This part of north Texas was frequented by several Indian tribes, including Comanches, Kiowas and Tonkawas. When white settlers began to move into the area in substantial numbers in the 1840s, the region became one of the main flash points on the frontier. By 1860, the area was moderately settled, but the outbreak of the Civil War caused the temporary and sometimes permanent abandonment of many settlements. After the war, the region again became a focus of settlement under the protection of army units at Fort Richardson and Fort Sill. The closest town to the park, Pilot Point, was first settled in 1846, but had long been a camping site for Indians, rangers and early pioneers. Several recorded State Archeological Landmarks exist within the present park boundaries. These landmarks consist mostly of nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century farm sites.
Ray Roberts Lake was created to provide water to the cities of Dallas and Denton. Authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1965, the lake takes in portions of three counties: Denton, Cooke and Grayson. Originally known as the Aubrey Reservoir, the proposed lake was renamed in 1980 for U.S. Congressman Ray Roberts (1913-1993). The lake is a 29.350-acre Corps of Engineers impoundment on the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. The lake is surrounded by two state park units (Isle du Bois and Johnson Branch) and six satellite parks, as well as wildlife management areas, wetlands and waterfowl sanctuaries. All the parks are open. Jordan Unit - 477 acres; Pond Creek - 20 acres; Pecan Creek - 48 acres; Buck Creek - 11 acres; Sanger - 20 acres; Elm Fork - 290 acres.
Ray Roberts Lake State Park has a total of 5,848.8 acres. All properties were acquired in 1984 by a lease made between the Secretary of the Army and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
- Ray Roberts Lake State Park - Isle du Bois Unit is on the south side of Ray Roberts Lake in Denton County. The Isle du Bois Unit (meaning "Island of the Trees") opened in 1993.
- Ray Roberts Lake State Park - Johnson Branch Unit is located on the north side of Ray Roberts Lake in Denton and Cooke Counties. This unit opened on December 4, 1996.
- Ray Roberts Greenbelt: The Ray Roberts Lake/Lake Lewisville Greenbelt Corridor is a 20-mile multiuse trail system (10 miles for equestrian and 10 miles for hike and bike use) that begins at the Ray Roberts Dam and ends at the headwaters of Lake Lewisville. This unique trail corridor meanders along the heavily wooded banks of the Elm Fork Branch of the Trinity River. Equestrians, hikers, bikers, canoeists, birdwatchers, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts can access the trail at one of three trailheads, located at FM 455, FM 428 and Highway 380. Canoe and kayak rentals are available from Greenbelt Canoe Rentals. (817) 228-9496.