The lake is surrounded by White Rock Lake Park, which features a 9.33 mile (15 km) trail for hiking, running and bicycling, the BathHouse Cultural Center and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. There are several fishing piers and sailing is permitted.White Rock Lake is also home to the Southern Methodist University Sailing Club which uses the lake primarily as the team's practice water. Many events are held at White Rock Lake, including the White Rock Marathon, which, for part of the course, runs around the lake.
The White Rock Marathon is recognized as a top 10 marathon within the United States, and serves as a Boston Marathon qualifier. The primary beneficiary of the marathon is Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Another Lake pastime popular with young adults was viewing The Submarine Races. When there were no curfews at the park, it became a popular spot for high schoolers wanting a deserted, yet beautiful spot for necking. Whether in a car or on a blanket, viewing The Submarine Races at White Rock Lake is still very popular.