find arts and crafts, a car show, entertainment, and fun for the kids. While in Wills Point, take a break for a fabulous meal at the Four Winds Steakhouse. The steakhouse is located in the ranch house of former Dallas Cowboy Lee Roy Jordan. Located among 1,100 acres of old oaks and looking over a small pond, it is a great place to kick back after a day on the lake. 

Blue Bird Fest

Four Winds Steakhouse
21191 FM 47
Wills Point, TX 75169

Rocking L Guest Ranch
240 Van Zandt County Road # 3837
Wills Point, TX 75169

Denison / Lake Texoma – Texoma Lakefest Regatta – May

Lake Texoma - Denison - Lakefest Regatta

One of the top five charitable regattas in the U.S. offers a challenging course for the sailors.  Evening features silent auctions, dinner & dancing with proceeds benefiting special needs children.

While you are in Denison for this two day event, take time to visit the historic downtown that features fine art galleries, trendy boutiques, and cozy restaurants. Downtown you will also find the Realto Theater that features Branson-style entertainment. Don’t miss visiting the Birthplace of President Eisenhower and the state park named in his honor.

Where to Stay

Grapevine / Friday Night Fireworks / Memorial Day weekend – Labor Day weekend

Fireworks at Grapevine Lake, Grapevine

This fabulous display of fireworks takes place every Friday night starting at 9:30 p.m. Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.  The display can be viewed on the rooftop of the parking garage of the Gaylord Texan, as well as parks around Lake Grapevine. While in Grapevine the historic downtown is a must see.  It is filled with charming shops and delicious eateries.  Wine sampling should also be on your to do list, with a name like Grapevine, how could you go wrong.  

Visit Grapevine

Things to do

Shop, Wine, & Dine

Where to Stay

Granbury / Lake Granbury / 4th of July Celebration

Granbury Courthouse Square - Forth of JulyThe lake is located right off the historic Granbury courthouse square, and it is a great place to enjoy all of the fun and festivities leading up to the 4th of July fireworks display over the lake. Granbury has a host of cozy bed & breakfasts for you to kick up your feet after a long day of shopping and enjoying the live entertainment around the square. Three wineries can be found in town as well as a brewery and they all feature special events.

What to do

Where to Stay

Athens / Lake Athens / Bluegill fishing Tournament / Last Saturday in September

Fishing at the Fishery - Photo - Texas Parks and Wildlife

Join the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center for a fun-filled day of trying to catch the biggest Bluegill at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and on Lake Athens. The annual Bluegill Family Fishing Tournament will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the last Saturday in September.

The cost is $15 per family team, entry includes family admission. The tournament awards prizes for the heaviest stringers of sunfish, but the event is really about adults and children having fun fishing together.

While you are in Athens take time to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings of lush, rolling hills unfold into expansive ranches and forests. As you enjoy the drive you will come upon some great attractions such as the Tara Vineyard and Winery. The winery features the stately Murchinson home that was constructed in the 1880s. The tasting room and wine shop are open daily and winery tours are offered on Saturdays at 2:30 p.m.

Things to do​

Athens Accommodations:

Running Retreat at Lake Athens

The Geranium House B&B
600 Wood St.
Athens, TX 75751