Stillhouse Hollow Information

Stillhouse Hollow Lake lies in Bell county 4.5 miles west of Belton, Texas, in Bell County located in Central Texas. It covers 6,430 acres with 58 miles of shoreline and an average depth of 37 feet with a maximum depth of 107 feet. The Lampasas River feeds Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Killeen, Salado, and Temple, Texas, are the closest towns. The nearest metroplex is Austin, Texas, at 50 miles south of Stillhouse Hollow Lake. 

Stillhouse Hollow Lake has three islands. Fort Hood, a U.S. Army Garrison, is five miles northwest of Stillhouse Hollow Lake with two military museums. This lake is mostly uninhabited, with just two lakeside communities on its northeastern shore. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages Stillhouse Hollow Lake and operates four parks with two that charge a day use fee or an annual pass, and two are campgrounds. 

History of Stillhouse Hollow Lake

Construction on the Stillhouse Hollow Dam began in 1962 and was completed in 1968 when the reservoir was impounded. No one can remember how Stillhouse Hollow Lake acquired its name, but legend has it that it was named for illegal whiskey stills located in the area during Prohibition. Hollow was pronounced “holler” when the illegal stills were operating. 

Officials conducted quite a few moonshine raids in the region for years. Moonshining proved profitable during Prohibition, which coincided for a few years with the Great Depression. Prohibition was in effect from January 1920 to December 1933. The Great Depression lasted from 1929 to 1933. 

People also viewed moonshining as more honorable than accepting government assistance relief and standing in the soup kitchen lines. The news media did report on the raids with a nod and a wink spin. Good moonshine involved a process, along with the fear of raids and tax evasion tactics. 

Distillers made moonshine whiskey with 50 pounds of sugar and mixed it with the same amount of crushed corn and 35 gallons of water. Then it fermented or "rotted" while bubbling for about a week. This was called sour mash, and when the sour mash quit bubbling and turned blue, it went to the distilling process. 

Then, the moonshiners transferred the sour mash to a distiller. Distillation separates chemicals by differences in temperatures as the mash boils. Pure ethanol boils at 172 degrees, and water boils at 212 degrees. High proof alcohol is created using the different distillation boiling process to separate the alcohol from water. Distillation does not produce alcohol. It only concentrates the alcohol present in the sour mash.

Ethical moonshiners stored their whiskey in oak barrels for a few days. Some added ingredients like oak chips, peaches, apples, caramel, honey, and rock candy. Rotgut moonshiners added lye, which speeded up the brewing process, but caused painful swelling to those who drank it. 

The name Stillhouse indicates a still, and a holler indicates a secret location where people made moonshine. If you can get to them, you can still find the locations where moonshine was made in the Stillhouse Hollow Lake area. But, they are in the most remote areas. Much of the Stillhouse Hollow Lake area is as undeveloped now as it was in 1920 when Prohibition was in effect.

Fishing Stillhouse Hollow Lake  

The predominant game species at Stillhouse Hollow Lake are largemouth, smallmouth, and white bass, channel and flathead catfish, and black and white crappie. Other species present include, hybrid striped bass and spotted bass, bluegill, blue catfish, longnose and spotted gar, and green, longear, and redear sunfish, 

Stillhouse Hollow Lake has long sloping banks and deep cavernous walls. Its water is clear with a maximum depth of 107 feet. The upper lake and river channel has standing timber and brush piles. Anglers will find beds of hydrilla in the lower lake area and around the mid-lake island. Plenty of accessible shoreline is available for bank fishing. There are five boat ramps dotted around Stillhouse Hollow Lake.

Numerous experienced guide services operate at Stillhouse Hollow Lake, but not exclusively. These guides also serve several lakes in Central Texas. Check for availability in advance for the type of fishing experience you are seeking. Some of these guides are strictly catch and release, while others will take you to catch any species you want to eat. 

Find experienced local guides on our Stillhouse Hollow Lake Fishing Guides page. 

Boating at Stillhouse Hollow Lake 

Stillhouse Hollow Lake has open waters for recreational water sports ideal for all types of watercraft because of its depth. This lake is popular for scuba diving and snorkeling due to its clear waters. Low-sloping prairies surround Stillhouse Hollow Lake, which provides a hotbed of wildlife viewing opportunities.

There are several parks, one marina, and five boat ramps around Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Boaters can launch canoes, kayaks, and other small watercraft from some of the beaches and at a location on the Lampasas River. Two parks offer swim beaches, and there are three islands. The main lake area shorelines are deep and rocky. 

There are limited boat rental services at Stillhouse Hollow Lake, but you can rent canoes and kayaks plus scuba diving gear at Stillhouse Hollow Marina along with a boat slip. Boat repair services are located near Stillhouse Hollow Lake and in Killeen and Temple, Texas.

Find or sell a boat on our Stillhouse Hollow Lake Boats for Sale page. 

Marinas at Stillhouse Hollow Lake

Stillhouse Hollow Marina, located in Stillhouse Park, is the only marina at Stillhouse Hollow Lake. It features many services, with a restaurant serving great burgers and American cuisine, indoor and outdoor fishing areas, a gas dock, and a ship’s store with bait and tackle, snacks and drinks, plus a swim beach in Stillhouse Park. Stillhouse Hollow Marina has boat slips, but it is usually full, so when looking for a boat slip there, boaters need to check for slip availability regularly. 

Plan your trip to the lake by finding a marina on our Stillhouse Hollow Lake Marinas page. 

Cabins and Vacation Homes at Stillhouse Hollow Lake

Vacation homes rentals are scarce at Stillhouse Hollow Lake because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns the land surrounding it and the area is highly undeveloped. There are only two tiny communities on the very northeastern edge of the lake. Visitors can find vacation rental homes outside of the lake property within a short driving distance. There are no cabin rentals. 

Find the perfect vacation home on our Stillhouse Hollow Lake Cabins page. 

Camping at Stillhouse Hollow Lake

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offers two campgrounds for camping at Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Dana Peak Park and Union Grove. Both parks have RV and tent camping with water and electric hook-ups available at all sites. There are a couple of RV parks located outside of Stillhouse Hollow Lake.

Dana Peak Park has a total of 25 campsites, with five tent-only spots, two pull-throughs, and three doubles. The rest will accommodate tents and RV's. The primitive camp area has eight tent-only campsites. It provides restroom facilities with hot showers, swimming beach, fishing dock, and a four-lane concrete boat ramp. 

Union Grove offers a total of 37 campsites, with seven for tent only, four pull-throughs, two double sites, and the other sites will accommodate tents, trailers, and RV's. It also provides three screened shelters which are available for people without camping equipment. Many of its campsites are located on the shoreline. It provides restroom facilities with hot showers, a swimming beach, fishing dock, playground, and a four-lane concrete boat ramp.

Check out our list of campgrounds and RV parks for your family adventure on our Stillhouse Hollow Lake Camping page. 

Hiking at Stillhouse Hollow Lake

There is a network of trails for hiking and mountain biking around the lakeshore and running through its parks. Dogs are welcome on a leash, and it is expected that hikers pick up after them. There are several trails located at Dana Peak Park. They range from two to six miles long. One trail at Dana Peak Park is designated as a multi-use trail where horseback riding is allowed. 

This parks trail range in The Stillhouse Park Trail is a 12.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located in Stillhouse Park. Chalk Ridge Falls Environmental Learning Center is below the Stillhouse Hollow Lake Dam. It has five miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, including a one-mile nature trail along the Lampasas River, a spring-fed creek, a waterfall, bridges, and several wildlife-viewing points. 

Real Estate at Stillhouse Hollow Lake 

Stillhouse Hollow Lake real estate is a locally popular market for homes and lots near the lake. Typically 20 lake homes are available for sale and ten lake lots and land for sale near Stillhouse Hollow Lake at any given time. Homes for sale near Stillhouse Hollow Lake have an average list price of $330,000, with many homes at higher and lower prices.

The Killeen and Belton ISDs serve Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Temple and Killeen, Texas have Walmarts and other desired businesses serving the day-to-day lives of residents and visitors. Austin, Texas, is 50 miles south and the nearest metroplex to Stillhouse Hollow Lake. 

The region surrounding Stillhouse Hollow Lake is undeveloped, quiet, and peaceful. There is one restaurant at Stillhouse Hollow Marina on the lake, and the rest of your restaurant options can be found in nearby Killeen, Salado, and Temple, Texas. Most of the lake’s nightlife is found in Killeen, Texas. 

Find the perfect home on the lake at our Stillhouse Hollow Lake Homes For Sale page.

Things to Do at Stillhouse Hollow Lake

There is one restaurant at Stillhouse Hollow Marina serving great burgers and American food.  There are numerous golf courses, golf ranges, and country clubs in Temple and Killeen, Texas. Bars and restaurants serving alcohol are located in Killeen. Other restaurants are in Salado, Texas. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and maintains the Chalk Ridge Falls Environmental Learning Center located below Stillhouse Hollow Dam. This center is free of charge and located below the Stillhouse Hollow Dam, and serves the purposes of hiking and picnicking. 

Salado, Texas, five miles south of Stillhouse Hollow Lake’s southeastern border, is one of the best arts and cultural centers in Central Texas. Salado is a mecca to world-class artists with numerous historic bed and breakfasts and restaurants where visitors can create glass art and stay at an inn that welcomed Texas legends.  

Military buffs can take in the 1st Cavalry Division Museum and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Museum at Fort Hood, which is 21 miles from Stillhouse Hollow Lake’s northern edge. Discover the long and distinguished history of the 1st Cavalry Division, one of the most decorated combat divisions in the U.S. Army. The 1st Cavalry Division Museum has indoor and outdoor exhibits. The museum offers living history presentations and guided tours for more than 15 people. 

The 3rd Armored Cavalry Museum tells the story of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, America’s longest-serving armored cavalry regiment. It has various indoor and outdoor exhibits and includes a collection of military vehicles. Visitors can learn the regiment’s history from its establishment as the Regiment of Mounted Rifleman in 1846 to today.

Fort Hood is home to The Courses of Clear Creek, a 27-hole championship golf course set among the rolling hills and scenic forests of central Texas. This golf club’s nine-hole courses feature four sets of tees and a state-of-the-art grass surface. A full pro shop, practice greens, and a clubhouse offer golfers everything they need. 

The Mayborn Science Theater is a state-of-the-art planetarium situated on the campus of Central Texas College in Killeen. This theater holds laser light and planetarium shows. The 60-foot dome for the shows and planetarium is shaped to provide a view of the stars that people cannot see with the naked eye. A show schedule and membership information is available on the theater’s website.

Plan your next triop at our What To Do At Stillhouse Hollow Lake page.

Stillhouse Hollow Lake Weather & Climate

Stillhouse Hollow Lake sees an average of 35 inches of rain per year, with 0.2 inches of snow and 228 days of sunshine. The winter low in January is 36 degrees with a summer high in July of 95 degrees. April, October, and November are the most comfortable months for this region.

Keep an eye on the skies with our Stillhouse Hollow Lake Weather Forecast page. 

Stillhouse Hollow Lake Zip Codes

Bell County: 76501, 76502, 76503, 76504, 76505, 76508, 76513, 76519, 76533, 76534, 76540, 76541, 76542, 76543, 76544, 76545, 76546, 76547, 76548, 76549, 76554, 76557, 76559, 76564, 76569, 76571, 76579. 

Flora and Fauna At Stillhouse Hollow Lake

Many visitors come to Stillhouse Hollow Lake for birding to see hawks, Great Blue herons, ducks, geese, many species of songbirds, bobwhite quail, Rio Grande turkey and even an occasional bald eagle, yielding year-round opportunities for bird sightings.

People can find the Union Grove Wildlife Management Area on the south shore of the lake. It is a ten-acre existing wetland and expanded to include 1.2 acres of riparian corridor, with 1.1 acres of shrub wetland, 1.4 acres of forested wetland and 2.4 additional acres of emergent wetland along with a submersed wetland. 

Wildlife lovers can expect to see common sightings of armadillos, coyotes, white-tailed deer, gray and red foxes, owls, fox squirrels, and wild turkeys, plus abundant wildflowers. 

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Stillhouse Hollow Current Weather Alerts

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Stillhouse Hollow Weather Forecast


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 92

Tuesday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 75


Partly Sunny

Hi: 93

Wednesday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 74


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 94

Thursday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 76


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 93

Friday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 74

Stillhouse Hollow Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 6/4: 636.90 (+14.90)