Lake Belton Information

Belton Lake sits in central Texas near Temple, Texas, in Bell and Coryell Counties. It covers a surface area of 12,385 acres, with 136 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 124 feet. The Leon River in the Brazos River basin feeds Belton Lake. The Fort Worth District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages Belton Dam and Belton Lake. 

The mural painted on the spillway wall of Belton Dam portrays the history of the Bell County area. Belton Lake is located a few miles east of Fort Hood, a U.S. Army Garrison, between Temple, Texas, on the east and Killeen, Texas, on the west. Fort Hood is the U.S. Army's premier installation to train and deploy heavy forces.

The towns and communities that surround Belton Lake, Killeen, Copperas Cove, Harker Heights, Belton, Gatesville, Temple, and Lampassas serve as wholehearted support for U.S. Army families. Their nickname is “The Great Place”. The Miller Springs Nature Center, located adjacent to Belton Dam, is operated under the authority of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through the Miller Springs Alliance. 


History of Belton Lake

Construction began on the Belton Dam in January 1949 and was completed in 1954 with a conservation pool, and impoundment began on March 8, 1954. Belton Lake was created for the purposes of flood damage reduction, water conservation and supply, fish and wildlife habitat, and general recreation. Belton Lake inundated Bland, Tennessee Valley, and Sparta, Texas. 

Sparta, founded in the 1850s, sat on Cowhouse Creek nine miles northwest of Belton in northwestern Bell County. A mill was built in the 1860s, and its post office opened in 1873. Sparta had 35 residents by 1890, and it had added a cotton gin, general store, and blacksmith shop, and grew to 75 people by 1896.

Sparta began to decline and the post office closed in 1920. A few years before the construction of Belton Lake, in 1948, Sparta had two churches, a school, and two businesses. The Leon River flooded the valley where Sparta was frequently. The people of Sparta were tied to the land, but they also knew they needed a solution to the flooding.

The Corps conducted appraisals, offered people a price including any improvements to move their home, if the owner wished. Contractors could either relocate a house or destroy it. The valley had 15 cemeteries, and about 1,150 graves were relocated. The former residents, as they moved their homes, described their feelings as witnessing a live burial in 1954, when Belton Lake was impounded. 


Fishing Belton Lake

Predominant game species in Belton Lake are hybrid striped, largemouth, smallmouth, and white bass, channel & flathead catfish, and sunfish. Other fish include alligator and longnose gar, bluegill, spotted bass, blue catfish, white crappie, and green, longear, redbreast, and redear sunfish.

Much of Belton Lake’s shoreline is steep and rocky. Rock makes up the main fish cover in Belton Lake with sparse vegetation and no standing timber. Tall bluffs and long rocky points are the most common shoreline characteristics. Anglers can find sand and mud flats up the Leon River and Cowhouse Creek arms. 

Boat ramps are scattered around Belton Lake in Corp of Engineers parks. There are a few areas to fish from the shore, and fishing piers in the campgrounds and marinas. Largemouth bass fishing is at its best from late February through April. The backs of creeks and coves provide the warmest water on the lake. Good fishing creeks to check out are Bear, Cedar, Cowhouse, Owl, and Stampede.

Smallmouth bass fishing is best from the dam to the Cedar Creek area at mid-lake in early spring and late fall, when the water temperature ranges from 55 to 65 degrees. Hybrid striped bass travel in schools throughout the main lake. White bass fishing is best from March through May when they migrate up the lake into the Leon River. Catfish are good all year. 

There are a few guide services at Belton Lake. It is best to book a guide in advance if you want the freedom of fishing without the hassle of a boat at Belton Lake. The guides fish year round in Belton Lake and offer half and full-day charters. 

Find experienced local guides on our Belton Lake Fishing Guides page. 


Boating on Belton Lake

The south end of Belton Lake is open and wide, but as you follow the river channel, the lake twists and turns where the river eroded its way through the limestone beds. Its many small and larger arms provide scenic views and offer smooth water for skiing, boarding, or tubing.

Belton Lake’s numerous coves, only accessible by boat, offer private swimming areas, and the shoreline is accessible to the public. Belton Lake’s water is fairly clear with a greenish tint, and its shoreline is mostly undeveloped with steep, rocky terrain. Tall bluffs surround Belton Lake with a few homes overlooking the lake. 

Boat ramps, bank fishing access, picnicking, and camping are available at Corps of Engineers parks located around the lake. Most boat ramps provide courtesy docks. Day use fees are in effect at most Corps parks, and the Corps offers a $30 annual pass. Three marinas offer fuel and basic supplies. 

The North Point Yacht Club’s boat slips accommodate small cruisers to large houseboats. There are plenty of boat rental businesses around Belton Lake renting all types of watercraft. Canoeing and kayaking are popular ways to see Belton Lake. 

Find or sell a boat on our Belton Lake Boats for Sale page. 


Belton Lake Marinas

Frank’s Marina, Morgan’s Point Marina, and North Point Yacht Club serve Belton Lake’s boaters. They all have fuel, basic supplies, and boat rentals. The City of Morgan’s Point operates its marina with 20 to 50 foot boat slips. North Point Yacht Club has slips for large houseboats. Frank’s Marina advertises the best rates for slip rentals and other services. 

Franks Marina is on the east side of Belton Lake’s southern shores on Lake Park Road near Belton, Texas. Morgan’s Point Marina is on the eastern shore’s southern end where the lake follows the river channels north of the open water. North Point Yacht Club is on the north side of the Cedar Creek arm of Belton Lake. 

Plan your trip to the lake by finding a marina on our Belton Lake Marinas page. 


Belton Lake Cabins and Vacation Homes

Vacation rental homes come with all the modern amenities and great decks with great views of Belton Lake. Many rentals can sleep large numbers of people. The prices of vacation rental homes vary depending on how large they are and where they are. Whether you want to rent a cabin or a rental home at Belton Lake, there are plenty of activities to keep the children busy. 

The Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area, aka BLORA, rents cabins and mobile homes, and Belton Lake Cottages rents cabins, and there’s quite a few to choose from. BLORA operates under the authority of Fort Hood through its Sportsmen’s Center Area Access Program. Please plan ahead and book your cabin or vacation home in advance because Belton Lake is a popular recreational destination. 

Find the perfect vacation home on our Belton Lake Cabins page. 


Camping at Belton Lake

The Corp of Engineers (COE) operates several parks and campgrounds at Belton Lake. These campgrounds offer different amenities and have water and electrical hookups for tent camping. Some COE parks have restrooms with shower, a laundry, boat ramps, picnic pavilions, and swim beaches. 

There are a few private campgrounds for tent camping and RVs flanking the southern and eastern borders of Belton Lake, and several RV parks. Fort Hood property surrounds the southwestern and northern shorelines of Belton Lake. With natural beauty and splendid views, the campgrounds at Belton Lake are described as well maintained with friendly staff.  

Check out our list of campgrounds and RV parks for your family adventure on our Belton Lake Camping page. 


Hiking, Biking, and Horseback Trails at Belton Lake

The trails at BLORA are designed for any level of rider or hiker, ranging from novice to experienced skill levels. BLORA has novice hiking and biking trails from 1 to 4.5 miles, an intermediate trail is 8 miles long and designed for distance and elevation changes, and its advanced trail adds more elevations and mileage than the intermediate trail and is recommended only for experienced riders and hikers. BLORA also offers horseback riding trails with guided one-hour rides.

The Miller Springs Nature Center is a 260-acre scenic natural area near the Belton Dam. It has 10 miles of hiking and biking trails divided into several loops for people and dogs on a leash. The nature center is day use only and free for visitors. 

The Pepper Creek Trail, located in the western outskirts of Temple and 2 miles from Morgan’s Point Marina on the southeastern end of Belton Lake, begins at SH 36 and travels south for just over a mile through a wooded area following the western bank of Pepper Creek. Highlights include unique water features and a pedestrian bridge.


Belton Lake Hunting 

Designated public lands at Belton Lake are open for free public hunting. Federal and State hunting laws and regulations apply to these public lands regarding hunting licenses, seasons, and bag limits. Only five game species can be harvested at the five Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) at Belton Lake that allow hunting: dove, quail, rabbit, squirrel, and waterfowl at Belton Lake. You cannot hunt deer or turkey. 

The Iron Bridge and Horseshoe Bend WMAs wrap around the farthest northern arm’s tip of Belton Lake. The Owl Creek and White Flint WMAs spread themselves along the western shore of Belton Lake just a little bit south of the Iron Bridge WMA. The Cedar Creek WMA sits in the middle of Belton Lake’s eastern border on the Cedar Creek arm. 


Belton Lake Real Estate

Belton Lake real estate is in a small but active market for lake homes and land in Texas. Typically, around 40 lake homes are up for sale on Belton Lake, with about 20 lots and land listings available. Homes on Belton Lake have an average list price of $287,000, but prices are higher for waterfront homes.

Temple, Texas, is the closest shopping center with a Walmart to Belton Lake on its southeast. Austin, Texas, at 60 miles south, is the closest thriving metroplex. The Belton ISD is the only school district at Belton Lake, and serves Belton and Temple, Texas.

To find your dream lake home, explore our Belton Lake Homes for Sale page. 


Things to Do at Belton Lake 

There are two restaurants at Belton Lake, but visitors will find most eating establishments in Killeen and Temple, Texas. BLORA features a paintball field, a climbing wall, and an archery range besides hiking and water activities. BLORA charges $10 a day for civilians, and military personnel are granted discounts. 

Visit the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum in Temple. The railroad depot in Temple began as a junction along the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railway in 1881. Exhibits outlining Temple’s history are housed within the original Santa Fe Depot building constructed in 1911.

Belton Lake’s region saw a wave of Czech immigrants settle in Central Texas at the end of the 19th century. They brought with them their culture and cuisine. The Czech Heritage Museum & Genealogy Center in Temple follows Czech history and culture from the sixth century to their modern day life in Texas. 

Military buffs can take in the 1st Cavalry Division Museum and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Museum at Fort Hood. Discover the long and distinguished history of the 1st Cavalry Division, one of the most decorated combat divisions in the U.S. Army. The 1st Cavalry Division Museum has indoor and outdoor exhibits. The museum offers living history presentations and guided tours for more than 15 people. 

The 3rd Armored Cavalry Museum tells the story of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, America’s longest-serving armored cavalry regiment. It has various indoor and outdoor exhibits and includes a collection of military vehicles. Visitors can learn the regiment’s history from its establishment as the Regiment of Mounted Rifleman in 1846 to today.

Fort Hood is home to The Courses of Clear Creek, a 27-hole championship golf course set among the rolling hills and scenic forests of central Texas. This golf club’s nine-hole courses feature four sets of tees and a state-of-the-art grass surface. A full pro shop, practice greens, and a clubhouse offer golfers everything they need. 

Sammons Golf Links in Temple features a public 18-hole golf course known for its gorgeous tree-lined fairways, emerald Bermuda grass greens, and some of the best par threes in the region. 

The Mayborn Science Theater is a state-of-the-art planetarium situated on the campus of Central Texas College in Killeen. This theater holds laser light and planetarium shows. The 60-foot dome for the shows and planetarium is shaped to provide a view of the stars that people cannot see with the naked eye. A show schedule and membership information is available on the theater’s website.

Plan your next adventure on our  What To Do At Belton Lake page.


Belton Lake Weather & Climate

Belton Lake sees an average of 35 inches of rain per year, with 0.2 inches of snow and 228 days of sunshine. The winter low in January is 36 degrees with a summer high in July of 95 degrees. April, October, and November are the most comfortable months for this region.

Keep an eye on the skies with our Belton Lake Weather Forecast page. 


Belton Lake Zip Codes

Bell County: 76501, 76502, 76503, 76504, 76505, 76508, 76513, 76519, 76533, 76534, 76540, 76541, 76542, 76543, 76544, 76545, 76546, 76547, 76548, 76549, 76554, 76557, 76559, 76564, 76569, 76571, 76579. 

Coryell County: 76522, 76525, 76526, 76528, 76538, 76558, 76561, 76566, 76596, 76597, 76598, 76599. 


Flora and Fauna

Characteristics of the geological flora at Belton Lake are bottomland hardwoods, prairies, springs, and river habitats. Nature lovers can expect to see common sightings of armadillos, coyotes, white-tailed deer, gray and red foxes, owls, fox squirrels, and wild turkeys, plus abundant wildflowers. Over 100 species of birds live at or migrate to the Belton Lake region. 

Waterfowl, wading birds, bald eagles, and ospreys can be seen from several vantage points around Belton Lake. The eagles and osprey nest in winter, but they are not common sightings. Waterfowl, wading birds, bald eagles, and osprey are best viewed from different vantage points around Belton Lake. 

Lake Belton Email Updates


 

Lake Belton Current Weather Alerts

Lake Belton Weather Forecast

Wednesday

Sunny

Hi: 84

Wednesday Night

Clear

Lo: 55

Thursday

Sunny

Hi: 86

Thursday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 57

Friday

Mostly Sunny

Hi: 88

Friday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 59

Saturday

Partly Sunny

Hi: 89

Saturday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 60


Lake Belton Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 10/15: 593.07 (-0.93)