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Lake Livingston

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Lake Livingston Information

Welcome to Lake Livingston nestled in the Piney Woods of East Texas 80 miles north of Houston, Texas. Lake Livingston is the second largest lake in Texas at 39 miles long and seven miles wide covering 93,000 acres. It sits in the counties of Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker. This “Water Wonderland” is home to small communities along its shorelines, and hotels and motels, marinas and boat ramps, parks, restaurants, RV and tent campgrounds, and swim beaches surrounded by nature and wildlife.

Sam Houston is only one of four U.S. national forests on western side of the lake. The 128-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail within the forest is marked to guide hikers and there are three major sections and recreation areas on the trail. It is listed on the National Recreation Trails Program which means it is one of the best trails in the U.S. with local and regional significance. 

Lake Livingston State Park is on the southeastern edge of the lake and on the southern border of the East Texas Timber Belt. It offers the amenities of bicycling, boating, camping, fishing, geocaching, hiking, and swimming under the aroma of tall pine trees. 

Flora and Fauna

There are frequent sightings of white tailed deer, and people occasionally see bobcats and coyotes. The southern flying squirrel populations play all around the lake. Also common are armadillos, foxes, possums, and raccoons. A mixture of migrating and year-round bird species live in the region. Lake Livingston is part of the Central North American Flyaway. Flyways are national systems that track migratory birds. 

Multiple pairs of bald eagles nest here in fall and winter months. Commonly seen forest species are downy woodpeckers, red-headed woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers, red-shouldered hawks, and tufted titmouses. On the shorelines people can expect sightings of black-crowned night heron, double-crested cormorants, and great egrets. Ducks, geese, humming birds, roadrunners, and seagulls also find Lake Livingston accommodating.

You will find water-tolerant oaks, including willow oak, southern red oak and bottomland post oak, and loblolly pine, sweet gum, water oak, American elm, yaupon holly and parsley hawthorn. Redbud, parsley hawthorn and prairie primrose flowers bloom in the spring, and purple passion vine, scarlet sage, coreopsis and trumpet creeper bloom in the summer. Fall beckons in Verbena, Turk’s cap and goldenrod.

Fishing

Fishing is great on Lake Livingston. Grab your bait, poles, and tackle for a fishing excursion catching crappie, bluegill and channel catfish, largemouth bass, striped bass, white bass, and perch. Find a pro fishing guides on our Lake Livingston fishing guides page.

Marinas

Eight marinas call Lake Livingston home with five on the east side, two on the northwest end, and one on the southwestern corner inside the Sam Houston National Forest. Explore the marinas on Lake Livingston for all boating and fishing information.

Camping

Check out our Lake Livingston campground listings because campgrounds salt and pepper Lake Livingston with tent and RV sites, or you can rent a cabin. In some areas around the lake, deer season matters when camping and hiking. At Sam Houston National Forest, campers are cautioned to wear bright colored clothes during deer season. 

Weather

It rains an average of 53 inches with about 203 sunny days per year at Lake Livingston. March, April, and October are the most comfortable months at the lake. Temperatures average out to a high in July at 93 degrees and a winter low in January at 39 degrees. 

Lake Homes

The nearest towns and communities surrounding Lake Livingston are clockwise from the north end of the lake: Onalaska, West Tempe, Blanchard, Livingston, Coldspring, Wolf Creek, Stephen Creek, and Point Blank. Livingston is the nearest shopping area with a Walmart. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs dotted around the shores with the majority bordering the northern and eastern sides of the lake. 

Lake Livingston is the fifth largest housing market in Texas for lake homes and lots. Real estate begins around $60,000 with the median value at $361,000. There are usually 200 homes and around 150 lots for sale year round. Lake Livingston sits in four counties, and the nearby school districts are Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated ISD, Goodrich ISD, Huntsville ISD, Livingston Public Schools, Onalaska ISD, and Trinity Public School District.

Check out this list of homes for sale on Lake Livingston on our real estate page.

History

Lake Livingston was commissioned to supply water to the Houston Metroplex and construction of the dam began in 1966. In the early 16th century, on the land where Lake Livingston is today, Atapakan-speaking people of the Orcoquisacs, Bidais, and Deadose Indians inhabited it, but European diseases killed off their populations. The Spanish then offered the Alabama, Coushatta, and other southeastern U.S. tribes land to impede French and U.S. settlers. Their descendents live on tribal lands today in the area. Signs left by the Paleo-Indians date back to 12,000 years ago. 

The Lake Livingston water reservoir supplies water to industrial, municipal, and agricultural industries. It is an impoundment of the Trinity River. The dam was completed in 1969 at the cost of $83,996,957. The City of Houston owns two-thirds of the lake’s water rights, and the Trinity River Authority (TRA) owns one-third. The lake has adequately faced the rapid growth of the population of the upper Texas Gulf Coast region. 

Control of the water flow through the dam is operated by 12 tainter gates in a concrete and steel spillway with an average depth of 55 feet. There are no flood control or water storage capabilities. The dam flow is controlled by the flow of the Trinity River. When the lake level increases due to rainfall or inflow, so does the outflow of the dam. Because of this, Lake Livingston maintains a steady water level of an average of 23 feet deep. 

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Lake Livingston Current Weather Alerts

Lake Livingston Weather Forecast

Wednesday

Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 66

Wednesday Night

Chance Rain Showers

Lo: 59

Thursday

Rain Showers Likely

Hi: 67

Thursday Night

Rain Showers Likely

Lo: 61

Friday

Chance Rain Showers

Hi: 68

Friday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 53

Saturday

Slight Chance Rain Showers

Hi: 64

Saturday Night

Chance Rain Showers

Lo: 59


Lake Livingston Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 1/21: 131.01 (+0.01)