Lake Palestine Information

The Upper Neches River Municipal Water Authority owns and operates Lake Palestine. It is surrounded by the counties of Anderson, Cherokee, Henderson, and Smith, covers 25,560 acres, has 135 miles of shoreline, and has a maximum depth of 50 feet with an average depth of 16 feet. The Neches River feeds the lake impoundment. The closest area for shopping and supplies is in Tyler, Texas, five to twenty miles away depending where you go on the lake. Berryville, Chandler, and Coffee Town are located on the lake. The State Board of Water Engineers authorized construction of Lake Palestine and Blackburn Crossing Dam began in 1960 by the Upper Neches River Municipal Water Authority and completed in 1962. An enlargement project was completed in 1969. It serves industrial, municipal, and recreational purposes.

History of the Lake

Lake Palestine swallowed the town of Naches Saline, Texas. In 1765, Spanish Missionary Calahorra y Saenz reported the presence of saline in the area. Its first settlers were a Cherokee Tribe led by Chief Bowl escaping from hostile Indians in north Texas in 1820. Indians and Spanish people built water wells and left the water to evaporate for salt. The water in this region provided salt for settlers up until 1850 when salt making declined until 1861 because the U.S. began to import salt from England. The onset of the Civil War with the Federal Embargo spurred local salt making again. A business man from West Virginia operated twelve salt furnaces at one time and manufactured 100 pounds of salt per day to support the needs of the Confederacy. This area was quite remote, and the only way to make a living was manufacturing salt which left the owners to the mercy of the salt market. After 1870, there are no records of salt manufacturing, and the town died. 

Lake Palestine Fishing

Due to the high content of salt, it is no mystery that Lake Palestine supports a large population of hybrid striped bass. Other predominant species include largemouth, spotted, and white bass, catfish, and crappie. This lake is well known for its successful largemouth bass tournaments. Anglers love to hit Lake Palestine in the springtime when white bass run up the Neches River and Kickapoo Creeks. Crappie fishing is also great in springtime. There is an abundant supply of channel catfish along with trophy-sized blue catfish and flathead catfish. Anglers provided many brush piles between the dam and the bridge, which you can find with graph recorders. Fishing for white and hybrid striped bass is best from the dam to Highway 155 in the wintertime. Trophy-sized blue catfish are reported in big populations from between Haven Point at the mouth of Flat Creek to the Highway 155 bridges. Choose an exciting fishing experience from a local experienced guide on our Lake Palestine Fishing Guides page.

Boating on Lake Palestine

Lake Palestine is 18 miles long from north to south. There are 20 public boat ramps salt and peppered around the lake and several marinas. Anglers and Boaters can find wide-open deep water and secluded coves and bays. Boaters report some stumps and a few forests underwater. Boaters can buy a lake map locally that marks hazard locations. There are places to buy gas on the lake, but they may not be convenient to many areas on the lake. This is an isolated region with few places to go shopping. So bring your supplies and gas your boat before you arrive. There are several boat rental businesses around and on the lake. 

Lake Palestine Marinas

Five marinas call Lake Palestine their home, but only two have a gas dock. The other two have boat ramps, and one is a boat storage facility. Some have RV, tent sites, and cabins available, and one resort with a restaurant and full services for all your vacation and boating needs. This is a large lake and you can find all types of boats to rent from canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, pontoon boats, or even a row boat at one marina. Check out all of your options on our Lake Palestine Marinas page. 

Rental Cabins and Vacation Homes

There are many options for your Lake Palestine adventure when it comes to renting cabins and vacation homes. There’s even a  farm house on 70 acres near this lake. You can find a large family house with several bedrooms to cozy cabins. Some waterfront rentals have fishing piers and even boats for your enjoyment during your stay. Many have BBQ grills and fire pits for those cooler nights in the spring and fall. Book your great place in the Piney Woods at our Lake Palestine Cabins page.

Lake Palestine Camping

There are campgrounds salt and peppered all around Lake Palestine offering both RV and tent sites. The stunning sunrises and sunsets are motivation enough for loading up your camping equipment and playing in the lake all day. At this lake, beautiful pine and dogwood trees surround the campsites. People can’t get enough of the dogwood blooms during the last two weeks in March and first week in April. The fall foliage in November provides colorful eye candy. There are walking trails and hiking opportunities but no official bicycle, hiking, or equestrian trails. 

Things to do at Lake Palestine

The Lake Palestine region offers unique activities in the surrounding towns and even The Waterpark at the Villages on the north side of the lake where kids can speed down winding tubes and  climb on rope bridges while adults can leisurely float on the lazy river. You can visit the East Texas Arboretum and Botanical Society’s 100 acre park and the Texas Freshwater Fishery in nearby Athens east of the lake. 

Tyler is a short drive away with the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum and the American Freedom Museum. The Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary outside of Tyler rescues tigers, cougars, servals, and other small felines with a focus on tiger conservation. It is open seven days a week. Play 18 holes of golf or some tennis at the Emerald Bay Club. Eagle’s Bluff Country Club has an award winning golf course winding through 230 acres, but call in advance as they average 45 golfers a day.

Drop down southwest to Palestine where you will find the 59-acre Grapeland Safari park for the kids with pony and train rides, 200 acres of Dogwood Trails for enjoying the beautiful dogwood trees. The 1836 Chuckwagon Race each spring at the Diamond B Ranch in Neches offers trail rides, dutch oven cooking classes, cowboy poetry, herd dog demonstrations, hoof care clinics, bullwhip demonstrations, horse auction, wagon race calcutta, and barn dances with live music. Zipline in New York, Texas, on the west side of the lake. Explore your options for your next fun trip on our What to do at Lake Palestine page.

Lake Palestine Zip Codes

The largest towns with zip codes near Lake Palestine are Athens, 75751, 75752, Jacksonville, 75766, Palestine, 75801, 75802, 75803, and Tyler, ordinal from 75701 to 75713.

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Lake Palestine Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Lake Palestine Weather Forecast



Hi: 92

Thursday Night


Lo: 70



Hi: 94

Friday Night


Lo: 70


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 93

Saturday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 73


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 93

Sunday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 74

Lake Palestine Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 6/13: 346.57 (+1.57)

Lake Palestine

Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 12)

SLOW. Water slightly stained; 80 degrees; 1.87 feet above pool. Water level is high and stained from heavy rains last week and runoff. Lake is currently about 2 feet high, down from the 4 feet at peak on the 7th. Boat ramps and marinas appear to all be open again, except Lake Palestine Resort. Lots of floating debris in the lake. All species are slow as a result of very high and very stained water, and an unprecedented 4 days of blue bird weather 6th through 9th. Fishing should be improving, looking for all species to be at least good by this weekend. Report by Jim Beggerly, Jim’s Fishing Lake Palestine.

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