Description - Topography of the Prairies and Lakes region ranges from nearly flat to gently rolling to hilly. Elevation varies from 300 to 800 feet above sea level. Ranches are more common in the Oak Woods and Prairies than in the Blackland Prairies Region to the west.
Oak-hickory forest interdigitates with tall-grass prairies in this region. The Western and Eastern Cross Timbers are major areas of oak-hickory. Peat bogs and marshes are distributed along a line corresponding to surface exposures of the Carrizo Sands formations and runs roughly southwest from northern Leon County to Palmetto State Park in Gonzales County. River valleys crossing the region support a forest of hackberries and pecans mixed with oaks on the alluvial soils. Mesquite, blackjack and post oak have invaded some areas of the Blackland Prairie severely. The fertility of the Blackland Prairie makes it ideal for crop agriculture, although some hay meadows and a few ranches remain.
- This region is easily accessed from many of the large cities in Texas. Th region includes the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area and is close to from Houston, Austin and San Antonio. The region includes many large lakes, several with state parks along their shores. Some of the large lakes with state parks include Lake Whitney, Lake Somerville, Ray Roberts Lake and Fairfield Lake. The area offers more state parks and historic sites than any other region. Some of the other state parks include Bastrop, Bonham, Cleburne, Cooper Lake, Eisenhower, Lake Mineral Wells, Meridian and Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Park.
The region includes a portion of the Sam Houston National Forest. Attwater Prarie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge and Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge are both found in this region. At Attwater, a 5-mile auto tour and two hiking trails offer pathways into the prairie and wetlands.
Recreation - Some of the most popular activities in this region include fishing, swimming, boating, water skiing, sailing, and operating personal watercraft. Camping, hiking, biking, and birdwatching are other popular activities in the region.
Climate - This region experiences mild to cool winters and hot, humid summers. Average annual rainfall ranges from 30 to 45 inches increasing from west to east. May and June usually are the peak rainfall months for the northern end of the region; however, the south-central part has a fairly uniform distribution throughout, the year.
The Prairies and Lakes region covers a large portion of northeast and central Texas, from the Oklahoma border south through the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Waco and Bryan/College Station. The area is covered by numerous Interstates including I-20, I-30, I-35 and I-45.