July 7, 2017
Article and Photos By: Sandi Argo
Nestled in the outskirts of Jacksboro is a treasure that a lot of people may have overlooked in the times past. What was once just a hang out for a few has finally come into its own time, thanks to a few updates and a whole lot of TLC.
What is this secret treasure, you might ask? The delightful place is formally called Twin Lakes (or according to the TP&W site…Lost Creek Reservoir) but to the locals it is just “the lake”.
Since the early 90’s, the lake has seen its fair share of droughts and floods. With Possum Kingdom to the west and Lake Bridgeport to the east, the 385 acres of water that sets just outside of the city (on Highway 59) has often been overlooked. For many years the banks of the lake were covered in overgrown brush, and vegetation that may have kept it from being a true contender for the recreational boater. With recent additions to the lake, by way of a new dock, plus some good hard work by the city crews and volunteers that have done a massive clean-up, this lake has now blossomed into a wonderfully active place. Most evenings are found with families enjoying a cool swim, fishing, sharing a meal cooked on a grill (built in at locations found around the banks of the lake) or just enjoying a beautiful Texas sunset as gentle waves make their way to the shores.
Although peaceful and calming, one upgrade did not come without its share of heartbreak. Just across from the newly redone baseball fields is what locals now refer to as “Johnny’s Dock”. Dedicated to honor the memory of Jacksboro High School student, Johnny Callan, the dock was a dream project he had taken under his wing. Callan was tragically killed the week of Thanksgiving break in 2016. Knowing his passion for the dock project, local business owner Matt Kelly completed the dock that Callan had designed. The dock was dedicated on a bitter cold January evening in 2017 as a large crowd gathered to celebrate. Now, months later, a gentle breeze greets visitors as they cast their bait for what “finned catch” lies beneath the dock. Swimmers have picked the dock as a favorite place to go, using it as a diving board into the cool waters.
Across the waters from the dock is a wonderful children’s park, with sidewalks winding their way around in a walking trail. Jacksboro has always been a very sports-driven town and their love for baseball is evident. Alongside the lake is the newly-improved baseball complex. Recently, the city closed in the 4 separate fields, making it into one complex. The streets that used to go between the fields were dug up and clay was put in its place. The changes allow for a safer area for children, since cars can not go through. The complex recently played host to a state wide tournament and its 30 teams. The reviews from visiting teams gave it high marks.
Of course the Jack County Youth Fair Barn and Twin Lakes Activity Center still host various events during the year. With the improvements to the lake, the city is hopeful that more venues will appreciate the hard work they have done, and use the facilities. One local (new) entity has already, with the Jacksboro Trade Day & Market being held at the lake each month. Vendors selling wares have set up on the 3rd Saturday of the month since May, with plans to continue. With the lake area their “backdrop” the JTD&M is hoping to grow, bringing visitors from all over to our “little slice of Heaven on Earth”.
Go by and see for yourself what locals have discovered again!
Lost Creek Reservoir
(Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife)
Location: 58 miles southeast of Wichita Falls, near Jacksboro
Surface area: 385 acres
Maximum depth: 60 feet
Predominant Fish Species