Toledo Bend Reservoir stretches for miles along the Texas and Louisiana border, directly west of Many, Louisiana.
This massive 185,000 acre lake is a project of the States of Texas and Louisiana, and has both recreational and power generation benefits.
As the largest man-made lake in the south, Toledo Bend forms a portion of the boundary between the states of Texas and Louisiana.
It was created by the Sabine River Authority of Texas and the Sabine River Authority of Louisiana which constructed a dam on the Sabine River, just north of Burkeville, Texas. The lake extends 65 miles to the north to near Logansport, LA.
Boating, fishing, skiing, camping, hiking, golfing and other recreational activities are popular around this lake. RV resorts, campgrounds, resorts, restaurants, marinas, and motels are all available along the 1,200 miles of shoreline of the reservoir.
In 2015, Bassmaster Magazine selected Toledo Bend Reservoir as the top fishery in the United States. Toledo Bend ranked above 230 potential lakes after the magazine conducted research and personal interviews with anglers from around the U.S.
Nearby Hodges Gardens State Park in Louisiana features 40 acres of manicured gardens, trails, RV facilities, and a fishing lake. It was originally developed designed and opened to the public in 1956 by oil and gas businessman A.J. Hodges. Today, this 700-acre masterpiece is operated by the Louisiana Office of State Parks.
Emerald Hills Golf Resort is located across the street from the entrance to Hodges Gardens. The resort offers an 18-hole championship golf course, overnight accommodations and a restaurant. Meeting and conference facilities are also available. Other golfing venues include nearby Cypress Bend Golf Resort.
Other popular recreational areas in East Texas include Lake Palestine, Lake Tyler and Lake Sam Rayburn.
On the Louisiana side of the lake, other attractions include North Toledo Bend State Park and Fort Jesup State Historic Site.
Many is the parish seat of Sabine Parish, located in west Louisiana next to the Texas border, and about 60 miles northwest of the Alexandria metro area.
Other Louisiana towns near Toledo Bend include Many, Zwolle, Natchitoches, Florien, Mansfield, Anacoco, Robeline, and Hornbeck. Many is located between Shreveport and Leesville on U.S. Highway 171, and has a population of about 3,000 residents.
Texas communities close to the lake include St. Augustine, Carthage, Hemphill and Jasper. A bit further to the west is Tyler, the largest city in East Texas.
In May 1963, land acquisitions for the reservoir began as a joint management project of Texas and Louisiana River Authorities. Construction on the Toledo Bend Dam, spillway, and power plant, began in May of 1964.
The closure section of the earthen embankment and impoundment of water was begun in October 1966.
The power plant was completed and began operating in the early 1969.