Tom Hughes Park Beach is one of the superb Lake Travis beaches. It lies in the scenic area on Lake Travis just north of Mansfield Dam in central Texas and offers good opportunities to sunbathe, swim, stroll, picnic, and just enjoy the sunset over the lake.
Due to its sparse parking and uneven terrain, Tom Hughes Park is less visited than other parks around Lake Travis. In addition to the stunning views of the expansive blue and emerald water surface, oak and juniper woodlands in the upper section of the park create a beautiful and shady natural setting. The local flora is unusually diverse.
Location and Access
The entrance fee is $10 per vehicle or $3 per person if you travel by bicycle or on foot. You can pay in cash only. There are also annual permits available.
Be aware that the park isn’t open all year round and closes for the period between November 1 and March 31. It also may be closed due to dangerous trail conditions after rains.
There are several paths with steep inclines leading down to the lake, which require special caution. If you have small kids or physically impaired persons in your group, probably you should visit some other park, they are plentiful in the area. Parking is limited, but usually, it’s not a problem since there are very few visitors.
Facilities and Amenities
The park provides portable toilets, which are not very well maintained – probably you’d give preference to the woods instead. There are no showers, or electric outlets, or drinking water sources, so ensure you bring enough water as well as power banks if needed. There are no rental services on-site, so you should also bring any gear and equipment you may need for your outdoor recreation.
The water in Lake Travis is spectacular, bright blue and crystal clear. Swimming is definitely enjoyable and relaxing, but the rocky swimming area isn’t kid-friendly and requires extra caution. The bottom is rocky, and it is recommended to wear water shoes. Depending on the water levels in the lake, cliff jumping and scuba diving may be good pastimes as well.
Dog Policies and Other Rules
If you’re a dog owner, you’re welcome to bring your furry companion with you, but don’t allow it to run, play, or swim off-leash. Alcohol isn’t allowed but you can bypass this rule if you put your wine or beer in a koozie; nevertheless, be aware that you’re not allowed to bring any drinks in glass containers. You also can’t camp or make bonfires in the park.
- 30 minutes from Downtown Austin, TX
- 1 hour 40 minutes from San Antonio, TX
- 2 hours 55 minutes from Houston, TX
Hotels and rentals
If you're considering staying for one or even a few nights, there are plenty of options available near the beach. Chose your preferred accomodation type and your favourite room provider:
- Nearby rentals from VRBO.
- Nearby rooms and properties from Booking.com.
Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Tom Hughes Park Beach which you can visit:
- Hippie Hollow Beach (McGregor County Park) (1 mile)
- Mansfield Dam Park Beach (1 mile)
- Bob Wentz Park Beach (1 mile)
- Windy Point Park Beach (2 miles)
- Lake Travis Beach (4 miles)