Inks Lake Park day use expansion planned

File Photo
An overhead view of the old Highland Lakes Golf Course at Inks Lake State Park. A proposed new use for this area will be discussed at a Dec. 12 public meeting in Burnet.




By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

The public will have one final chance to give input on the Public Use Plan for the old Highland Lakes Golf Club course at Inks Lake State Park during a 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, public hearing at the Burnet Community Center.

“Our park planner is putting together the final presentation now to be given at the meeting,” said Cory Evans, superintendent of Inks Lake State Park. “At this meeting, we will roll out the final plan for the park and this will be the final opportunity for the public to make comment about the plan. We know a lot of people are interested in what the plans are for the golf course.”

The proposed plan is for the entirety of the Inks Lake State Park complex, including Inks Lake State Park, Longhorn Caverns State Park and Park Road 4, but a great deal of interest has been generated in what park amenities will be built on the grounds of the old golf course.

The Highland Lakes Golf Club course at Inks Lake State Park has sat idle for nine years since the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department opted not to continue its use in November 2010. As visitation to the park continues to grow among day users, the 60-acre lakeside tract where the golf course sat is prime real estate where improvements can be made to the park.

The proposed plan includes a 2,000-square-foot group pavilion, a 1,600-square-foot comfort station, an extra fishing pier, a canoe/kayak launch and storage facility, more than a mile of hike and bike trails, about 20 extra picnic sites and a parking area with 72 slots for cars as well as 18 truck/boat trailer slots and six ADA accessible spaces.

“Inks Lake has a 50-50 split between day use visitation and overnight visitors,” Evans has said. “If you've ever been to the park on a weekend, you can see where those two groups conflict at the boat ramps and the other areas of the park. There always is a mad rush to use the facilities between those two groups, so what we are trying to do is split them out and provide some separation and provide more access to the lake.”

Realistically it will take about four years before the project can come to fruition as the project would have to be approved and funding would have to be attached in the next biennium by the Texas Legislature. Engineering and hiring a contractor would take a period of about two years. Then, construction would take about two more years to complete.

“I can say from a leadership standpoint that they certainly see the necessity of a project like this,” Evans said.

He encouraged the public to come to the meeting or to go online to the TPWD website to send their written comments to park and state officials.

“We are hoping there will be a packed house and we really want a lot of feedback on this,” Evans said. “We know there are a lot of folks using this lake from the day users who come out from the surrounding area to the overnight users.”

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