I've been to Lake Grapevine twice, and both times the lack of directions and general "strange city" traffic patterns didn't help. I actually stopped at a convenience store IN Grapevine which had a nice map display with 20 different maps for sale, and they had not ONE map of Grapevine! I recommend a compass, I found the Silver Lake Campground and several other recreation areas by just driving "towards the lake". Signs are often nonexistent until you get to where you're going! To find Silver Lake Campground, the only campground on the lake, get on business 114 in Grapevine and turn north on Dooley Rd. There are some small brown signs high on the poles at that intersection, but they are easy to miss. The campground itself is at 1501 Dooley, phone 817 329 8993.
Silver Lake Campground was nice, they have restrooms and showers and nice campsites for RV's or tents. Day use is not allowed so that makes it pretty quiet except for the jets using the DFW airport. When I was there July of 2004 I didn't find the jets objectionable, but this could depend on wind direction. The sites do not have sewage hookups but a dump station is in the campground. Electricity and water are provided. The boatramp was closed due to high water but the Dove Road ramps were open and not far away, $5 fee. On business 114 turn north on Dove Road and it goes right to the boat ramp, great parking and we stepped our mast in the baseball field parking lot next to it. No trees or powerlines from there to the ramp!
My campsite at Silver Creek Park
We went sailing on Saturday in the Flying Scot, and while the water wasn't crystal clear it was cleaner than some Texas lakes I've sailed on. Looked great for swimming to me and we enjoyed doing so. Lake Grapevine is about 2 miles wide where we sailed, near the dam, and the winds were good. We sailed into Silver Lake Marina to stop and take pictures of Michelle's Beneteau 235 for sale.
Sunday we sailed the Blue Water 14 and had a wonderful time. The lake wasn't crowded at all, although with many of the boat ramps closed because of the high water the Dove Road ramp was crowded. However the ramp is very well laid out with a well marked line to get in when you want to use the ramp, there are two spaces on the ramp and people were very good at spending the least amount of time on the ramp that they could. To get to this ramp turn north on Dove Road from Business 114.
There are several day use areas on the north side of the lake, and some on the south also. Although poorly marked, you can find them! Perhaps because they are poorly marked, you may find them with few users when you come. I sure did. The Silver Lake Marina charges $10 to launch, has little parking, and the steep road down to the ramp has a sharp curve at the end. I was told Scott's Landing Marina also charges $10 for their boat ramp.
Article on Lake Grapevine by Michial
I sail there regularly, and would actually LIKE to put my boat in the marina, but their fee schedules favor the rich, and abuse the average sailor. (Scott's Landing). They prefer the full year's fees up front ($2100 for a 25' sailboat), and do not have transient slips for someone that wants to put in Friday night, and pull out Sunday.
As for the water, most of the time it's decent to swim in, but like all Texas lakes when the temperature of the lake turns it turns into an algae cess pool for several weeks. Fishing is average on the lake for the area. Catfish near the aerators at the dam is pretty good, if not excellent, but be prepared to be anchored with a bunch of fishing boats all trying for the same thing. If the winds ever switch around I'd pull anchor and leave rather than try to sort out the mess that will inevitably happen when they fishermen decide to up and leave after a day fishing the hole.
My son and I haven't had much luck with stripers or any other species of bass, but this is probably due to the fact we are in a sailboat, and cannot chase the fish as easily as the fishing boats can.
I sail out of Dove Loop Boat Ramp, the one you mention, I've never had problems there. Most of the boaters are happy to lend a hand for a single handed sailor fighting to raise a mast on a 25' boat. I make it a point to return that favor every chance I get just to keep the good faith going.
I have never found the lake crowded, even on the major boating holidays. Its one of the richer lakes, and in my opinion has a higher percentage of snobs when you get on the water, but overall its close to home and easy launching so I'll keep sailing there until I get to the coast.
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