Lake O The Pines Information

Lake O’ The Pines is nestled in Marion, Upshur, Morris, and Camp Counties deep in the Piney Woods of East Texas. It covers 18,700 acres with 144 miles of shoreline, an average depth of 13 feet, and a maximum depth of 50 feet. Most of Lake O’ The Pines is in Marion County. Avinger, Dangerfield, Jefferson, Lone Star, and Ore City, Texas, are the nearest towns to Lake O’ The Pines.

Lake O’ The Pines is also known as the Ferrell’s Bridge Dam. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) owns and operates it. The Cypress River Basin feeds Lake O’ The Pines. US 289 runs south from Dangerfield along Lake O’ The Pines’s northwestern border, SH 49 runs along its eastern border, and SH 155 cuts east to west across it.

History of Lake O’ The Pines

The Flood Control Act of 1946 authorized Lake O’ The Pines. Construction began in 1955 and was completed in 1959. The USACE created Lake O’ The Pines as part of the plan for flood control in the Red River Basin below Denison Dam in Texas. The USACE added the purposes of wildlife conservation, recreation, and water supply during its construction. Marion County was named for American Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox.”

Marion County served as the commercial gateway for frontier Texas until the establishment of railroads that bypassed its river wharves in the mid-1870s. Jefferson, Texas is the county seat.

Before settlement, a large natural logjam and snags on the Red River, known as the Red River Raft, formed a series of navigable lakes and bayous in Marion County. Jefferson, Texas, founded in the early 1840s, quickly developed an economically viable river trade route with New Orleans. Ninety percent of the settlers in this region migrated from the Deep South and the border states of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri.

Jefferson ranked second in commerce and industry among all Texas cities according to the 1870 census. Gas lighting, artificial ice, refrigeration, and soda water were in common use among Jefferson’s wealthiest residents. This prosperity did not last. The construction of two east-west rail routes during the 1870s, which linked the Grand Prairie farmlands northwest of Jefferson straight to the eastern markets, halted river route trading.

Then came the oil boom in the 1910s and after that, the Great Depression of 1929. From 1940 to 1970, the region saw a 25 percent decline in Marion County’s population and the demise of over 80 percent of the farms. By 1970, only 223 farms remained, and 205 of them raised only cattle. Between 1940 and 1970 twenty-six manufacturing plants were established, but only employed ten or fewer workers. Throughout the 1970s, the rise of tourism due to the development of the Jefferson Historic Riverfront District and the outdoor recreation at Caddo Lake State Park and Lake O’ The Pines kept the economy of Marion County going strong.

Fishing Lake O’ The Pines 

The predominant species include largemouth, spotted and white bass, blue, channel, and flathead catfish, white and black crappie, redear sunfish, and chain pickerel. Other species include bowfin, carp, gar, redbreast, redear, and warmouth sunfish, and trout. Lake O’ The Pines has special regulations on some fish which includes largemouth and smallmouth bass, striped and hybrid striped bass, white bass, catfish, crappie, gar, and trout. 

The white bass and crappie populations are abundant. The primary aquatic vegetation is hydrilla, which is home to bass, bowfin, crappie, catfish, white bass, hybrid stripers,  and sunfish. Fish attractors, made of plastic pipe treetops and PVC cubes, were installed in 2017 and partially funded by revenue from the Texas largemouth bass conservation license plate. 

So many waterways exist in the Lake O’ The Pines region that there is a plethora of fishing guide services. Many of them offer guide services at several lakes in the area. These guides are experts and know where the fish are and why they are there. Try out new tackle and poles, or learn the lake’s geography. Find experienced local guides on our Lake O’ The Pines Fishing Guides page. 

Boating on Lake O’ The Pines 

Bring your fishing boat, pleasure boat, personal watercraft, pontoon boat, sail boat, or yacht to Lake O’ The Pines. Get access to some of the upper, shallow areas with a kayak or canoe. An abundance of boat rental services are in business for your Lake O’ The Pines adventure. There is a launch fee at most boat ramps. The USACE maintains five free ramps along with ramps in developed park areas. 

Three marinas call Lake O' Pines their home and with gas docks, bait and tackle shops, RV sites, boat slips, boat rentals, camp sites, cabin rentals, ship’s stores, and more. Boat repair services, dealers, and private sellers keep Lake O' Pines rich with boating fun year round. Explore our Lake O' The Pines Marinas page, and find or sell a boat on our Lake O’ The Pines “Boats for Sale” page. 

Lake O' The Pines Rental Cabins

Rent a cabin or vacation home at Lake O' Pines for your vacation because there are so many options to choose from. Many of the parks, marinas, and local residents offer cabin rentals. You can find a vacation home from a rental with any size floor plan, multiple bedrooms, a swimming pool, and all the trimmings to a cozy one-bedroom cabin. Some are waterfront, or have a lake view, and others are close to beaches or in marinas and resorts. Cabins also come in all different sizes. 

One park at Lake O’ The Pines offers floating cabins. Grab your family or friends, all your gear, imagine staring at the twinkling stars in the night sky through mile-high pine trees, and waking up to an amazing sunrise for a great day on the water. Lake O' Pines is one of the most beautiful lakes in Texas with truly stunning views. Find the perfect vacation home on our Lake O' Pines Lake Cabins page. 

Camping at Lake O’ The Pines 

Lake O’ The Pines offers great camping all around it. Lake O’ The Pines sits on an area of 17,000 acres surrounded by remarkable pine trees that reach high into the sky.  Camp out and take in the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Myriads of campgrounds have tent sites with hookups, primitive camping, and RV sites. 

The USACE operates 24 campgrounds with different amenities that have restrooms, cleaning stations, live bait, parking, courtesy docks, gas, picnic areas, and swimming beaches. Check out our list of campgrounds and RV parks for your family adventure on our Lake O’ The Pines Camping page.

Hiking Lake O’ The Pines

The Lake O’ The Pines Loop circles the whole lake, and there are several trailheads within this loop. More trails are scattered throughout the extensive USACE park system around Lake O’ The Pines which provide excellent opportunities for wildlife sightings and bird watching.

Hunting Lake O’ The Pines

Lake O’ The Pines offers 4,500 acres of federally owned property for superior hunting opportunities. The legal game found on Lake O’ The Pines includes white-tailed deer, eastern wild turkey, squirrel, feral hogs, and many species of waterfowl. Three all-weather hunting access roads encompass about five miles. The three roads, Lone Star, Alley Creek, and South Dam access, provide vehicle access into some of the best hunting habitat in Texas. These roads are open during hunting season only and closed to vehicle traffic from January 15th to September 15th.

Rifle hunting for deer or feral hogs is only allowed for hunting areas south of the dam and west of Cypress Creek and for hunting areas north of Highway 155. For all other areas, hunting for deer or feral hogs is restricted to shotguns with slugs, muzzle loading rifles, and legal archery equipment. Antlerless deer may be harvested only during archery season.

Hunters and anyone accompanying the hunter must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material with 144 square inches each on both chest and back, and some type of orange headwear. An ATV rider certification is required to qualify for an ATV permit. Only portable, non-bark penetrating tree stands are allowed. Hunters can leave the stands for periods of 72 consecutive hours or less. Tree stands must be marked clearly with the owner’s name, address, telephone number, and date of placement. Hunting is prohibited from June 1st through August 31st.

Things to Do at Lake O’ The Pines

Restaurants are scattered around Lake O’ the Pines, but there is no nightlife. The restaurant fare ranges from down home cooking to BBQ to Mexican to breakfast. Antiquers will fall in love with historical Jefferson Texas. The Jefferson Historical Museum in the 1888 stately red brick building once served as the Jefferson Post Office and the Federal Courthouse.

The Grove (house) in Jefferson, Texas, which was built in 1861 in the Greek revival architectural style, claims to be haunted. The current owner hosts hour-long tours on weekends, and reservations are required for all tours. The Museum of Measurement and Time in Jefferson, Texas, contains eclectic items such as a collection of over 400 clocks, circa 1700-1900, rare and vintage maps from the 19th century, and a large number of surveying items.

Take an hour-long ride on the Historic Jefferson Railway in Jefferson, Texas. This vintage train takes you through several miles along the shores of the Big Cypress Bayou and through dense forests in northeastern Texas. From the train, visitors can view the Jefferson Ordnance Magazine, an old sawmill and blast furnace, natural beauty, and numerous wildlife sightings.

If you dare, take a tour on the Historic Jefferson Ghost Walk. The ghost walks on Friday and Saturday evenings educate visitors about Jefferson’s violent past on a walk through some of the town’s most haunted locales.

Check out Thomas Falls Outdoor Adventures just outside of Ore City which features a floating barrel cross, floating broken bridge, floating military wall climb, ropes cross challenge, Tom Sawyer raft race, waterfall slide, and zip-line water plunge. Visit one of the three wine vineyards located within a few miles from Lake O’ the Pines around its eastern border.

Explore fun activities and destinations around the lake on our What To Do At Lake O' The Pines page. 

Lake O’ The Pines Real Estate

The Lake O’ the Pines real estate market is a limited supply marketplace for lake property in Texas. Homebuyers can find a diverse range of prices for lake homes and waterfront properties and as well as in the types of homes available. Lots and homes start at under $100,000 up to over half a million dollars. Avinger ISD, Dangerfield-Lone Star ISD, Jefferson ISD, and Ore City ISD serve the Lake O’ The Pines region.

The closest Walmarts are in Longview, Texas, 16.5 miles southeast from Ore City southwest of Lake O’ the Pines, and on the southeastern side, in Marshall, Texas, which is ten miles from the southernmost tip of Lake O’ the Pines. Shreveport, Louisiana, and Texarkana, Texas, are the closest metropolitan cities, and both cities are east of the lake. Find the perfect lake home on our Lake O’ The Pines Homes for Sale page.

Lake O’ The Pines Weather

Lake O’ The Pines sees an average of 50 inches of rain per year with 1 inch of snow and 205 days of sunshine. The winter low in January is 34 degrees, with a summer high in July of 93 degrees. April and May are the most comfortable months for this region. Stay up to date with our Lake O' The Pines Weather Forecast page. 

Lake O’ The Pines Zip Codes

Camp County: 75451.

Marion County: 75657, 75564.

Morris County: 75636, 75638, 75668, 75571.

Upshur County: 75644, 75645, 75683, 75686, 75755, 75797.

Flora and Fauna at Lake O’ The Pines

The Lake O’ The Pines terrain consists of rolling hills and rich sandy loam soil with a clay foundation and pine, cypress, and oak forests. Watch out for the spring, summer, and fall wildflower show. Bring your binoculars. Expect to see white-tailed deer, eastern wild turkey, squirrel, and feral hogs.

During the spring and summer bird watchers will see woodpeckers, great crested and Acadian flycatchers, eastern kingbird, brown thrasher, blue-gray gnatcatcher, wood thrush, summer tanager, and several species of vireos and warblers. Open areas support killdeer, indigo bunting, eastern meadowlark, field and chipping sparrows, mourning dove, eastern bluebird, and eastern phoebe. Bald eagles winter in this region. Dragonflies to look for in the area include the widow skimmer and the occasional Halloween Pennant.

Lake O The Pines Email Updates


Lake O The Pines Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Lake O The Pines Weather Forecast


Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 90

Tuesday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 74


Severe Tstms

Hi: 89

Wednesday Night

Severe Tstms

Lo: 70


Severe Tstms

Hi: 87

Thursday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 70


Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 91

Friday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 73

Lake O The Pines Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 5/21: 233.23 (+4.73)