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Counties
Bell, Coryell
Region
Praries & Lakes
Nearby
Lakes
Belton Lake
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Belton Lake Information:
The 12,385 surface acre Lake Belton is located on the Leon River in Bell and Coryell Counties. Lake boundaries extend to Mother Neff State Park in Moody, Texas. Dam construction began in January, 1949, Impounded began in March,1954. Total construction costs were $17,191,526. The lake has 136 miles of shoreline, and a maximum depth of 124 feet. The lake was created to provide flood control, water conservation and drinking water for the Belton-Temple area, to protect fish and wildlife habitat, and for general recreation purposes. Activities include scuba diving, camping, fishing, birding, stargazing, swimming, boating picnicking, hiking and biking. Facilities include several parks, the Miller Springs Nature Center, wetlands, boat ramps, and fishing piers. The lake is on FM 1670 approximately 8 miles west of Temple, 3 miles north of Belton, Texas, and 1 mile south of U.S.190. From Belton, go 3 miles north on SH 317, 2 miles west on FM 439, and 1 mile north on FM 2271. 
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Leon River:
The Leon River is part of the Brazos River system. It rises at the confluence of its North, South, and Middle forks east of Eastland, Texas in northwestern Eastland County. The South Fork rises northeast of Cottonwood in southeastern Callahan County and flows northeast for twenty-five miles to its mouth on the North Fork. The North Fork rises at Cisco in northwestern Eastland County and flows northeast for eleven miles forming Lake Brelsford a mile northwest of Eastland; it also forms Lake Eastland near Eastland, Texas. The Middle Fork rises six miles west of Eastland and flows east for six miles to join the combined North and South Forks to form the Leon River proper. Lake Belton is located on the Leon River 16.7 miles upstream of the confluence of the Leon and Little Rivers. The Leon River runs southeast for 185 miles through Eastland, Comanche, Hamilton, and Coryell counties to its confluence with the Lampasas and Salado Rivers to form the Little River. The South Leon River, a tributary of the Leon, rises in extreme eastern Brown County and runs northeast across southern Comanche County to join the main stream. Communities along the Leon River include De Leon, Gustine, Proctor, Lamkin, Jonesboro, Levita, Gatesville, Fort Gates, Moody and Belton. The river is dammed to form Lake Leonseven miles south of Ranger, and Proctor Reservoir (Proctor Lake) three miles west of Proctor in Comanche County. Mother Neff State Park is located on the Leon River in Moody, Texas.  Fish Stocking History
 
Mother Neff State Park Information:
This heavily wooded 259 acre park is located on the flood prone Leon River just north of Lake Belton. During prehistoric times, this parkland was occupied by several groups of Indians, including some who might have been related to the Tonkawa. In 1935, three Indian graves and many artifacts were discovered. Mother Neff State Park was the first official state park in Texas. It was named after Mrs. Isabella Eleanor (Mother) Neff who donated 6 acres of land along the Leon River to the state in 1916. After her 1921 death, her son, Texas Governor Pat M. Neff (Governor 1921-1925), created the Mother Neff Memorial Park which later became the nucleus of the Texas State Park System which was founded in 1928. In 1934, Governor Neff donated 250 acres and Mr. Frank Smith donated 3 acres for the park. The initial work on the park was completed in the 1930s by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), including construction of a wood framed tabernacle, a stone concession hall (now the recreation hall), a large open sided rock tabernacle, a water/observation tower, the Indian Cave, the caretaker's house, restrooms, and drinking fountains and campsites. The park opened to the public in 1937. Park habitat consists of bottomlands, limestone cliffs and upland prairies. Thick stands of old pecan, cottonwood, sycamores, and a variety of oaks cover the river bottomlands. The prairies are being converted to their natural state by controlled burns. In the spring, the fields of waving grass and wildflowers are stunning. Wildlife includes white-tailed deer, armadillos, bobcats, amphibians and birds. Park entrance and camping fees apply. For more information read Park Brochure, and watch the Park Video.