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Boating on Belton Lake in Texas: Things to Know & Places to Go

Boating on Belton Lake in Texas is a popular activity in Fort Worth District. But unfortunately, there’s not enough data on what to do in the area and how to have the best time. So, we decided to roll up the sleeves and provide you with the complete guide on things to do & places to go…

Boating on Belton Lake in Texas: Things to Know & Places to Go

Boating on Belton Lake: Things to Know & Places to Go

“It extends into both Bell County and Coryell County and has 12,385 acres (50.12 km2) of surface area; plus, 124 ft (38 m) of depth at its deepest parts.”

As you may have guessed, here, in this article of Sailingyes, we will let you know what are the necessitates of boating on Belton Lake in Texas. Moreover, we’ll introduce the must-see spots and provide you with the list of best places to eat and stay. This is the ultimate guide every sailor/boater needs for boating/sailing in FWD!

Texas is full of lakes and reservoirs, and that’s why some consider it a paradise for boaters. Here, you can get out on the water almost anywhere—and whenever—you want to. That’s while Belton Lake has remained one of the most popular ones in the area, topping other competitors out.

 

Things to Know in Advance (Regulations and Permits)

Safety Regulations

  • Safety Regulations:

All the operators between 13-17 years old must have boating safety education. And it’s not only applicable to local people. You can take online safety courses to skipper a vessel legally in case you’re 13- to 17-year-old.

Wearing PFD is mandatory and you cannot refuse to have it onboard at any circumstances. The penalty for violating PFD regulations is $25-500. Plus, the law enforces the Coast Guard officers to wear Personal Floatation Device as well. (Only passengers younger than 13 years old can take it off while the vessel is not moving).

Carrying emergency equipment (loaner PFDs, throw line, etc.) is compulsory. And you are not allowed to navigate a craft when these pieces of equipment are missing. Marine officers apply unsystematic safety inspections that include boarding the boat. If officers spot a lack of safety equipment, they can apply penalties and/or suspend your license.

 

  • Required Licenses:

Skippers older than 17 years old need no certification to skipper a craft. But if you have a minor on board in charge of skippering, the presence of an adult is obligatory. Regardless of the type of your craft, you cannot allow a juvenile to navigate it solo.

Packing List for Sailing/Boating on Belton Lake

Packing List for Sailing/Boating on Belton Lake

The coldest months of the year in this area are Jan (36°) and Dec (39°). If you’re planning to go boating on Belton Lake during these two months, having some warm clothes is a good idea. However, the rest of the year is pretty much warm and you only need several casual fabrics.

PDFs, on the other hand, are the must-have piece of your luggage, and you should not forget to bring them. Otherwise, you’ll face penalties and/or driver’s license suspension.

For a complete checklist, read our guide on Packing for a Sailing Trip on Hot and Cold Days.

Best Recreation Season for Sailing in Fort Worth District

April (sometimes March) through October is the finest period to sail in FWD. The average temperature during these 7 months is 89° (max). The peak season is from July to September due to the rainfall decrease.

Nearby Watercraft Rental Stores

There are several stores and corporations around Belton Lake that offer rental crafts. The following, therefore, is a list of 4 best watercraft rental stores in FWD.

  • Tex-Sun Boat Rentals & Watersports:

Located at 14190 FM2305, Belton, 76513, this place offers a brand-new boat to hire with a skipper. There are also some additional amenities such as a tube and float noodles available for the customers abroad.

  • Frank’s Marina:

Kayaks, paddleboards, and pontoon boats are available at this place. They are very close to the lake and you can start sailing right away—when the paperwork is done. They’re located at 3260 Lake Park Rd, 76513,

  • Cruz-A-Day Boat Repair:

It’ll be an 18-minute drive from Belton Lake to this store, where you can rent a watercraft or get yours serviced. They are at 4175 US-190 Frontage Rd, 76513.

  • Scuba Divers Paradise:

This is where you can find the finest small-sized crafts such as kayaks for rental. Plus, they are a professional scuba diving institution; so, you may even want to spend more time there before getting out on the water. However, since it’s located near Stillhouse Park, you’ll need to take a 22-minute drive from Belton Lake into account. Here’s their current address: 4600 Simmons Rd, 76513.

Belton Lake On-Water Activities

Belton Lake On-Water Activities

Fishing is the most popular activity on the lake. Many fishers come to the district only to catch some largemouth bass, white bass, and/or smallmouth bass. However, the hybrid striped bass tops the list of reputation among the rest.

You must know that there’s a specific regulation limiting the amount of fish each boat can carry. According to the Freshwater Harvest Regulations in Texas, there’re Statewide Bag and Length Limits to prevent excessive fishing in the lakes. The specific details are found in the table below. (Bear in mind that having extra bags and carrying more fish will be punished through penalties and/or license suspensions).

Species
Daily Bag Length (minimum)
Bass 5 (in any combination)
largemouth and smallmouth 14 inches
spotted and Guadalupe No minimum
Bass, striped and hybrid 5 (in any combination) 18 inches
Bass, white 25 10 inches
Bass, yellow No limit No minimum
Catfish: channel and blue, their hybrids and subspecies 25 (in any combination) 12 inches
Catfish, flathead 5 18 inches
Crappie: white and black, their hybrids and subspecies 25 (in any combination) 10 inches
Paddlefish No harvest allowed
Saugeye 3 18 inches
Sunfish: various species including bluegill, redear, green, warmouth, and longear No limit No minimum
Trout: rainbow and brown, their hybrids and subspecies 5 (in any combination) No minimum
Walleye 5 (only 2 can be less than 16 inches in length) No minimum

Catfishing is also a common interest in the district. But we wouldn’t recommend the fishers to go for it as there are few catfishes left in the lake. According to the official website of Belton Lake, the catfish population is categorized as “fair.” That’s while hybrid striped bass is described as “excellent.”

Other types of creatures found in the lake are sunfish, bluegill, crappie, longnose gar, and alligator gar.

Hunting (mainly not on the water) is also another in-demand hobby at FWD. You can hunt dove, waterfowl, quail, rabbit, and squirrel at Belton Lake only. Hunting deer or turkey is illegal, and you should avoid shooting while close to the private property or designated recreation areas. So, start the hunt at least 600 feet away from these locations.

Don’t forget that local people and tourists must have permits for hunting. And any attempt without legal permission will face punishments.

Places to Visit (Hiking & Picnicking Sites)

Places to Visit (Hiking & Picnicking Sites)

Spending all your time on the water sounds like an interesting idea. But there are several landmarks and touristic sites around the lake that are a must-see. So, plan your trip in a way that you get at least a day or two for sighting. Here are the places and parks that you must not miss in FWD.

  • Temple Lake Park:

The day sites, a protective cover, and a low entry fee of $5.00 per carload make it a great place for families. You may not be able to park your vehicle in the area during the weekends—especially from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. as it gets very crowded. So, seeing this park during the weekdays is a better idea.

Camping, fishing, picnic tables, and a volleyball court are accessible for the guests. Plus, you can bring your pets too. Just keep in mind that the shoreline here is not sandy; therefore, you’re better off without sandals/flip flops.

Here’s the address: FM2305, Temple, 76501.

  • BLORA Paintball:

This is the public choice regarding sports. At this paintball arena, you can spend some quality time and brush up on your shooting skills at the same time.

It’s very close to the lake, making it easy for water lovers to not lose much time commuting. This is a place to get rid of all the stress and tension by shooting some balls!

  • Heritage Park:

There is a very scenic walking/riding path through the park. So, if you’re looking for a place to ride a bike or just jog/walk, this is the best bet. You can bring your family—and better yet, pets are welcome as well.

This park has access to water too. So, you should include swimming in your to-do list. However, bear in mind that it’s located 8 miles away from Belton Lake. And you have to drive for 16 minutes to get there—which is worth it. (Plan to get there before 3 p.m. as it gets jam-packed after that).

location: 100 Park Ave, 76513.

Miller Spring Park:

  • Miller Spring Park:

Being near Leon River, this site is the common choice when it comes down to relaxing. Kayaking, swimming, fishing, and camping are all available at the moment. And you can spend some quality time with your family hiking, jogging, walking, and/or picnicking here.

Sadly, most of the tracks are not obvious and many have been washed away by storms. There are risks to be aware of when walking/jogging here and, therefore, it’s not ideal for small kids.

Address: Temple, 76502.

  • Miller Springs Nature Center:

This site is in the Miller Spring Park zone. So, you can visit both at once, cutting back on time. However, if it’s your first time going hiking at this district, bring lots of water—and food, if possible. Moreover, since the trails are rocky, it’s best to have trail shoes with you.

The wildlife in this area is very active and you may encounter lots of creatures as you walk through the park. So, expect some “o” moments, and try to keep away from the animals for your safety—and their wellbeing. Here’s where to find this site: 1473 FM-2271 Hwy, 76513.

  • Bell County Museum:

The main goal at this facility is to display the local heritages and ancient projectiles along with the 18th-century attire. You can learn a lot about the history of FWD while having a scientific family trip. (Placed at 201 N Main St, 76513).

  • Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum:

There’s a playground right at the corner; so, your kids won’t have the chance to complain of anything. Having them with you is a great idea as this is a family-friendly site with very interesting stuff to offer. (Local railroad artifacts and exhibits, equipment on the museum grounds, and views of an active rail yard just to name a few).

The Big Bang Theory’s Texan Sheldon loved this museum as he was in love with trains. However, you’ll find it quite out-of-ordinary as well since they have everything one needs to have some museum fun.

Location: 315 W Avenue B, Temple, 76501.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Areas

  • BLORA:

House back riding, paintball, wall climbing, and a great view of the lake is what you get at this district. But that’s not it; you can camp, swim, fish, hike, jog, picnic, and/or reserve an RV pad. There are lots of people who spend more than 5 months in the area as all the spots have water and electricity accessibility.

However, if you want to see the Christmas lights in Dec, think twice. This region gets overfull at this time and this might keep you in lines for hours. So, plan smart and don’t risk your precious free time waiting in lines!

Location: 7999 Sparta Rd, 76513.

  • Belton Lakeview Park:

Placed near the Frank’s Marina, it’s a Natural park on a 12,300-acre lake popular for fishing, boating on Belton Lake, picnicking & swimming. Picnic tables and grills are everywhere and you also get to have access to a huge playground for your kids.

Nevertheless, some believe that this park has no proper lake view due to plants and trees covering the area. That’s while others complain of the lack of boat trailer parking. So, don’t forget about these downsides when choosing this spot.

Camping Sites for Boaters Around the Lake

Sleeping outdoors and spending a night or two in a tent is a must-experience, and Belton Lake is an excellent place to do so. There are several spots around the shorelines, offering rental rooms, RV pads, screen shelter campsites, and tent camping points.

  • Turkey Roost Campground, Cedar Ridge Park:

If you’re traveling in a group, this campground should top your list. They have enough space for several RVs and boat trailers along with water and electricity hook-ups for almost all the sites. You can reserve a place for your group/team in advance and have no worries about overcrowding.

The boat ramps are open with access to the dock. Plus, the whole area is gated; so, you’ll face fewer safety concerns during the stay.

  • WESTCLIFF:

You can park your RV here and go swimming in the lake with your dog. Yes, this place allows visitors to have their pets everywhere with them—even in the water. Moreover, you can set the tent somewhere close to the RVs or lake and spend the night outdoors, having access to water and electricity.

Docks and Harbors within the Reach

Docks and Harbors within the Reach

Boaters must have access to the docks and harbors. That’s where you park your vessel for the rest of the day, right? Well, the good news is that there are several marinas/docks near Belton Lake, all being able to fulfill your needs. Below is a list of 3 main marinas in this district.

  • Frank’s Marina:

It is on the west end of the lake by the dam in its little protected cove. At one time a while back the Marina had degraded a little, but lately, they have invested a lot of time, effort, and money into upgrades.

The Marina looks pretty good, and security/lights are well placed. They do rent pontoon boats, paddleboards, and kayaks during hours of operation. If you’re a boat owner, they have slips available for rent at reasonable prices. If you just need a place for the weekend so you don’t have to haul your boat out, they do offer weekend rates.

  • Morgan’s Point Resort Marina:

It’s not a huge dock, but you can still benefit from their amenities year-round. The overall view is pleasing, and water access is satisfying. However, this place is recommended to small-sized boat owners rather than anyone else.

  • Carp Boat Dock:

V-hull vessel owners find it unpleasingly shallow and out of place. But regardless of this fact, Crap Boat Dock is a fitting option for small-sized vessel possessors. The staff will help you to navigate around the area and provide you with safety instructions—if needed.

Restaurants and Places to Eat

finding a fine spot to eat is sometimes not so easy as it may sound. Many tourists –and even locals—spend hours to unearth the best restaurants, eateries, and cafes. This is sometimes a frustrating process with no actual results. So, to lend a helping hand with that, we included a list of best places to eat while boating on Belton Lake.

  • Backyard BBQ:

“BBQ, big burgers & baked potatoes in a country-style dining room with picnic tables & a full bar.” This is the short-but-satisfying description provided by the owners about this eatery. The existing menu includes alcohol, coffee, comfort food, happy hour food, kids’ menu, quick bite, and small plates. But catering and takeaways are obtainable as well.

Just like most small family businesses in this great area, Backyard BBQ is a great place to eat or go grab a drink and talk with some friends/family. It’s a family-friendly place and the service is great.

  • Dead Fish Grill:

“A long-standing lakefront venue offering seafood & Southern comfort food with indoor & outdoor dining,” says the owner to portray this restaurant. fast service, fireplace, vegetarian options, coffee, dessert, live music, and outdoor seating are some of the services/amenities offered by Dead Fish Grill.

Yacht/Fishing Clubs in Fort Worth District

Yacht/Fishing Clubs in Fort Worth District

Not everyone is a professional sailor but that shouldn’t stop you from heading out on the water. Joining a yacht or fishing club can give you a chance to learn the basics of sailing and fishing while boating on the Belton Lake area.

Local people, however, can benefit from more services and join various programs year-round at such clubs.

  • Central Texas Sportsman Club:

This is a great dock. The people are nice and they try to keep the location as clean as possible. They let you know what’s biting if they are there. You can see the fish here as they feed to keep them in the area.

The lights allow night fishing, and better yet, it’s open 24/7. They do regular maintenance on the dock to keep it unpolluted. The dock house enables you to get out of the weather with a wood-burning fireplace.

Several members-only events are held once a while; so, everyone gets to know each other. Some rules are set here to keep the peace as the 2-rod limit in the water at a time. (You can bring more but only 2 can be in the water).

  • North Point Yacht Club:

It’s more of an all-in-one spot for boaters since they have drinks, groceries, and even ice cream. But the main feature is their dock that offers great access to the water and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some local boaters keep their vessels here and some others cruise by for fishing—or other comparable recreational purposes.

Supply and Provision Stores in the Area

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to bring 20% more food than what you need when on the water. So, if you’re going to stay in the area for 10 days, having enough food/prevision for 12 days is the smartest move.

But what if you run out of supply on the Belton Lake? You must head out on the road and get to the nearest store. So, here’s a list of 4 marketplaces where you can do you re-prevision and get back to your boat as soon as possible.

  • Walmart Supercenter: 6 miles away and located at the Southern East end of the lake. 2604 N Main St, 76513.
  • Dollar General: “Bargain retail chain selling a range of household goods, groceries, beauty products & more.” Located at 3648 Broken Bow Rd, 76513.
  • Nomads: It is pretty much the ultimate stop for anyone frequenting Belton Lake. The store has everything you need for a campout or day on the water. Find them at 2502 Lake Rd, 76513.
  • Munson’s Emporium: a good place to buy tobacco smoking equipment, novelty gifts, incense, or adult toys. Located at: 5691 FM439, 76513.

Proximate Boat Repair Stores (Address & Phone Number)

Proximate Boat Repair Stores (Address & Phone Number)

Dealing with the engine issues, electrical systems, failing pumps, saturated foam, cabin leaks is not going to be easy for an amateur boater. So, having a go-to for boat service and repair is vital when on a recreational trip.

Trusting a professional shipwright is all takes to get your boat fixed up and bring it back on the water. The following is the list of 4 places you can rely on when it comes down to watercraft repair/service near Belton Lake.

  • Bingham Marine Texas:

Address: 4505 FM439, 76513.

Phone Number: +1 512-801-0884

  • Wetspot Marine:

Address: 1133 FM-2271 Hwy, 76513.

Phone Number: +1 254-563-1101

  • Cruz-A-Day Boat Repair:

Address: 4175 US-190 Frontage Rd, 76513.

Phone number: +1 254-721-8897

  • Georgetown Belton Marine and Outboard Service:

Address: 7879 Interstate 35 Frontage Rd, 76513.

Phone Number: +1 512-801-0884

Festivals and Events

Festivals and Events

Lucky people get to synchronize their trip with ongoing festivals and events in specific areas. So, we wanted to help those who’re looking for such fun on the Belton Lake boating zone. Below, you can gain some information about a competition that despite being a first-timer in the district has gained lots of fans.

  • Lonestar Throwdown is a kayak fishing tournament that was originally based in Kingsland/Tow area. However, due to flooding, they changed the location to Belton Lake in 2018. Any kayaker can attend to this competition either by their craft or a rental one. The only condition is all the attendees must pay the registration + the BLORA entrance fees.

Reference (s):

Sailing Fundamentals

 

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