Lake Cypress Springs

        

D Magazine - May 25, 2011  

The 10 Best Lakes to Call Home

The lapping of luxury  //  Lake Cypress Springs

Size: 3,461 acres  //   Drive time: 2 hours
Waterfront restrictions: None (although it is a lease-hold property, meaning the county owns the land, and you lease it for a nominal fee)

A little more than a decade ago, Gary Tipton, president and CEO of Inwood National Bank, was thinking about buying ranch property. When he decided a ranch was more work than he was looking for, he bought a house on Cypress Springs, where the sunsets are stunning and the photo books of memories with his four kids are plentiful. 

Cypress Springs sits in a heavily wooded area. Towering pines crowd nearly its entire shoreline. To help pay for digging the lake, its developers sold the timber that they had to clear cut, creating a spectacular space for water sports. Many springs feed into the lake, keeping the water level relatively constant even as rainfall fluctuates. It’s a social lake, a winding, almost river-like waterway where you can see people you know next door or on the other side. One red light on the back of your house indicates you’re there; two indicates company is welcome. Close to 90 percent of the properties are second houses, and most of the developed communities are gated. 

Former CBS Channel 11 news anchor Tracy Rowlett and his family have a house on Cypress Springs, as do many wealthy Dallasites. But they’re all just regular people at the lake, enjoying the spotted bass and crappie fishing, as well as the burgers and bait at the Walleye Grocery & Deli. 


Lake Cypress Springs (also known as Franklin County Dam) is located approximately eight miles south of Mt. Vernon in Franklin County on Big Cypress Creek, a tributary of the Cypress Bayou.  The lake is owned and operated by Franklin County Water District (FCWD) for the purposes of municipal and industrial water supply and public recreation.  Authorization for constructing the dam and impounding up to 72,800 acre feet of water was granted on November 10, 1966 to the owner.  Designed by engineers from Wisenbaker, Fix, and Associates, the dam was constructed by general contractor, Vibig Construction Company.  Started in July 1968, deliberate impoundment began on July 7, 1970 and the construction officially completed on February 15, 1971.  It has a watershed area of approximately 75 square miles and a shoreline length of 43 miles.  Based on the latest survey by Texas Water Development Board, the sediment rate filling the reservoir is approximately 100 acre feet per year.

Lake Characteristics

Location: On Cypress Creek in the Cypress River Basin 15 miles northwest of Pittsburg in Franklin County 
Surface area: 3,461 acres
Maximum depth: 56 feet
Impounded: 1970

Water Conditions

Conservation Pool Elevation: 378 ft. msl
Fluctuation: 2-3 feet

 

Lake Cypress Springs is 92.5% full as of 2013-04-26


Normal Clarity: Clear

Access:       Provided at five public parks.

  

 

  restrooms cleaning stations live bait handicap access parking courtesy docks weigh stations boat gas picnic areas camping
A: Guthrie Park yes       yes yes     yes yes

B: Dogwood Park

yes       yes yes     yes yes
C: Mary King Park yes       yes       yes yes

D: Overlook Park

yes       yes       yes yes

E: Walleye Park

yes yes     yes       yes yes
 
Guthrie Park
  • Located at the north end of the dam. From Exit 146 off I-30 in Mt. Vernon, take Texas 37 south a little over 1/2 mile to FM 21. Turn east and go approximately 6 miles; turn south on FM 3007 and travel about 1.8 miles. You will see signs directing you into the park.
  • Concrete ramp, handles boats of all sizes
  • $2/person day use fee or annual pass
  • Open all year
  • Operated by Franklin County Water District (903) 537-4536
Dogwood Park
  • Located at the south end of the dam. From Exit 146 off I-30 in Mt. Vernon, take Texas 37 south a little over 1/2 mile to FM 21. Turn east and go approximately 6 miles; turn south on FM 3007 and go about 2.8 miles. After crossing dam, look for signs directing you into the park.
  • Concrete ramp, handles boats of all sizes
  • $2/person day use fee or annual pass
  • Open all year
  • Operated by Franklin County Water District (903) 537-4536
Mary King Park
  • Located on the south shore at mid-lake. From Mt. Vernon, take Texas 37 south a little over 1/2 mile to FM 21. Turn east and go approximately 6 miles; turn south on FM 3007. After crossing dam, road will turn to the west. Look for signs on right in Turkey Cove.
  • Ramp handles boats of all sizes
  • $2/person day use fee or annual pass
  • Open all year
  • Operated by Franklin County Water District (903) 537-4536
Overlook Park
  • Located on the north shore at mid-lake. From Mount Vernon, go south on Texas 37 to FM 21. Turn east (left) and go 3.2 miles to FM 2723. Turn south (right) and go 4.6 miles to park.
  • Ramp handles boats of all sizes
  • $2/person day use fee or annual pass
  • Open all year
  • Operated by Franklin County Water District (903) 537-4536
Walleye Park
  • Located on the north shore near the dam. From Mount Vernon, take Texas 37 south to FM 21. Turn east (left), go 3.2 miles to FM 2723. Turn south (right) and and follow this road almost 3 miles. Take the third road to the left (FM 3122). From there, turn south on SE 4220, and in approximately 1.5 miles you will run into Walleye Park.
  • Ramp handles boats of all sizes
  • $2/person day use fee or annual pass
  • Open all year
  • Operated by Franklin County Water District (903) 537-4536