Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area
Lewisville Lake is a very popular and commercial lake just north of Dallas. It’s busy shorelines host restaurants and homes, and the water is filled with boats each weekend. But just on the other side of the dam sits the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area. This quiet, beautiful and natural area is surprisingly remote from the fast boats and loud music you find on the lake.
A secluded site, we first visited the dam, where the Elm Fork of the Trinity River spills out to continue south as it joins up with the West Fork in Irving, and winds itself down through East Texas on it’s way out to Trinity Bay.
Know Before You Go
The LLELA is open 7 days a week.
We were there to complete our second of the Texas Nature Challenges, which was to hike one of the three trails, and make observations along the way. We chose the Cicada Trail, which runs through a hardwood forest, and seemed to be the one to offer the most shade. It was already about 100 degrees, and the shade makes such a difference!
A photo of one of the cicadas for which the trail is named. Very aptly named, too. The cicadas are everywhere, it was almost hard to hear each other, at some times they were so loud.
This is my daughter. She too, is something on the trail that made it hard for us to hear each other.
When we came upon this hollow tree with a large entrance at the bottom, we all stopped and yelled, “The Watcher in the Woods”! We read the novel by Florence Engel Randall, a couple of summers ago. The tree, and it’s “entrance” looks like something right out of the book. Literally, a shiver ran down my back when I saw this.
If you haven’t read it, it’s a fun, and suspenseful book for kids. We recommend it, but I wouldn’t go down this trail just after reading it. Unless you want to scare your kids…..
The Cicada Trail runs along the former river bed of the Trinity River. When the lake was formed, they MOVED the river to it’s present location. That amazes me.
After our hike, we enjoyed a picnic lunch, and some COLD watermelon! Is there anything better than COLD watermelon on a hot day?
The LLELA also host one of the Texas Paddling Trails, the Beaver Pond Paddling Trail.
It started off a little muddy, and shallow, and gloriously shady. My husband took the kayak, and the kids and I were in our canoe. Beautiful birds flew all around us, including very friendly but photo shy Green Herons. We came up a young family of them, right out of the nest. They were just too quick to get a good picture.
The trail quickly opened up into a large, open pond. Again, water birds were everywhere. We paused several times just to look and listen. The water was surprisingly clean, and we could see fish swimming around us. My son was really biting his bottom lip, since they don’t allow fishing on the trail.
There was so much to see and do, and we really didn’t get to half of it. But we will be back. One of the trails has an old cabin, the Minor-Porter homestead. You know how much I love log cabins. Tours are offered on the second third Saturday of each month.
Stars on the Prairie is a special time to visit LLELA after hours and enjoy the dark sky. Ages 5 and above (I think they changed this after our visit…. because of our visit.) Registration is required, $10/person. Click HERE for more information.
On the second third Saturday of each month, kayak trips are also offered on a 6 mile stretch of the Trinity River. All the equipment and instruction is provided, but registration is required. Check their website for prices and more information. www.kayakpower.com
They also offer badge workshops for scouts, and much more.
Things To Do in Lewisville
Gatsplat Indoor Paintball is a fun and family friendly place to play! Click HERE to read more!
Sneaky Pete’s on the Lake has a fun pool the kids will love splashing on a warm day while waiting for lunch! Click HERE to read more.
Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Center
201 E. Jones Street, Lewisville
Click HERE to visit their website.
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