By: Brandon Mangan
Proctor Lake in Comanche County, Texas has been a destination for fishing and recreation since it was created between the Sabana and Leon rivers in 1963. The Army Corps of Engineers maintains four parks on the lake – Copperas Creek, High Point, Promontory and Sowell Creek Park. Although High Point has been closed to vehicles for some time now there are still more than 10 miles of horse trails and scenic views to hike through.
Aside from High Point all parks offer various kinds of camping, including RV, tent, screened shelter, and group camping facilities. You can make reservations by calling 1-877-444-6777 or by visiting www.reserveusa.com. Sowell, Copperas and Promontory all offer day-use areas, as well as swimming beaches. Sowell Creek also has a play area for children at one of its swimming areas. There are multiple boat ramps and fishing docks between the parks, including handicap accessible docks like this newer addition to Copperas Creek.
Proctor is stocked regularly with various species of fish and is known as one of the premiere lakes in Texas when it comes to catching Crappie and the Hybrid Striped Bass species. Records from this lake include a 16lb Striper, a 13lb Largemouth, and an 87lb Blue Catfish.
Along with its fish, Proctor Lake is home to a diverse range of wildlife, from deer and feral hogs to songbirds and wildfowl. This wildlife has a home among a large array of wildflowers each spring, with Texas staples like Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes decorating each of the lake’s parks.
Speaking of a diverse range of wildlife, in 1985 James “Rusty” Branch discovered a dinosaur fossil site among the Twin Mountains formation of the lake, said to be “among the richest from the Lower Cretaceous of North America”. The species discovered there (recently named the Convolosaurus Marri) is the only example yet found in the world. The fossils are now curated in the Shuler Museum of Paleontology at Southern Methodist University.
[A skeleton formed from the fossils found at Proctor Lake]
Hunting is another activity that brings people to Proctor Lake. Migratory game bird hunting is allowed, requiring permits in some areas (which can be requested in person at the Proctor Lake Office located at 2180 HWY 2861, Comanche TX.) For more information, you can visit http://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/proctor/Recreation/Hunting.asp.
Hunting isn’t the only sport offered at the lake, P.A.R. Country Club is also located on the lake near Copperas Creek Park and offers a full 18 Hole golfing experience, along with its own bar and grill. You can contact P.A.R. Country Club for more information at: 254-879-2296.
Proctor Lake rests in a rural part of the Cross Timbers region and due to this, has darker skies than many parks across Texas. This affords its visitors a view of the night sky not found in many parts of the state. We hope you’ll come to visit and find out just how breathtaking it can be for yourself! If you are wanting to visit a few places in the area and do a bit of shopping, you can also visit the De Leon Historical Museum and The Chaos Trading Company in De Leon.
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Places to stay at Proctor Lake