Lakefront Cabins? Waterfront? Lakeside? Lake View? Lake Access? What does Lake Whitney really offer?

unclegus cliffs boat at shoreIf you spend very much time searching for accommodations on Lake Whitney you are likely to find a variety of descriptive terms used to describe cabins and their relationship to the lake. Lake Whitney is a flood control lake with a 40 foot flood pool above the official “normal” level. That means that nothing but campsites situated on Corps of Engineers property can be located in the flood zone. That also means no cabins or houses sit right next to the water on Lake Whitney.

 dam flood

Almost all properties on the lake adjoin land owned by the Corps of Engineers. These properties are considered “lakefront,” but since in almost all cases there is public land between the private property line and the water’s edge, there are very few “waterfront” properties on the lake. In fact I only know of one area that can claim to be “waterfront” and that only happens when the lake is at or above the normal level of 533′ (which is rare) because they are located far up into tiny fingers beyond the normal Corps of Engineers boundaries that surround the lake.

Those properties have no lake access at all when the water level is below normal. Lake Whitney is a deep lake (108′ in the center) but it stays below the designated normal by 8-10 feet most of the time.

With that in mind, the only two “lakefront” or “lakeside” accommodation choices are:

  1. Perched atop limestone cliffs out of the flood area, but directly above the water.
  2. On sloping hillsides back away from the water’s edge.

The questions you should ask when determining which accommodations work best for you are:

trail to shore


  •  Exactly how do you access the water from the the cabin?
  • How far is it to the water?
  • What is the shoreline like at their location? Smooth? Rocky?
  • Is it possible to swim?
  • Is it possible to tie up my boat?
  • Is there a public area with a view of the lake?Is there a view of the water from the cabin I have in mind?


Here at Arrowhead we are on a sloping hillside, not a cliff. That means we have easy access to a smooth shoreline. We have a trail that is about 150 yards down the hill to the water. Once at the shore, you have full access to several miles of  non-rocky shoreline at your disposal. Because we are not in a cove, we have a wide view of open water from most of the property. Some cabins have better views than others, but there is lots of public space from which to enjoy the view.


Finding the Perfect Place to Stay

Many of you know that Gary & I travel when we aren’t here at Arrowhead Cabins on Lake Whitney hosting travelers. Of course that doesn’t happen often enough, so when we can’t travel, we read about traveling. We read blogs, message boards, magazines, and online reviews. We scour the Internet for interesting places to stay, near us and far flung.

Here are our recent observations:
1) We should find ways to travel more- even if it’s just for a couple of nights at a time.
2) More businesses should build blogs so you feel up to the minute about what’s going on at their location.
3) We should all remember that a few pitfalls serve to make your journey a better story to tell.
4) It’s rare for two travelers to see the same place or event in the same light. A good example of this was found in a review I recently read about scuba diving in Belize. The reviewer was not pleased with her dive trip because it involved a one hour boat ride to get to the dive site. Gary and I have been fortunate enough to have been on that same trip. The diving was fantastic, but that boat ride was the icing on the cake! Tiny islands dotted the ocean, some with one palm tree, some with nothing but sand. It was the ride of a lifetime. Maybe the reviewer was just having a bad day.
5) It’s easy to build a great website; it’s hard to build a great hospitality business.
6) There are some really interesting places to stay in Texas; we’ve got lots of competition to keep us on our toes.
7) We sometimes stay at those look-alike highway hotels for convenience, but life is really too short to always stay inside the box. We usually enjoy our travels more when we step outside the Comfort/LaQuinta zone.
8) Research, research, research. See observation #5.