Wonderful state park in the piney woods of East Texas
Date of Stay: February, 2017 - $28.00
Overall Rating: 4 stars
RV: 25' motorhome
Beautiful East TX park. It was a nice, close getaway from Dallas. We stayed in the Lakeview area, which I recommend. There are several areas in the park, so you might want to check out the website. The pretty park is kept up nicely & isn't in the middle of a bunch of meth labs. We were there in late winter, just before everything was about to leaf out. We found it spotless, including the bathrooms. The camp host and her cat on a leash, "Luigi", were super friendly and was walking around picking up tiny pieces of trash when we ran into her. They did a fantastic job keeping the restrooms clean...among the best we've encountered. We have a 25' motorhome and chose a back-in site with full hookups. There are pull-throughs if you require that. The campsites are spacious with plenty of area around them should you want to set up a tent. We set up 2 ENO Hammocks, left our bikes out, had a lantern pole, picnic table and fire ring with a grill grate. Firewood can be purchased via the honor system by the camp host's site.
We had full hookups and concrete pad, which required leveling blocks. Our site was shaded and on the water. Because of the tall trees, satellite didn't work. No biggie. I didn't pay attention to whether or not there were spots with a clear view to the sky. You can rent boats & fishing equipment. There is a swimming area. If you enjoy biking, birding, hiking or geocaching, there are plenty of options/trails. We took a nice hike around the perimeter of the lake...maybe a couple of miles? The camp store is well appointed. The only issue we ran into were the thieving raccoons who have a taste for prime rib-eye. One of the fearless little buggers managed to steal half of a steak right off the grill when we walked a few feet away! (so much for leftovers!). Our neighbors, who frequent this park, say they are a big problem at this park, so keep your coolers and everything food related inside your car/camper!
The other issue we encountered, was a controlled burn about 100 yards away, scheduled the morning of our 2nd day. I won't remove any stars because of this as controlled burns are not planned in advance, but rather chosen based on "perfect conditions" based on temps, wind, moisture, etc. and unfortunately for us it happened while we were there. Upon checking in, we were informed of this and were given the option to cancel, but since we'd driven 2 hours and were set on camping, we chose to stay. Bad idea. Had we not had so much stuff to pack up and unhook, we'd have left late that night because the smoke was brutal as the smoke ended up settling rather than rising that evening/night. We had to air out the RV and wash everything we could. I can still smell smoke in our storage bins. It was miserable and had we realized how awful that would be, we'd have not stayed. Again...a rare occurrence so I am not docking the rating because of it.
Sites at TX State Parks are first come first served, although you can reserve a "space" beforehand. The ranger said starting Dec 2017, you will be able to book "site specific" spots online. Day use fee is $3/day per person. We got a TX State Park pass for $40, which negates the day use fee and if you stay more than one night, you get half off the 2nd night. Well worth it if you plan on camping/using TX state parks more than a couple times. Book early; this is a popular park, close to Dallas & fills up during the season.
Activities: Biking, hiking, geocaching, birding, fishing, paddle-boats, swimming in the lake, campfire
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