Possum Kingdom Lake Information:
The Morris Sheppard Dam construction on the main stem of the Brazos River began in 1938 with the aid of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps)
. The lake was impounded in 1941. It is 65 miles long, and has a maximum depth of 145 feet. This 17,700 surface acre lake is located in the foothills of the Palo Pinto Mountains and is surrounded by tall Brazos River cliffs and rolling hills. Because it is one of the few deep water lakes in Texas, it attracts those with the largest boats. A “must see” sight (accessible only by boat) is Hell’s Gate, two cliffs forming the entrance of a natural harbor. Activities include hunting, fishing, swimming, water sports, and scuba diving. Facilities include campgrounds, boat ramps and private lodging facilities. Boating permits are required for all boaters. Possum Kingdom State Park is located lakeside. The lake is located on SH 6, west of Graford, Texas.
Possum Kingdom Lake Location Map
Current Possum Kingdom Lake Level
Possum Kingdom Lake Facilities Map
Possum Kingdom Lake TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
Brazos River Authority Possum Kingdom Lake Map of Openings/Closures
Possum Kingdom Lake Hike & Bike Trails Map
Map of Canoeing the Brazos River Below Possum Kingdom Lake
The Brazos River rises at the confluence of its Salt Fork and Double Mountain Fork near the eastern boundary of Stonewall County in the Texas Panhandle Plains Region. It runs 840 miles across Texas to its mouth on the Gulf of Mexico, two miles south of Freeport in Brazoria County. The two forks rise 150 miles above the confluence, thus forming a continuous 1,050 mile long watershed, making it the longest river in Texas. The Brazos has seven principal tributaries, including the Salt and Double Mountain forks. The others are the Clear Fork, the Bosque and Little rivers, Yegua Creek, and the Navasota River which joins the Brazos River six miles southwest of Navasota in southwestern Grimes County. In addition, there are fifteen sub tributaries within the watershed, the most important being the Leon River, a tributary of the Little River. Although the Brazos was well known to Spanish explorers and missionaries who described the Indians located along its banks, the first permanent settlements on the river were made by Anglo-Americans. John McFarland, one of the Old Three Hundred, founded San Felipe de Austin at the Atascosito Crossing of the Brazos. The town became the colonial capital of Texas. Velasco, the site of the first colonial resistance to Mexican authority, is located on the River as are Columbia and Washington-on-the-Brazos, two of the first seats of government of the Republic of Texas. Originally, the Brazos was navigable for 250 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the town of Washington. It was an important waterway before the Civil War, and efforts to improve it for navigation continued until the early twentieth century. Important cities in the Brazos watershed are Lubbock, Graham, Waco, Temple, Belton, Freeport and Galveston. Houston abuts the region along the Fort Bend and Brazoria County lines. The most important lakes on the Brazos River are Possum Kingdom Lake and Lake Whitney.
Brazos River Fish Stocking History
Brazos River Canoeing Map below Possum Kingdom Lake
The small town of Pickwick was inundated when Possum Kingdom Reservoir was impounded in 1941. The Pickwick area was settled as early as 1856, though a community was not established until after the Civil War when Indian attacks lessened. The town had a post office from 1903 to 1946. It was initially located in a blacksmith shop and later was moved to the general store. Later the community had a gin, a general store, a school, a church, and a sawmill. Telephone service was established by 1915. In 1939, the Brazos Conservation and Recreation District purchased all the Pickwick property in preparation for the inundation of the property by the waters of the newly formed Possum Kingdom Reservoir. An area landowner did not want the post office and the general store flooded so he sold eight acres to store owner J.C. Stevenson so the building could be relocated away from the lake waters. This land was located two miles east of the old townsite and was called New Pickwick by some locals. Land was donated for a school which was named LuKindgom. The store and post office closed in 1946. When the reservoir’s waters were low in the late 1880s, a couple foundations and the old Pickwick iron bridge were visible.
Hell's Gate & Devil's Island:
This popular National Landmark features two 110 foot bluffs forming an entrance to a no wake party area across from YMCA Camp Grady Spruce, and near the Bluff Creek Marina at Mile Marker 31. It was formed by Jowell’s Creek. Hell’s Gate (channel) cuts between Devil’s Island and the bluffs. It is located mid-lake on the south shore, west of the Cliffs Resort, and approximately 40 minutes by boat east of Possum Kingdom State Park. Lake maps are available from the chamber of commerce. When climbing Devil’s Island, stay on the well-worn paths; don’t hike the trail to the amphitheater (a cave like formation) as it has become unsafe. The island is located at Hell’s Gate. Bluff Creek Marina is located on the lake at 1119 Marina Point Drive off Hells Gate Loop, Strawn.
Possum Kingdom Airport, Graford:
Amenities include dusk to dawn runway lights, restrooms, 19hangars, and long term parking. There are no airport attendants, fuel or ground transportation. If renting a boat from Naylor by the Water boat rentals, you will be provided transportation. This Brazos River Authority airport is located on the east side of the lake, 12 miles southwest of Graford and west of SH 16. (940) 779-2321. (888) 922-6272.