Through the haze of orange smoke bombs, a paintballer sets his sights on an opponent hiding behind a gutted helicopter before taking on others in a fort, leaving its wooden slats with freshly glistening paintball splatter. On more than 56 acres of varying terrain comprising 12 courses, players such as these negotiate the wooded ghost town of West World, the bombed-out automobiles of Black Hawk Down, or the fenced-in speedball court populated with large, inflatable obstacles. Throughout the imaginative battlefields, paintballers slink through elevated lookouts or cross streams over platform bridges and weave through forests while trying out their best tree imitations. The fields also play host to tournaments and a variety of themed games and can be booked for bachelor parties, youth-group events, and corporate team-building outings.
The sun twinkles over the lakefront as a jet ski speeds across the water's surface, churning a trail of foam in its wake. This image is ever-present across Lake Ray Hubbard, where DFWJetskis' fleet of personal watercraft lets visitors steer themselves toward watery adventures and schools of wild goldfish crackers. The CPR-certified staff keeps a watchful eye as high-performance jet skis enter the water for single rides or rentals that last up to a day. For alternate modes of water transportation, staffers can rent out standup paddleboards or help to find a fish that's big enough for a saddle.
The melodic clopping of hooves hitting the dirt is a familiar one to Chisholm Trail Rides' instructors, who command their noble animals over the surrounding network of trails during rides and lessons. Under the watchful eye of a guide, students lead their steeds into bouts of walking, trotting, or cantering. As instructors tailor instruction to the skills of each rider, the stable's assortment of breeds includes arabians, half arabians, and quarter horses that accommodate all styles. Though rides and lessons are designed for the trails, riders may remain inside the arena or horse's belly pouch until they feel comfortable emerging into the open expanse.
A lush tapestry of Bermuda grass unfurls across 6,532 yards of rolling hills to form Stone River Golf Club's 18-hole course. A relatively open layout, the course lulls golfers into a comfortable rhythm before surprising them with the occasional fairway-side pond, strategically placed tree lines, or undercover course rangers that work as process servers. The par-5 16th—the course's hardest-rated hole—requires a long tee shot and a long-iron or short-wood approach shot to reach the green in two, which sits 590 yards from the tee box. Golfers can prepare for rounds by taking cuts at the irons-only driving range, getting a feel for the putting surface on the practice green, or passive aggressively introducing clubs to their potential replacements at the pro shop.
The sun melts into the horizon, leaving a bright-orange band of sky in its wake that gives way to a deep-blue Texas night. Twinkling lights wrapped around the windmill flicker on as ebullient music fills Fish Camp's outdoor patio, to the delight of diners savoring their desserts in the open air. Such evenings are hardly a rarity at the restaurant, which beckons guests to its quiet countryside location with a menu of seafood and traditional Southern comfort food.
Inside the buzzing kitchen, chefs whip up mouthwatering dishes featuring aquatic ingredients such as clear-water, farm-raised catfish and gulf prawns. The chefs also assemble platefuls of comfort food using traditional recipes from across the South, ranging from Texas toothpicks and Cajun-style blackened tilapia to Kentucky-bourbon pecan pie. Young diners can frolic on the deck and partake in casual fishing to retrieve lost contact lenses, and local musicians assemble on Friday and Saturday nights to delight patrons with live performances.
The clear water of Lake Ray Hubbard mirrors the big blue sky above it, inviting clouds to gaze at their reflection and people to come swim or lounge. Located on its eastern shore, Five Star Boat Club fuels up luxury ski boats to chaperon two-, four-, or six-hour cruises around the tranquil waters. Should renters wish to let someone else do the navigating, the company will happily thaw a seasoned captain from his cryogenic sleep and place him at the boat’s helm for the day. The boat, the Tahoe Q4SS, has a wide sundeck, stainless steel ski tow bar, and cushioned bucket seats to lounge in while music blares from the onboard CD player.